We have learned a great deal from both Indie Christmas 2012 and the Enjoy an Independent Easter campaign. We’re wrapping all these learnings into an evolved approach for the Indie Christmas 2013 activities and I’d like to share those with you now so you are aware of the plans and can plan ahead, involving the local council / town centre management or town team as well.
Focusing on engaging families within your local community
Our focus will be on families – the Easter activities, which got kids collecting stickers to complete a task in return for a small reward, really seems to have captured the imagination of customers in the 56 areas that took part. Therefore we want to turn the Christmas Shopping Crawl into a similar challenge…
We will produce artwork that requires participants to “decorate a tree” by collecting 10 colourful bauble stickers. Stickers will be available from the listed participating retailers.
When they have completed their tree (which they can keep) they can show it in any of the participating retailers for it to be “validated” (to confirm they have redeemed their prize) and will be rewarded with a certificate of completion and a treat – perhaps a candy cane, some chocolate money, a Christmas decoration, a small toy (think party bag items) – it really doesn’t matter!
Most of the excitement at Easter was about collecting the stickers and getting the certificate and a little chocolate egg… it’s the act of completing the task and being rewarded, not the reward itself, that matters.
An extra reason to shop indie for the adults…
To engage the adults they will also need to collect all 10 baubles (proving they visited at least 10 shops out of the listed participating retailers) BUT they need to produce receipts totalling a given amount, e.g. £50 (across all shops, or from just 1) to be entered into a prize draw.
- When they have visited the qualifying number of shops they need to fill in their details on an entry form which is countersigned by a participating retailer to validate they have completed the necessary criteria (which you can vary locally as you see fit) and that form is used to enter them into the local draw.
- The local draw ideally should be after Christmas to make sure you get the benefit of any last minute shoppers through the doors of the local independents…
- The prize can be whatever you see fit – it would appear that when towns have several prizes, not just one top prize, the take-up is increased. Prizes can be an array of things – donations from retailers and local businesses, cash, vouchers, leisure experiences – whatever you can muster.
Rewarding consumers for shopping with independent retailers
We hope to create a further opportunity for consumers nationally by inviting them to register online with us for a chance to win £1000 cash. All they need to do (and there is no qualifying criteria, but they will have to have seen our artwork to be able to do this) is enter their info via our website.
Obviously this gives us consumer data, by location, which we can also use to promote your future events to e.g. Easter activities, Indie Month etc.
It may seem a long way off, but you need to be planning ahead for Christmas 2013 NOW!
I hope you like where our plans are heading for the 2013 Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign – the idea is to make is as much fun as possible, to engage as many people as possible, and to encourage spending for the more valuable prizes. There will soon be a downloadable guide / info sheet about this so it will be something you can share with others. If you are keen to get your town involved with the Christmas fun please make sure you put the idea forward to the council etc. ASAP and so that it’s on their radar! You may be surprised by local councils may well have already started to plan their Christmas activities – so it’s not too early!
Here’s to a great event in 2013!