As the holiday season quickly approaches, it seems as though there is no shortage of brand-forward limited-time product pushes. Red Lobster threw its claws into the ring this week, launching an iconic Cheddar Bay Biscuit holiday sweater, complete with an insulated pouch roomy enough to tote several biscuits anywhere. For those who cannot get enough of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, loved ones can purchase a 52 oz. stocking, filled with tangy, creamy condiment goodness. And Jimmy Dean’s items are so popular, they’ve already sold out of their seasonal, sausage-scented wrapping paper.
While these may seem like gag gifts for some, influencers and super fans will fork over serious cash to own a piece of brand loyalty that they can show off from all social media platforms. It may be too late to get everything on the trending wishlist for this year, but there is something to be learned from these brands going the extra mile to connect with their consumers.
Marry the whimsical with the practical
Weighted blankets emerged as a hot holiday gift for Christmas 2018, and there’s no shortage of interest this year. The blankets reportedly work wonders for those who deal with insomnia or anxiety, and most people deal with that at some point in their lives. The blanket provides that snuggly, safe, relaxing effect that so many need to get a good night's sleep. Well, Oscar Meyer did one better and added the art of everyone’s favorite pork product to the mix. The 15-pound BAEcon blanket can only be acquired through a social media sweepstakes, and is sure to keep bacon lovers warm and secure through those cold and lonely winter months.
Increase demand with smaller quantities
KFC, no stranger to trying courageous marketing campaigns, launched a streetwear collection, a gravy-scented candle and a Colonel Sanders Funko Pop figure that sold out in 11 minutes. Understanding that Funko figurines are very popular amongst toy collectors and the millennial set, KFC knowingly introduced the pint-size Colonel to a new and enthusiastic audience. A select amount of a product yields to a frenzy, allowing for the collectors item to increase in value as time goes on, and initiates a feeling of FOMO for those left out.
Embrace unlikely collaborations
As a broke college student, chances are you may have already been introduced to the wonders of Andre Champagne. With great taste and an even greater price, one could join the ranks of the bubbly set for a much smaller fee than those of the Dom Perignon set. Well, it’s nice to know Andre doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is going back to its audience roots by partnering with the outrageous holiday fashion company, Tipsy Elves. Not only can you find a ridiculous holiday sweater for your next office party, but you can purchase a pretty cute one for your Andre as well.
Give the people what they want
Coffee addicts have particularly severe loyalties to their favorite on-the-go brands. So it was only natural for Dunkin’ to open its first online pop up shop just in time for the holidays. Dunkin’ is carrying limited quantities in everything from branded wrapping paper and scrunchies, to even an electric guitar. There’s something to be said for wearing your heart on your sleeve,—now Dunkin’ addicts can have their coffee and wear it too.