It’s never too early to begin your holiday marketing strategy. The winter holidays are the most important time of the year for retail companies, and you don’t want to miss out on potential sales just because you didn’t think through your advertisements. These following considerations are key when it comes to planning your holiday messaging.

Know That There Will Be Competition

Every company ratchets up its promotions around the holidays. You can’t just keep running your normal advertisements and trust that people will choose your business over others. Expect your competition to create high-quality promotions that draw customers in droves and invest plenty of time and money into making your own.

Focus on What Makes Your Brand Unique

You should find ways to incorporate key aspects of your company’s identity into your holiday marketing. If you’ve taken the time to build up your brand, this will be easy. For example, perhaps your company produces reusable water bottles and you donate a percentage of your profits to clean water initiatives. A good holiday marketing strategy would involve donating a higher percentage of the profits from special holiday-themed items. Note that your marketing does not necessarily have to mean a sale for customers. Just make sure that the messaging you produce is consistent with your brand. If you’re not sure what constitutes your brand, it’s time to meet with your marketing consultant and develop one.

Show Your Customers Your Appreciation

Today, your customers have access to countless stores, both within driving distance and at the tap of a keyboard or phone screen. In your promotions, demonstrate to them why they should support your business by showing them how much you appreciate them. Again, this sort of promotion does not need to include a sale. However, if you emailed all of your customers and thanked them for choosing you, you would catch their attention. While this may be hard depending on how big your company is, you should personalize each message as much as possible. For example, you could thank them for purchasing specific items, or you could have different employees write and sign each email. You also should include links to similar items or related promotions so that they know you offer more of their favorite goods.

The competition among different retail stores is intense around the holidays. Make your holiday messaging stand out by focusing on what makes you and your clients special.