In the final days of Passover, I needed some more matzo and headed off to a usually well stocked market. I got there to discover the Passover display seemed to have disappeared, although the holiday was still going on. I went to customer service and asked what happened to the Passover items and the gentleman said, “Oh, we turned the Passover display into the Cinco de Mayo display.”
Yes it happened, the matzo turned into tortillas. Some things were the same, really. The kosher for Passover for Coca-Cola has no corn syrup and neither does the Coca-Cola made in Mexico.
It got me thinking about marketing for holidays that are yours and not yours. When do we honor our clients and customers by recognizing the significant holidays in their live and when is it cultural appropriation?
Holidays present some ideal times to sell certain products or even have themes or decorations. They may or may not be appropriate to recognize on social media (would the post be inclusive or exclusive) and sometimes, there isn’t a great way to tie in to the holidays.
Recognizing the needs of your customers during holidays is a way to show you understand what’s important to them. So, mentioning that your party store has “lots of items for your seder table” shows an understanding of the phrase “seder table”. Offering longer hours during Ramadan indicates that you know that those who observe Ramadan aren’t going to want to be out and about during the day when they are fasting, but their nights are longer.
Not every holiday is a reason for a sale. At this point, it seems that Labor Day and President’s Day are sale days. We still find Memorial Day sales disrespectful (really, a day we honor our war dead?) and we even have mixed feelings about cashing in on Cinco de Mayo, but that’s because nobody understands what we are celebrating. Read our previous blog about Cinco de Mayo here. Likewise, we are not comfortable with MLK Day sales events.
Are any holidays universal? We often wonder. You can’t go wrong with a post about Thanksgiving, we know that, but it’s a fine line with lots of other times. Since posts reach everybody, you have to decide what the purpose of social media posts which mention holidays are. Is it to advertise your faith and cultural traditions, to acknowledge the diversity of your clients and/or both? Is there any downside? Consider these as you move forward.
And now, pass me the Margarita, Cinco de Mayo is almost here.