Any effective marketing campaign is going to drive your brand awareness and create a buzz. It’s your chance to distribute some information on your latest product, service, or promotion. However, the timing of your marketing campaigns are critical to their success. Cafes and coffee shops are no different among the long list of industries trying to capitalize on timing their marketing efforts. That’s why holiday seasons are so important to focus on.

While everybody keeps their eye on holiday seasons as a marketing opportunity, coffee shops actually have more creative freedom than most. They can execute by doubling down on the branding behind their very own coffee cups! Today, we’re breaking down why seasonal coffee cups matter and how to effectively use holiday seasons to your advantage.

Why Coffee Shops Incorporate Seasonal Marketing
Successful cafes know their target audience. They also anticipate when their target audience is most active and when more traffic is inbound. Holiday seasons are a prime example, with more traffic, website clicks, sales overall. Coffee shops engage with customers during holiday seasons by keeping their products and promotions relevant.

For instance, one of your loyal customers might be raving to others about your special Valentine’s Day strawberry-chocolate cold brew. The conversation turns into, “You have to try this flavor before Valentine’s Day is over and they stop making it”. You jump on this opportunity to 

For instance, one of your loyal customers might be raving to others about your special Valentine’s Day strawberry-chocolate cold brew. The conversation turns into, “You have to try this flavor before Valentine’s Day is over and they stop making it”. You jump on this opportunity to establish a limited product that’s hard to come by. It’s all about the fear of missing out. Before they know it, your special flavor is gone and they have to wait another year to get their hands on it!

establish a limited product that’s hard to come by. It’s all about the fear of missing out. Before they know it, your special flavor is gone and they have to wait another year to get their hands on it!

Using Seasonal Coffee Cups
So we know that cafes are always keeping a careful eye on holiday periods, and for good reason. But what do branded coffee cups have to do with the seasons? Let’s look at how Pepsi handled one of their holiday packaging campaigns. Pepsi added Christmas trees, snowflakes, and reindeers to their soda cans, along with a new holiday slogan: “Gift It Forward”. The Christmas design encourages festive consumers to buy and share Pepsi sodas with their friends and family. One study even showed that consumers preferred a holiday version of the product rather than a standard version by a ratio of two-to-one.

This is your chance to change up your regular branded coffee cup and add some unique style. Expand into holiday colors, graphics, and capitalize on seasonal excitement. Right before the cluster of holidays start around October, take some time to create a business plan for your coffee shop. Solid preparation will make sure that you’re ready for the holiday changes. Here are some planning ideas that you could work on:

  • Holiday Budget. Is it your first time rolling out a new seasonal design? Map out your budget so you can design graphics for your new holiday-branded coffee cups. Once you have templates in place, it’s okay to use them every year. You’re reinforcing your holiday brand just like your regular one!
  • Competitor Research. It’s also fine to search around and see what your competitors are up to during the holidays. Do they have a dedicated mascot such as a Christmas Santa or special colors like red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July? Find out what’s appealing during the holidays and find a little inspiration.
  • Inventory Tracking. Anticipate how many coffee cups you’ll need during any specific holiday period. It’s okay to let your holiday season campaign run 2-3 weeks before the actual holiday.
  • Campaign Around Your Coffee Cups. Use your holiday branded coffee cups as a key to other holiday promotions. Consider a call to action (one or two lines) on your cup letting customers know about what you’re offering during holidays. Are you running a limited coffee flavor, food item, or event? Put it on the coffee cup! Your holiday coffee cup is appealing and lets consumers know your cafe is festive.

Holiday Ideas to Consider
Are you wondering which holidays you should focus on this year? Every holiday is different and has its own special meaning. So we’ve compiled some tips on the most popular holidays where you have the opportunity to create the largest buzz possible! Take a look:

  • Fall. Whether you want to focus on the broad Autumn season or narrow down on Halloween or Thanksgiving is up to you. Matching the colors of changing leaves is always a solid scheme to go with (yellow, orange, red, brown). Incorporate pumpkins and leaves.
  • Winter. You have a few winter-inspired color schemes at your disposal. Red and green are well-known for Christmas time. Winter trees, snowflakes, wreathes, presents, and reindeers are great for the winter holidays. Red/white or blue/white are also fantastic color schemes for a broader winter campaign. Confetti or firework graphics match if you focus on New Year’s Day.
  • Spring. Spring colors are lighthearted and pop more. Light shades of green, blue, yellow, and pink match well here. Graphics of blooming flowers, eggs, and bunnies represent the beginning of Spring.
  • Summer. While the summer is a slower period for holidays, we still have The Fourth of July. Red, white, and blue are always popular in the summer. Beach-themed graphics are a hit including water, sand, and beach balls.

Whether you’re creating your own seasonal designs from scratch or choosing from templates we offer at Your Brand Cafe, you can drastically increase awareness for your brand and connect with your customer base in a fun and creative way.

Branding Holiday Cups for Better Results
We have plenty of holidays around the year that we celebrate for good reasons. As a coffee shop owner, this is your opportunity to connect with your audience and celebrate special times. Focus on effectively branding your coffee cups during holiday seasons just to show your festive side and create appeal. Don’t overthink your coffee cup holiday designs, ask for feedback, and track how they perform so you continue to get better results in the future.

Drew Thomas

Drew Thomas is a graduate of Georgia College & State University, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. He is an expert in brand marketing and has experience in freelance writing on topics ranging from sports to music reviews. He has also spent time as an editor, having revised website copy and press releases for local businesses. In his free time, Drew enjoys performing music, reading, hiking, and spending time with friends.

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