How To Survive and Thrive Q4, Even If You're Not Into Black Friday

November 1, 2021

In Q4 the whole world goes crazy waiting for Black Friday. And to be honest it's justified. A bunch of money is transacted during Black Friday / Cyber Monday, and the whole Q4 holiday season. It's a spectacular season for clients who have apparel or jewelry or something that really is a natural gifting product.


There are some brands who can't (or won't) take advantage of the season because of the nature of their product or their brand.

This blog post is for the brands Q4 forgot.

There are about a jillion reasons that someone but a brand might not want to be to take part in the holiday season:

  • they don't want to discount their brand
  • supply chain issues
  • they don't want to participate in a "race to the bottom"
  • their margins are too low
  • they don't have enough internal resources to shift their strategy...

The most common reason for not participating is that the product isn't really giftable.

Think about health/wellness/self-care items as an example.

Anti-Aging cream doesn't really gift well.

Neither does Apple Cider Vinegar for weight loss. Anti-anxiety CBD? Maybe...depends if the recipient has a sense of humour.

Giving a self-care item to someone is a really un-cool way of pointing out their problems. Stick to something shiny, sparkly, or electronic.

On the other hand, those self care items do really, really well come January, which is what we call resolution season.

What Is Resolution Season?

About 75% of people go in to the new year with the mantra "new year, new you". Resolutions are as unique as the people who make them but the majority fall into these categories:

  • Health
  • Self-improvement
  • Money
  • Family
  • Love
  • Career

If your brand falls into one of those categories, resolution season is where you're going to recover from the Black Friday rush.

How To Survive Black Friday

You have a real advantage here because every other brand is pushing out messages dominated by "buy my stuff" language.

"Get it in time for the holidays."

"You're almost too late."

"This is our best deal ever."

Don't get me wrong - that messaging works for those brands for a short period of time. They need to get their slice of the Q4 pie or they lose all their customers to a competitor who shouts louder.

Self care brands have the advantage of being completely different from everyone else. You can zig while everyone else zags.

While all the other brands are showing up in the inbox with FOMO messaging like

"holy shit, the sales almost over, you're gonna miss the best sale of the year"

... you get to be the one saying...

"hey, come hang out with us, take a deep breath, everything's cool. Don't forget to take care of yourself".

Remind your customers that in January, life goes back to (something resembling) normal. That's when you get to put the holiday craziness behind you and start working on yourself to make next your best year ever,

That's the first step. Spend time being the calm voice in a storm for your customers.

You don't have to push them to buy anything, you don't have to discount anything, but you should be planting those seeds.

What's going to happen in January when you get chance to take care of yourself again? What's that going to look like? How are you going to put yourself first?

How To Win Resolution Season Before The Ball Drops

Want to know how to take advantage of resolution season?

It's quite similar to making the most of the holidays.

Start early.

As soon as the holiday Mumbo, Jumbo wears off, I'm talking about the 27th of December. Reach out to your customers, congratulate them for making it through and turn the the focus back onto what the next year is going to look like is.

They're thinking about who they want to be next year, what they want to accomplish, what their dreams are, their aspirations.

If your brand helps people be who they want to be, (and if you don't, solve that problem first), encourage your customers to think about how your brand fits into the picture of their future selves.

Happy Freakin' New Year

When January hits, you have the opportunity to be a meaningful part of your customers' resolutions.

With a little bit of planning, you can even make the relationship last all year long.

The easy way to make the most of resolution season is to have a sale event in January. You've seen "new year, new you" sales before. They aren't very imaginative but with the right creatives you can certainly get your customers to buy in.

The best way (and therefore not easy) to make the most of resolution season is to help your customer crush it.

My favourite?

January Resolution Challenge

This can go as deep as you want/can manage. The basic are here:

  1. Define the challenge. This would usually be something like "30-Day Best Life Challenge". Commit to doing one thing every day that contributes to you living your best life. If you make it to the end of the challenge you get [a limited edition something, freebie, or discount].
  2. Set up a challenge sign up landing page
  3. Send your list a link to the landing page and get them to opt-in
  4. Send a survey to the lisk asking what their #1 goal is for the year and what they think will get in their way.
  5. Send daily emails with motivation to do goals they tell you about in the survey.

For bonus points, keep following up through the year.

Use the segment to build a deep connection with your customers and the more that they believe that you believe in them, the more that they'll feel connected to your brand.

And as we say at &BAM...

Customer TLC = High LTV

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