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Small Business Center

What Is a Signature Promotion, and Do I Need One This Holiday Season?

February 17, 2022

By Angel Cicerone, Tenant Mentorship

Rolf’s is a German restaurant in New York City that has been a neighborhood staple for over 40 years. During most months, the establishment attracts a small, local crowd, but from November through April, people line up around the block for hours just for the opportunity to warm up over a drink while taking in one of the most elaborate Christmas displays imaginable.

Every year, Rolf’s transforms from a rather unassuming restaurant into a winter wonderland. Virtually every inch of every surface in the restaurant is decorated. What used to be a holiday business booster has expanded to an annual event that draws interested locals and tourists for nearly half the year. Rolf’s has grown its signature promotion to such an elevated level that it has become a must-see in New York City.

As you plan for the next holiday season, why not think about creating your own signature promotion? This is about much more than stringing lights or offering free gift wrap. This is the type of promotion that, like Rolf’s, you can build on year after year and that resonates with your community.

Your promotion should:

  • become synonymous with your brand
  • build in importance and/or scale over time
  • be unique or at least better executed than similar events
  • be buzzworthy
  • draw new customers and generate revenue

You’ll need to consider the size of your store, target audience, nuances of your community and your personal talents and passions as you develop this idea.

Here a few ideas to start getting you inspired.

Add a Service

Create a send-us-your-list service through which you pull appropriate gift items and have them ready for review during a scheduled private shopping appointment. This is personal shopping at the highest level!


Create a video station where customers can create video cards to send to friends and family. Go all out with props and decor.

Align with a Charity

Make it meaningful. If you’re going to raise money for a local animal rescue, be sure showcase adoptable dogs regularly and even dress them for the holidays. Whether you’re raising money or awareness for veterans, children, animals or hospitals, be sure to include those who are affected to bring humanity to the effort. Everyone collects donations for charity during the holidays. Your job is to make an impact.

Exclusive Offerings

Create a mini gallery showcasing local artists or artisans throughout the season.  
Make sure the objects are exclusive to your store. Have visitors vote on their favorites, and award prizes to the winners.

Remember, your signature promotion doesn’t necessarily have to be about the holidays but rather should be an event you host to mark the season. Notoriety doesn’t happen overnight, but if you start thinking about this as a long-term project and invest the time and effort, one day you’ll have lines out the door, as well!

This article was originally published at www.angelcicerone.squarespace.com.

Small Business Center

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