How to Make Hats Work for a Happy Holiday

_JNK0949 There are two Christmas Top 10 lists published by HGTV. The first was the 10 most Christmas-Crazy towns in America.

  • Durango, Colorado
  • Woodstock, Vermont
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Newport Beach, California
  • Frankenmuth, Michigan
  • New York, New York
  • Paradise, Pennsylvania
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Miami, Florida
  • Los Angeles, California

The second was the 10 towns with the most Dazzling Holiday Decorations. 

  • Branson, Missouri
  • Leavenworth, Washington
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • New York, New York
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Washington, District of Columbia

New York City was the only one to make both lists; so obviously, I’m already planning my trip for December 2017.

Just like we did for Halloween and Thanksgiving in the previous weeks, we started thinking about how we can use this time of year to increase demand and make hats work for the Holidays.

After all, tis the season to boost your sales, even if your town doesn’t go nutty for Christmas. So how do you make hats work for you?pc00edmxodi-annie-spratt-compressor

Christmas Tree Farms

Personally, I’m all about that fake-tree life, but I’m in the minority. Last year, consumers purchased 27.4 million real Christmas trees, and only 18.6 million fake ones.

People buy real trees from a variety of sources. In 2016 it was broken up as follows:

  • 23% - Choose & Harvest Farms
  • 29% - Chain Retail Stores
  • 9% - Non-Profits
  • 16% - Nursery & Garden Centers
  • 20% - Retail Lots
  • 4% - Other 

Selling promotional items to big box stores comes with its own unique challenges. Even without that category, 74% of the businesses in the tree market are still up for grabs.

If these guys give out free caps to every family who purchases a tree, all of those families will be walking billboards for them. They’ll also be more likely to return year after year if they’ve been given a gift.

Choose & Harvest Farms are the family-owned farms where you go to select and chop down your own tree. This offers buyers, a winter experience for the whole family just as a Pumpkin Patch or Corn Maze does in autumn.

We’ve talked about selling holiday hats to non-profits before. Many times, these organizations have a smaller budget to work with, but if you prove the value caps can bring, you can make the sale.

A lot of Nursery & Garden Centers will be small, local businesses. Fortunately, they’re in business all year long. Once you get their business, and exceed their expectations, and prove that hats work, you can count them as a client.Image description

Local Pageants & Parades

Are there any Christmas pageants or parades scheduled in your community?

Chances are the answer is yes, so how are you seizing these opportunities?

Schools and churcheslove to stick a spotlight onchildren while they sing Christmas carols, act out scenes, and generally just look all around adorable. 

These are events that people (especially parents of the above mentioned precocious kids) want to remember.

Hats and other promotional products can be sold at the pageant or given as a free gift to ticket holders. This is not unlike selling merch at a concert. We’re not creating a new concept, just taking an old idea one in a different direction.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m from a small town in the South. We’ll find any reason to throw a parade, but during the holidays, we take it to the next level.

There are a few approaches you can take here.

You can sell personalized hats to different groups involved in the parade: cheerleaders, marching bands, firefighters, etc. This way each group has their own logoed hat as a keepsake.

Another option is to design one cap for the community that incorporates the whole town for the holidays.

This way, you have less work, and both the parade participants and the visitors will want one. They can even be used to throw to the crowd in lieu of candy.StockSnap_PLKC9F8OEZ-compressor

Holiday Markets

If you don’t know what a Holiday Market is, it’s a pop-up shopping experience made up of small (usually local) businesses.

Storeowners pay a fee to set up a booth and sell their products. Attendees pay an entrance fee and shop till they drop.

These are usually run for philanthropic purposes. Junior Leagues across the nation put these events on in addition to churches and local governments to raise funds. 

You can either have your own booth selling your promotional products and services, or you can attend as a shopper and try your luck and speaking with other storeowners.

Although, soliciting to other merchants may be frowned upon at these events. Be sure to check with the Market’s organizers to be clear on their policies.

How have you successfully incorporated the holidays into your selling strategies? Do hats work for you? We’d love to hear from you; let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.