Cover illustration of a black Friday rush for sales items
Brand MarketingSeptember 29, 2022

4 Common Black Friday Mistakes To Avoid in 2022

September 29, 2022
Helen Jackson Profile Pic
Helen Jackson
Freelance Content Writer

The busiest retail period of the year is getting closer. For shoppers, Black Friday is an exciting time. But for marketers, it can be pretty stressful.

While it’s a great opportunity to boost sales, reach new consumers with limited offers and grow your profile, there’s also a great deal of pressure to perform better and better each year — and many brands are their own worst enemies when it comes to success at this pivotal point in the year.

How so? Well, some brands are making the same mistakes year after year — mistakes that enable the competition to outperform them or undermine the hard work that they’ve put into their brand for the rest of the year. So often, they don’t even realize they're making these mistakes year in, year out.

But this year, your brand can battle through the onslaught of Black Friday deals to emerge victorious, all by avoiding 4 common pitfalls and focusing your preparation efforts on the right areas.

In this article, we’ll share some common brand mistakes to avoid while giving you actionable advice that will help you deliver your holiday campaigns with aplomb — and reach the sales goals you need.

Why is Black Friday So Important?

It’s only one of the biggest retail dates in the calendar! The holiday shopping extravaganza dates back to the 1950s in the US, with the UK (and other countries) introducing the concept in the 2010s courtesy of US retail giant Amazon.

Black Friday is always the Friday after Thanksgiving. This, for some, signifies the start of the Christmas countdown, which means brands can take advantage of Black Friday to extend their most profitable time of year — Christmas!

On Black Friday, retail sales are in the billions — in the US, Black Friday 2020 consumers spent $9.0 billion. With a figure like that, it’s not surprising that marketers are feeling the pressure to create impactful campaigns.

There’s no doubt that it’s a wildly competitive period between brands — this day represents not only a chance to increase online sales but an opportunity to boost brand exposure and gain new customers.

But only if brands avoid these common mistakes! Here’s what you need to watch out for.

4 Common Black Friday Campaign Pitfalls Brands Must Avoid in 2022

We all make mistakes — it’s part of being human. But some mistakes can cost you precious customers and revenue.

Are you making any of these Black Friday campaign mistakes? If you are, you might want to address them quickly before the end of November.

Mistake #1 | Assuming current customers will naturally gravitate to you

Never assume that your customers will automatically come to you for Black Friday shopping, even those who are typically loyal to your brand. Remember, this is a time when consumers are getting bombarded with ads from hundreds of retailers, all vying for their attention. To guarantee sales, you need to stand out.

While you’ll want to leap on the opportunity to acquire new customers — and Black Friday is a perfect way to do this — don’t forget about your most loyal customers and remember to target them as well as chasing first-timers.

Why? Because they’re easier to sell to! 57% of consumers will spend more on brands to which they are loyal, according to Accenture. Plus, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% yields profit increases of between 25% and 95%.

Indeed, it’s often overlooked how events like Black Friday can increase your brand’s retention and promote loyalty. In a survey by Yopto, early access to sales was seen as a vital part of loyalty programs by 46% of consumers. So this could be the perfect time to get not only boost sales but add value to your loyalty program.

Remember that a loyalty program can act as a direct line to your most committed customers — You can use this channel to attract attention before other brands have even had a chance to act, hyping them up for your Black Friday sale and sweetening the deal with early access benefits.

Mistake #2 | Focusing too much on sales

Of course, sales are important, but not to the detriment of your brand positioning, targeting, core messaging, and values. Don’t let all that hard work you’ve done building a recognizable, relatable brand fall by the wayside! Remember, consumers, are 4-6 times more likely to purchase from and recommend purpose-driven companies.

We understand that it’s easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. All you want to see is sales. However, you must take a step back and look at the long-term effects of your strategy and the bigger picture in general.

As we’ve already stated, Black Friday can achieve other goals as well — so it’s worth trying to figure out which ones you can achieve without sacrificing your brand’s identity.

For example, if your brand has sustainability at the core of its identity, the rampant consumerism that some associate with Black Friday may be something your customers aren’t engaged in at all — and it’s likely your campaign could fall flat with them if you don’t keep this in mind.

Indeed, there’s a growing Anti-Black Friday movement being helmed by brands such as Brompton, Allbirds, and Patagonia — that still run campaigns during this season, but diverge from the usual sales messages that most brands opt for.

Even IKEA has embraced a non-sales-orientated strategy in the past. Its Buy Back Friday was aimed at increasing the lifespan of IKEA’s furniture by allowing consumers to sell older pieces back to the store to be repurposed and eventually given a new home.

Ultimately being fixated on the sales figures tied to such a short period of time could mean you overlook some of the longer-term benefits that could be gained by developing a Black Friday strategy that seeks to gain high-value customers that will spend with you again and again rather than just as a one-off when prices are low.

Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t sacrifice your brand identity or undermine your brand’s principles by chasing black-Friday targets as you could stand to alienate your loyal target audience. To create a positive impact over time, your brand messaging needs to remain consistent. Black Friday isn’t the time to drop all of that and push a sales-only focus.

Mistake #3 | Not being reactive

The lead-up to Black Friday for brands can be stressful, and the day itself is usually a whirlwind. But you can’t just press "play" on your campaign and sit back.

No campaign should be set in stone and with a big retail event like this. It’s best you approach your marketing strategy with a reactive mind. Not only does this approach help your brand stay relevant, but it can help you attract new customers.

How can you stay reactive? By keeping up with trending conversations on social media. The work you do pre-campaign is crucial, setting up landing pages, scheduling social posts, and building automated email campaigns — but as the campaign is running, you need to be poised to jump on trends and news items relevant to your target market.

This way it’s easy to take advantage of newsjacking possibilities to boost your content organically. Set up keyword and branded notifications so you can react as quickly as possible.

P.S. In your pre-campaign prep, you can unlock unbiased brand information using mobile-optimized brand surveys. Learn more about what consumers think about your competitors and use it to craft compelling campaign messaging.

Mistake #4 | Forgetting about your target audience

Any decision you make about your Black Friday campaign needs to be cross-referenced with your target audience. There is no point in spending your time learning more about your target market and painting a detailed picture of your audience segments, for you to then pull a 180 and create campaigns they just won’t care about or relate to.

What all this ultimately means is that your ad copy, social posts, email content — all of it — needs to relate to your target audience. If you don’t do this, you risk detaching your brand from current customers.

So how can you make sure your campaigns speak directly to your audience and reflects their expectations this Black Friday? By researching audience segments and understanding their motivation behind buying products from your brand and competing brands.

Final Thoughts

Black Friday can be stressful for marketers, but by creating a campaign that is tailored to your audience segments, you won’t stray from your brand messaging and can continue to build trusting relationships.

While most brands use it as an opportunity to shift stock and kick off the festive season’s sales period with a bang, it’s not the only way to engage with the date. Get creative and try and find a campaign that builds excitement and engagement around your brand in a way that stays true to its identity.

Above all here are three things to remember coming into this year’s Black Friday:

  • Don’t ignore your brand values; build them into your campaign

  • Analyze the most recent target audience data so your campaign is super targeted and personal

  • Think about your campaign beyond Black Friday to engage brand new customers

Good luck! We look forward to seeing your Black Friday campaigns and all the amazing holiday gifts up for sale.

Brand Marketing

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