Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

“Black Friday” is Mrs. Winston’s favorite day of the year. Marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and taking place the day after Thanksgiving, “Black Friday” is not an official holiday, but many employees have the day off (with the exception of those employed in Retail and Banking). Interestingly, the origin of the unofficial holiday dates back to 1965. “Black Friday” was named so by the Philadelphia Police Department because it brought massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks to the city center since the downtown stores were mobbed from opening to closing. It was not used as affectionately as it is now. Of course nowadays the shopping begins as early as midnight and continues for the next 24 hours—and shopaholics everywhere are free to gorge on goodies all day and into the night. Most stores have super sales and bargains galore, but you have to have an eagle eye, a strong constitution and the patience of Job to go the distance. I hate shopping but I enjoy “Black Friday” because I have the house to myself most of day. Mrs. Winston wakes up at dawn, power shops until noon, swings by to pick up the kids and doesn’t return until after dinner. I spend all day alone with my dictionary and Thesaurus and play power Scrabble until I can no longer type. Everybody wins.
To ensure your business comes out on top, try offering something special the day after Thanksgiving. You don’t have to slash your prices but you could offer a little something extra like a GWP (gift with purchase). I like GWPs because they do double duty as promotional tools. An Eco Tote Bag is a stylish and environmentally friendly way to say “thank you for your business” and advertise your company at the same time. I also like to give away imprinted USB Flash Drives because they are used so often and change hands frequently…making your message (and marketing dollar) go even further. The point is, every holiday (real or not) offers ample opportunity to thank your customers and market your business, so make sure you are prepared.
Speaking of preparation, I’ve got to bone up on two letter words. I’m playing in a Scrabble tournament against a sixth grader and I don’t want a repeat of last year’s debacle. The kid is an animal. Until next time, I leave you with Mrs. Winston’s shopping motto: “If it’s on sale, it doesn’t make your butt look big.”