Thanksgiving is about more than turkeys (while many of us have a lot of those in our lives).
Thanksgiving is a special time for appreciating what we have. Not just the things and money but more importantly, the relationships and people.
Since Thanksgiving is closely associated with Christmas shopping, the commercialization means that our ability to sit back and think about what’s truly important tends to get lost.
Here are 31 ways to take the time to thank others in your lives and to make Thanksgiving an all year round celebration.
1. Offer samples. This is an old fashioned way to get people to try new products. Take a page from Trader Joes that always has something cooking in the back of their stores to entice customers to try something new. Other options include putting a sample in customers’ packages.2. Give away swag with your name on it. Pens are an ideal example. The objective is to keep your name top of mind.3. Provide a respite to your customers from their lives. While this is at the heart of restaurants, coffee establishments, give your patrons a place to rest. This is important for those parents, husbands and others. Knitting shops excel at this. By having your customers spend time in your store gives them ideas about new things they need.4. Have a pot of coffee always brewing. Banks learned the value of this tactic.5. Show movies with a theme related to your products. Give your customers a reason to visit your shop or business. For example, Lion Brand Studio shows a movie every month with a special knitting or crocheting scene.6. Support your community. Use your window and/or shop to promote and support local events.7. Make your store special for the holidays. Bring in live music or Santa to give prospects a reason to stop by. Use this as an opportunity to support local musicians.8. Let local groups meet in your space. Many small organizations have limited options when it comes to meetings. Offer your classroom or other space. The benefit is that by being in the context of your shop, they start to think about buying from you.9. Give away your leftovers. Whether it’s food or last season’s product, offer your company’s excess to a charity.10. Offer free delivery. This is a great way to make your customers love you. Many restaurants and pharmacies do this.
Events and activities
11. Offer special focused events. Get your customers something special. Think readings or other events that relate to your business.12. Create special shopping events. Give your best customers the white glove treatment. For example, have a special breakfast hours for executives.13. Hold the “Doctor Is In” sessions. Offer special help to get your customers involved with your product. For example, the Lion Brand Studio has a Crochet Doctor and a Knitting Doctor.14. Support related Meetups. Provide customer help by allowing others to use your retail establishment to meeting in your space. It gets people into your store and starts them thinking about your products.15. Throw yourself a birthday party. Celebrate your firm’s anniversary. Don’t forget the cake! It’s nice to offer customers some party food and a discount.16. Offer group outings. Get your customers together to take a related trip.17. Partner with related businesses to give prospects and customers a reason to visit your store. Wine stores do this with regular wine tastings in collaboration with distributors. For example Zachy’s in Scarsdale includes cheese tastings.
18. Thank your customers. Take the time to send a personalized message via email or even better using the post office.19. Write a blog post thanking your customers. Put how you feel into words and let the whole world know. This is particularly important if your business is focused on a mission beyond making money.20. Celebrate your customers’ birthday. Send them a card and give them a special gift such as a discount to recognize their birthdays.21. Feature your customers on your blog. Include their photograph and explain why they’re special.22. Select an employee or customer of the month. Put up a photograph in your office or retail establishment.23. Show off your customers’ work. This works well if you’ve got a crafts business or if you sponsor a local team. You can use their finished products or just highlight a special moment at a game.24. Promote the local stars. Use your window or blog to highlight people in your community who have just done something special. Think authors or painters.
25. Spotlight your customers on social media. Highlight special customers on Facebook, etc. Oreos does a great job of this on Facebook.26. Promote your colleagues and their work on various social media platforms. Don’t just expect people to contact you.27. Thank prospects, clients and social media colleagues for following you. Here’s an unexpected example from United.28. Leave meaty comments. Participate in the social dialog on other platforms.29. Respond to comments on your blog and other social media platforms. Realize that social media isn’t a one-way street.30. Write recommendations for colleagues and others on LinkedIn. Don’t wait until you’re looking for a job to get active and don’t just check off an endorsement box. Take the time to put down your support.31. Offer strong content to customers’ blogs. Help your community by contributing useful information.
Most important of all, let those in your life know how much they mean to you.