It is a question that bedevils just about every family this time of year: What’s the right gift for dad on Father’s Day beyond the predictable tie, wallet or bottle of cologne?
If your small business offers products or services dads can really use and enjoy, Father’s Day can be a tremendous revenue-generating opportunity. But to maximize it, begin with a marketing campaign that draws mom and the kids through your door or to your Web site. That essentially means creating a theme that not only attracts attention but also sets you apart from your competitors.
Here are some Father’s Day marketing ideas that you can use now or in the future to generate business and make sure dad gets some gifts he really wants.
●Welcome kids and you ’ll get the moms: Make it easy for kids to buy Father’s Day gifts at your store. Hold special hours. Designate a special area for them to shop with a wide variety of items in their price range, and make it kid friendly. Somebody has to bring them, and that will probably be mom. Arrange an area where she can sit, relax and watch while her child does some shopping, and you’ll have two satisfied customers.
●Offer something dad and his children can do together: Sometimes, the best gift is spending time together. Can you package your product or service to give dad the precious gift of time with his child? A restaurant can offer a father-child breakfast special or package an easy take-out meal the child can serve to dad at home. A home improvement store can offer a class on a project the two can work on together.
●Make dad ’s life easier: If you have a service business, offer Father’s Day specials that lighten dad’s load. Join forces with a restaurant or golf course, and put together a special lawn mowing or yard work package that gets the work done while he’s having fun.
●Think p romotional bang for the buck : Although the primary purpose is to increase business around the Father’s Day holiday, consider creative promotional strategies that also generate extra attention, i.e., build buzz. A clothing store that runs the “funniest dressed dad” promotion could generate tons of publicity before and during an event, just by offering new clothing as the prize.
●Create a new dads special: Every year ushers in a brand-new class of dads. Partner with a photo studio to take great shots of dad and his adorable baby.
● Pamper dads: A salon or spa might usually appeal to women, but you can put a new spin on a salon package that attracts men as well, e.g., “Special Dads Deserve Special Treatment.”
●Advance a social cause: Collaborate with a nonprofit to sponsor a Father’s Day-themed event that supports a good cause and is something that dad and the family can do together. Use the event to pay homage to dads, e.g., 5K run for fathers serving in the armed forces, but who are stationed overseas. Proceeds can support families and soldiers.
Don’t let the tie stores make all the money this year. Develop a promotion that accentuates your business’s best products or services and you will be building sales, your customer base and top-of-the-mind awareness for your shop.
Shrita D. Sterlin is chief executive and brand officer of Penn Strategies, a Bethesda-based branding, public relations and marketing firm.