Festive Spirit doesn't last forever, but customer loyalty can

28 November 2017

It’s that time of year again; here in London fairy lights are being turned on, trees are being decorated and department stores are starting to stock those gift sets that are perfect for the people who are hard to buy for. But the most obvious sign that the holidays are coming are the adverts and campaigns that have started appearing everywhere; whether it be on TV or online, on buses or billboards you just can’t escape the festive spirit that is starting to spread.


One of the most anticipated seasonal campaigns in the UK is John Lewis’ arguably because of the emotional response it provokes for so many. Every year people look forward to finding out what the big brand, high street store has come up with and every year they expect it to bring a tear to their eye. The measure of success for any holiday campaign has become whether it makes the audience laugh or cry. As this NME article clearly shows, John Lewis may not hit the mark for everyone, every year, but for the most part their adverts are so successful because they drive an emotional response.


So are all the people out there who eagerly await and show great fondness for big brand seasonal adverts actually loyal customers who shop with those brands all year round? Or do they just love the way the adverts make them feel? We know that customer loyalty is mostly driven by emotion and experiences and brands undoubtedly capture these things in their holiday campaigns, whether that’s through the warm feeling of giving someone a gift or the contentment that comes with having all your family under one roof. However, the real challenge for brands is taking all that positive emotion, and harnessing it once the holidays have come and gone.


Seasons’ greetings don’t last forever and it’s unlikely that brands could provoke strong enough emotions to drive customers through their doors all year round with just one campaign. However, once the decorations are down and consumers have gone back to their normal buying habits, brands need to think about what they can do to give all that short-term loyalty a longer shelf life. Emotion permeates every stage of the customer life cycle and is the key to building lasting relationships so brands need to be building on it all year round. They should be taking advantage of all the festive cheer to build relationships that they can sustain, delivering great customer experiences and capturing personal data that can be used once the holiday season is over.


A brand that is demonstrating this initiative in the UK is Caffé Nero. They have partnered with Yoyo, a mobile payment and marketing platform, to give their customers a digital Christmas cracker every time they buy a drink over the festive period. These crackers give customers the chance to win one of 200,000 prizes but can only be accessed through the Nero app. This not only helps Caffé Nero collect data, but also gives them a vehicle to continue communicating with customers in future. This is putting Nero in a great position for the New Year and giving them the opportunity to “create more rewarding experiences linked to customer’s everyday transactions”. It also means that future campaigns can be adapted and personalised to each customer and their behaviour.


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