Lots of companies avoid embracing Christmas entirely because they’re afraid that the marketing collateral they create will come across as garish (or just downright tacky!).

And that’s completely understandable. At Design FX Studio, I’ve seen my fair share of terrible Christmas marketing tactics over the years that must have been huge turn-offs for customers.

But despite the horror stories, I think it is possible to add some festive magic to your brand presence without going over the top.

Read on for five simple, affordable and tasteful ways to inject a little Christmas sparkle into your brand image.

1. Swap your usual homepage sliders for graphics with a festive feel

I think this is one of the easiest and yet most theatrical ways to incorporate Christmas messaging into your existing website – temporarily, of course.

Less can be more. For example, you could ask your graphic designer to simply add a little holly or a smattering of snow to the edges of your existing banners for a sophisticated festive feel. Or, if you’re feeling bold, you can go all-out and let your Christmas creativity run wild. The approach you choose will really depends on your brand’s unique personality.

The benefit of Christmas-ifying your homepage sliders is that the impact is immediate. Your message will be visible as soon as your visitors land on your website; depending on the way your site has been designed, it may even be the first thing they see. So, if you’re running a special seasonal promotion, or just want to make sure your site’s design stands out from your competitors’ efforts at this important time of year, appeal to your customers’ festive feelings and hit them right between the eyes with Christmas-themed banners.

2. Spruce up your social media

Carrying on in a similar vein, you could quite easily create Christmassy graphics for your social media pages to share some festive merriment with your communities.

Twitter, for example, allows you to add a large-scale banner across the top of your profile. Businesses can make the most of this space in any way they want; many will upload a hi-res version of their logo, while others will include a photo of a recent event, or – crucially – a graphic that advertises their latest offer or promotion. Go for the latter and ask your trusty designer to create some Christmas-branded designs for maximum impact.

3. Develop a bespoke online advent calendar

If you want to deliver something a little different, why not use your Christmas marketing budget to design a digital advent calendar?

A fully branded online advent calendar can be used in a range of ways to boost your Christmas communications strategy. This dynamic marketing tool could be used to promote specific content, to showcase new offers, and even give away freebies if that’s part of your game plan.

A digital advent calendar won’t just keep your customers coming back for more as Christmas draws closer – if you link it up to your website and your social channels, it will encourage more interaction with these assets, too.

The added benefit of running an advent calendar is that those who are interacting with it will be happy to share their details with your company in return for goodies (but you’ll need to make sure your data capture processes are GDPR compliant, of course).

4. Create branded Christmas cards for your clients and suppliers

We may live in an increasingly digital age, but that doesn’t mean your contacts won’t appreciate receiving a little something in the post as a thank-you for their business or their referrals.

Branded Christmas cards are easy to produce and print. There are lots of template generators out there if you would prefer to manage the design yourself, or you can ask your graphic designer to conjure up a unique design that will ensure your cards stand out on the shelf.

Eco-conscious companies may prefer to bypass printing costs and send out e-cards, instead. In many ways, these are much more exciting and immersive than their printed counterparts. Talk to me if you’re stuck for ideas for Christmas e-cards – I love coming up with fun concepts for my clients!

5. A little gift will go a long way to strengthening your brand image

Branded merchandise has been HUGE in 2018 and, thanks to a healthy level of competition in the print industry, quality tailored promotional products are cheaper than ever before.

For a relatively low cost, you can send your favourite customers branded items – such as pens, mugs, USBs and desk tidies – to let them know you’re thinking of them as the New Year approaches (and subtly bang the drum for your company at the same time).

If you’d prefer to shun the traditional options for more unusual items, there are plenty of quirkier merchandise ideas out there for you to choose from. Businesses are increasingly ordering customised wine bottles, mobile power chargers and even branded bath ducks for their customers. The trick is to choose promotional merchandise that’s both useful and memorable, then design it so it’s unmistakably yours.

We’re hurtling towards the Christmas break at an alarming rate, but there’s still time to add a hefty dose of Yuletide charm to your brand image and your wider marketing campaign. Speak with the talented team at Design FX Studio now for Christmas-inspired design ideas that will ensure you’re ready to make the most of this magical time of year!