Mardi Gras Your Business: 4 Ways to Fatten Up Your Sales
As Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday approaches, it’s a perfect time to “fatten up” your sales with events, contests, and special deals tied to the holiday. Consider these four ideas:
1. Have a fat sale
Fat Tuesday, the traditional name for the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, takes place this year on March 4. The term “Fat Tuesday,” offers lots of clever promotions for many different types of business.
A store called the Quilt Asylum holds an annual sale where it gives discounts on “Fat Quarters,” which is a one-fourth yard cut of fabric. Many companies use the “fat” angle in terms of weight, from an online health store that gave a discount on “skinny fiber” to a Florida casino that gave gamblers 10 cents for every pound they weighed.
Remember the word “fat” has all sorts of meanings: wealth (“living off the fat of the land”); little or no chance (“fat chance”); stupid (“Get this into your fat head”). Think of puns, and make your small business marketing fun.
2. Throw a party
Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is party time, and you might consider joining with other area merchants to throw a bash. Merchants in Lancaster, California, did this a couple of years ago, holding a Mardi Gras block party to promote downtown businesses that were off the main thoroughfare.
Diane Reeves, the event organizer and owner of a local coffee shop, described it as “a family oriented, carnival-like experience,” which included a jazz band, costume contest, and a beer and wine garden for the adults. Some local businesses bartered their services in exchange for promotion.
If you want to go it alone, you could have a Mardi Gras party for your best customers. A window mannequin covered with beads and the official Mardi Gras colors of green, purple, and yellow can certainly catch the eye of passers-by, and pull them into your store. Or you could make it an “online party,” and dress up your website in a Mardi Gras theme.
3. Make mardi Gras a prelude
Norton’s Florist, a flower shop in Birmingham, AL, offers special Mardi Gras arrangements and decorates its classic gift baskets with Mardi Gras themes. Customers receive free beads with every purchase.
Mandy Maxwell, who writes for the Flower Shop Network blog, suggests florists offer a discount to restaurants and other public places for special Mardi Gras arrangements. Even if you don’t sell flowers, consider if there is a way you can leverage the punch of Mardi Gras for some other upcoming event for your industry.
4. Run a contest
You can have people stand outside your store dressed in colorful garb, such as a jester or flapper outfit, handing out beads as well as a chance to win a free trip to New Orleans or other suitably themed prize. Or run a virtual contest.
The Virtuous Wife, an online blog/business dedicated to homemaking topics, gave away “the ultimate Mardi Gras gift basket” in a 2012 contest. Food, drink, and travel companies have a natural connection to the event.
But any type of business can find a Mardi Gras tie-in: Cufflinks.com, an online retailer of luxury goods, participated in a contest that awarded bright green, enamel Venetian mask cufflinks “that capture the spirit of Mardi Gras.”
What connection can you make between your business/service and the themes of fun, food, masks, jazz, beads, and other trappings of the big carnival? Figure it out, and run a contest.
Extend the party throughout the year
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