Well, it’s that time of year when children (and some parents) get dressed in ‘spoooooky’ outfits and go and knock on their neighbour’s doors asking for lollies and chocolate. I admit I have participated in Halloween with my kids for many years and in 2016 there is an added boost as Saffy (now aged 2 years 9 months) has realised that this could be worthwhile and rewarding entertainment! Within our Melbourne suburb, Halloween is a very friendly occasion. I even have one set of friends who go to great lengths decorating the outside of their house to help attract more people to visit them!
So, based on my personal experience and admitting that it can be fun I have still asked on an annual basis ‘what’s the point of Halloween?’. Nobody really knows the true origins (allegedly a pagan Celtic festival) but somehow it has managed to stay relevant, engaging and entertaining, its popularity continues to grow in Australia. However, I don’t want to be the Halloween version of Ebenezer Scrooge so, rather than pour any negative vibes on the whole experience, I thought it would be fun to consider what Halloween is doing right!
To do this let’s consider Halloween as a business and do a business review on their approach.
If Halloween was a business, the annual report would certainly be positive. They are growing globally with an excellent customer experience rating.
Vision – a vivid mental image of what you want your business to be at some point in the future, based on your goals and aspirations.
Their vision is a world of spooooky connections.
Their mission is to provide a fun and engaging global event that connects us with our family, friends, neighbours and even people you have never met! Their aspiration is a world that loves ghouls, ghosts and scary pirates ……….
Competition - it is important to consider who they are, what are they doing, where can you build partnerships.
There are many different celebrations throughout the calendar year. However, Halloween selected October as a fairly quiet period with limited competition. They purposely selected the same celebration date every year (31 October) so to help with brand building and recollection. They chose a niche market (spooky, scary, fun) so that there is not perceived competition. Halloween have also built strong partnerships with retail stores, $2 shops and chocolate/ lollie manufacturers to help promote and complement the vision. They use these partnerships to help promote the event to reduce their own marketing budget.
It is always important to consider who are your target customer, where would you find them and are you able to identify their persona?
Halloween has created a tribe of like-minded people who embrace the event and are advocates who look forward to celebrating every year. There has had some recent unwanted scary publicity related to Clowns but this has not reduced the overall enthusiasm of fellow “Halloweeners”. The key customer profiles include
• Primary school children who enjoy spending time in fancy dress with their family and friends while collecting lollies and chocolate
• High school children don’t mind dressing as a zombie while escorting younger brothers/ sisters in return for a share in any lollies and chocolates received
• Parents who don’t mind wearing a witch’s hat and having fun with the children
So, in summary what is Halloween’s secret to success? They have gained clarity on the most effective way to create customer love. This is what every business should focus on!
Whether you’re a start up trying to acquire customers, an established business trying to grow, or an organization strategising for the future, you need to fully understand who you are and what you stand for, then we create a plan to help you get noticed by the people who love what you do.
So admittedly so this is all a bit of spooooky fun, but how many business owners actually spend time to think about these essential issues? At Marketing Entourage we always encourage people to “Think” before they “Plan” and in turn “Connect” with their customers and partners.
Growing your business can be far less scary than you think! So Happy Halloween, I hope that everyone who is participating has a lot of fun!
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by Phil Ore
Written by Phil Ore
Phil Ore is the co-founder of Marketing Entourage, co-founder of Entrepreneurs&Co and global ambassador for Inspiring Rare Birds. He has dedicated his professional career to helping people and businesses succeed through human centred strategic design, idea generation and brand expertise to improve the customers experience. During his global career, Phil has been fortunate to have had a wide range of roles working for, and alongside, some the worlds largest corporations and brands. Phil is passionate about the Australian startup ecosystem and is a mentor, advisor, MC, and panelist for various social impact, NFP, entrepreneurship and technology based businesses and events.