I have a three-year-old son, and his current favorite thing to do is drive around our neighborhood to see ‘the big cat,’ ‘the big ghost,’ and ‘the dragon.’ We are less than two weeks away from Halloween and decorations are popping up left and right at various stores and homes around us. What’s been really remarkable is the sheer size and quantity of the decorations we’ve noticed at residential homes. While some houses still seem content to celebrate Halloween by just sticking a jack-o-lantern out in front, other homes are displaying massive blow up spooky creatures, entire front lawns turned into graveyards, and fake cobwebs wrapped around the home like a stick of cotton candy.
All of this is to say that Halloween is no longer just a small holiday for kids to get candy. It has evolved into a massive production for all ages. In a 2013 survey by the National Retail Foundation, 70 percent of 18-24 years old were planning to celebrate Halloween, which isn’t so surprising, but were 60 percent of 35 to 44 year olds were also planning to get into the Halloween spirit. It is predicted that Americans will spend $8.8 billion on Halloween this year (2019).
There are a few businesses such as the ones that sell costumes and candy, that are obvious benefactors in this increase in Halloween participation, but your business can also reap the benefits of Halloween.
Why Should Your Business Celebrate Halloween?
Halloween is an almost $9 billion industry, and as we mentioned above, those of all age groups are getting in on the fun. It’s most definitely not just for kids anymore. Even more “straight laced” workplaces such as banks or accounting firms can be sure that the Halloween spirit is affecting their consumers.
How Can Your Business Take Advantage of Halloween?
You don’t sell costumes, you don’t sell candy, you aren’t a haunted house, and you aren’t a pumpkin farm…what can you possibly do that’s Halloween-y? The answer is: plenty.
Here are just a few ideas to consider.
Host a contest
You can host a costume contest for employees and share about it on social media. Or, host a costume or pumpkin carving contest for customers. Advertise the days/times and make sure to offer a good prize! For a pumpkin carving contest, you could even keep the pumpkin entries and use those to decorate your office.
Change the look of your website or social media accounts
Google does this regularly with the “Google doodle.” While you don’t have to change things as frequently as Google does, consider making the website look a little bit different during the month of October. Perhaps the home page background color becomes orange or black, or a heading features Halloween specials–be creative!
Along those same lines, you can add some Halloween magic to social media accounts by posting pictures and updates that are relevant to the season.
Produce Halloween themed content
Content is a key component of many marketing strategies, and one of the best parts is that it can be easily tweaked to become topical. This means that fresh content can fit with the season. Please note, your small business blog does not need to suddenly become all about October 31 and your posts don’t need to just focus on pumpkin carving techniques.
Instead, find a way to work Halloween into your content. For example, a blog for a heating and cooling company may feature a post about saving energy on utility bills during Halloween.
Hand out Halloween Swag Gear
We all probably have drawers full of company swag gear such as pens, but in October change it up a little bit handing out Halloween items such as bags for trick or treating, or keychain flashlights to help trick or treaters stay safe. Check out this example from Small Business Trends.
Participate in community Halloween events
Many communities offer some type of Halloween event such as contests, trunk or treats, or trick or treating in a main business district. If possible, participate. Hand out items to the trick or treaters. The items don’t just have to be candy. They could be things directly related to your business. For example, in one local community the library hands out free books to children during the town’s trick or treat event.
Offer specials or discounts on Halloween
Everyone loves a discount. Even those who don’t want to celebrate Halloween will appreciate a discount. Here are some ideas: 31% off certain products or services, discounts for those who come dressed in costume, discounts for those who bring a bag of candy to donate to soldiers etc….
Decorate the business
Decorating the business is fun, and if it is something that becomes an annual tradition customers will be excited to see the decorations come out year after year.
Halloween-ify some products
This cannot work for all business models, but if you can find a few products to “Halloween-ify,” go for it!
How will your business celebrate Halloween?
Looking for financial advice? Contact us at Lumen Advisory and Finance!