When it comes to Black Friday, marketers tend to respond one of two ways. Either they shudder in revulsion and firmly dismiss the notion of getting involved, or they excitedly start talking about how they’re going to make this year’s sale the biggest yet.
If you fall into the first category, this blog is for you. If you fall into the second category, you’re probably better off reading our post on the 7 steps to a successful Black Friday marketing campaign.
So, back to you, anti-Black Friday marketers.
The benefits of Black Friday
We get it: the big retail weekend can feel chaotic, mainstream and short-sighted.
But what if we told you Black Friday doesn’t have to mean shouty red discount stickers, crashing websites and messy racks covered in panickedly discarded items? That it could mean increasing your bottom line throughout the retail weekend, into the festive period and beyond?
Because that’s the reality. Black Friday is a valuable opportunity to strengthen your luxury brand profile, acquire new customers and drive sales. It doesn’t even have to involve giving a discount.
It’s not just us who thinks so. More brands get onboard with Black Friday every year; even those like Jigsaw, who previously vowed to never take part in the seasonal promotion, and Selfridges, who technically doesn’t do Black Friday but does hold a ‘Christmas comes early’ sale at exactly the same time.
Starting to feel your unshakeable resolve to never take part beginning to, well, shake yet? Read on.
Three ways luxury brands can celebrate Black Friday
Emphasise your brand positioning
Often luxury brands shun Black Friday for fear that it'll undermine their high-end reputation. But this can backfire if it means customers go elsewhere.
Rather than sacrificing your brand image, getting involved with Black Friday can strengthen it.
If you’re a brand that prides itself on being classy, high-end and exclusive, incorporate this messaging into your campaign. Take, for instance, your copy and design. Enhance your traditional colour palette with a Black Friday splash of monochrome or cool metallics. And rather than featuring copy shouting about SALES that shoppers should BUY NOW BEFORE IT’S GONE (all those capitals make us feel stressed, too), keep your tone of voice sophisticated with talk of exclusive giveaways, special touches and luxury goodies.
If you’re a client, our team of designers and copywriter can help you come up with bespoke branding for your campaign.
If you’re not a client, find ideas and inspiration in our Black Friday lookbook.
Previous luxury sales during the Black Friday period (l-r): Harvey Nichols, Monica Vinader and Selfridges
Make it an experience
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: shopping is all about the experience.
It’s Black Friday: websites are crashing, items are selling out and the shops are heaving. Amid this frenzy, transform your bricks-and-mortar store into a Black Friday sanctuary. Other shops feature garish sale signs and snaking queues; yours can offer champagne on arrival and personal shopping. Or you could take it a step further and host an exclusive invite-only Black Friday event for your most loyal customers and brand ambassadors.
Better still, create an experience that gets people talking on social (bonus points if that doesn’t involve an Instagrammable flower wall).
Offer luxury incentives (without the discount)
Black Friday is about more than slashed prices; it’s about value.
There’s plenty of ways to make your customers feel they’re getting good value without undermining your luxury brand image. You could, for example, invite shoppers to VIP events, enter them into a luxury giveaway competition, or offer free add-ons (such as delivery or personalisation). Building these incentives into your Black Friday referral programme could drive even more powerful results.
Another option is to take a leaf out of Temperley London’s book and host an invite-only Black Friday sale. Not only will this maintain a sense of exclusivity that flatters your customers, but it’ll also encourage others to sign up to your mailing list so they don’t miss out next time.
So there we have it, our thoughts on why and how this should be the year your brand celebrates Black Friday.
We’re already working with a number of luxury brands on their Black Friday referral campaigns, and with previous participants including Yves Saint Laurent, Farfetch and Net-A-Porter, the real question left to ask is: can you really afford not to?