Shopper Marketing for the Holidays | Mini Events for More Opportunities to Connect with Consumers


Building our public relations efforts around holidays (major holidays and also the plethora of marketing holidays — see our new 2019 Holidays for Food Marketing List) and seasons often serves as a foundation for the consumer marketing programs Green Purse PR creates. The holiday season and its holidays, (Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years) are more than just one-time events. Each major holiday can include what we like to call “mini events,” which can stretch out the season and create more purchase opportunities.

“You may be tempted to think of some holidays as just a one-day event, but in reality most holidays are made up of several ‘mini events’ that we can leverage in our shopper marketing. These mini-events translate into more reasons for shoppers to make purchases.” - Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos


How many ‘mini events’ (or buying opportunities) can you think of for the holiday season?

Turns out, there’s a lot and some depend upon age and life phase. For example, to connect with parents of young children around just Christmastime alone, here are just a few of the “mini events” (and buying opportunities) you can build shopper marketing around:

  • Home decorating (which usually begins in the USA the day after Thanksgiving or around the last week of November.) – encouraging people to have the most festive house on the block. Depending on the type of dwelling, a lot of people will put the most effort into their front door - buying a new wreath and floral swag, getting a festive doormat and other accessories to spruce up the entrance.

  • Black Friday - informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

  • Cyber Monday - a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online.

  • Getting a Christmas tree & wreaths - some Americans make an event of going to a Christmas tree farm to cut down their own tree, while others may buy from a local church, garden center or grocery store.

  • Stocking up on home decorations - while a lot of people will keep using the same decorations year after year, it’s common to also buy new, trendy decorations like lights, festive cushions and blankets, and outdoor decorations.

  • Holiday cards - a lot of Americans have a tradition of sending out holiday cards to send greetings to friends, family and colleagues. These days, holiday cards can be quite an expensive production including: curating matching or color coordinating outfits, having a family photo shoot the few months before, creating the card online (with a website like,) and spending time assembling and mailing them out.

  • Trip to visit with Santa - A lot of Americans have the tradition of going to see Santa Claus, either at a shopping mall, a local event, or neighborhood community center. This usually involves purchasing photos and perhaps giving some of them at gifts to close relatives. It could also include purchasing color coordinated outfits prior to the visit.

  • Gift shopping - from shopping online, going to the mall or even going on a shopping trip out of town, gift shopping is an entire season, usually starting with Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving,) and ending the day before Christmas.

  • Holiday party season - November through the beginning of January is holiday party time. Some host their own parties for family and friends, or go to others home to celebrate. With this comes the need to purchase party supplies, food and drinks.

  • Hostess gifts - It’s customary to bring a gift to the hostess’ home, which could include a specialty food gift basket, floral arrangement, wine, or a gift set of some sort. If your hostess has children, you might also bring their children separate gifts.

  • School parties - For families with children in school, they are likely to have at least one school party to celebrate the season. This may require buying small gifts for the entire class, or bringing a food item for a party. Some parents will also buy a teacher’s gift to show their appreciation.

  • Charitable donations - Whether at your child’s school, your church, gym, or community center, Americans are likely to go on a shop just for charitable donations for families in need. For example, my children’s preschool had a food drive and gift drive.

  • Neighborhood events - Some suburban areas have holiday events, like breakfast with Santa Clause for kids, street parades, ugly Christmas sweater contests, and other festive events where bringing food or a gift is necessary.

  • Green Monday - an online retail industry term similar to Cyber Monday. The term was coined by eBay in 2007 to describe the best sales day in December, usually the second Monday of December. This year we saw a lot of online retailers like Target using this day to promote special deals.

  • Christmas Eve & Christmas Day - the main days for big meal celebrations and gift giving.

  • Boxing Day - Although Boxing Day is not widely celebrated in the USA, some do celebrate it, and even if they are not celebrating the holiday explicitly, many Americans do give small gifts to folks like their landscaper, house cleaner, baby sitter or nanny, hair stylist, and others who they hire out for services on a regular basis.

How is your brand or retailer connecting with consumers during the many mini-events throughout the holiday season?

Let me know by commenting below.

Since we’re on the topic of holidays, Green Purse PR creates an annual list of holidays, specifically for natural and specialty food companies. It’s called our Holidays List for Food Marketing. Click here to download our 2019 edition — a 15-page social media planning resource to ensure you’re aware of and leverage the most relevant holidays throughout the year.

- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR