The Fourth of July. Independence Day. An annual celebration of patriotism that is synonymous with family fun, barbecues, and fireworks. Widely considered to be one of the biggest holidays in the United States, it’s no wonder that most businesses are keen to jump on the Independence Day marketing bandwagon. As a time of fun and frivolity, most people are in the mood to spend – whether it be on decorations, food, drink, clothing, or a host of other assorted items. Businesses are wise to make the most of the party atmosphere by tailoring their marketing to match the Fourth of July atmosphere.
But what are the best ways to capitalize on this annual holiday? What does the Fourth of July actually represent? And how can businesses best focus in on the details of this unique celebration when deciding on an advertising campaign?
What does Independence Day Represent?
In early July 1776, 13 colonies across North America voted in favor of declaring independence from Great Britain. Although the American Revolutionary War would continue for quite some time after this, the decision marked a historical turning point – the colonies were no longer fighting for greater liberties from their Colonial rulers, they were now fighting for the freedom of their nation. Declaration of Independence was signed on the 4th of July 1776, making their independence known to the world. Its aim, as outlined by Tom Cutterham, a lecturer in US History at the University of Birmingham, was to “overthrow tyranny and create a new government through the power of collective action”.
This document, renowned for its ethos “that all men are created equal” continues to resonate with nations around the world today. It has been echoed in subsequent political policies and documents and has been used as a rallying cry for later generations fighting for equality regardless of race or gender. In short, Independence Day is a symbol of American pride. It is a day where people can come together and celebrate what it is that they most love about living in a free country and a time to remember the power of “collective action”.
How is Independence Day Most Commonly Celebrated?
The town of Bristol, Rhode Island lays claim to the title of longest-running Independence Day celebration, with records showing a 13 gunshot salute was first ordered for the year 1777. The following year George Washington got into the swing of things by issuing his troops a double ration of rum for the day (an order that was sure to have lifted their patriotic spirits!) and since the 18th century, Independence Day has been marked by organized parades, political speeches, and much feasting. In 1938 Congress took the step of marking the Fourth of July a national paid holiday, and Americans have been wholeheartedly making the most of it ever since. These days the holiday is marked by spectacular fireworks displays (even the White House puts on its own fireworks show), carnivals, baseball games, concerts, and backyard barbecues. It is also a time when many businesses get right amongst the celebrations by offering their customers fantastic sales or special promotions.
How Can Your Business Celebrate Independence Day?
Regardless of whether you sell clothes, office supplies or home improvement services, your business can get amongst the Fourth of July celebrations with a well thought out publicity campaign and the assistance of some Independence Day online marketing templates. Start by establishing how your business can best capitalize on the spirit of Independence Day; think about what will be on people’s minds in the lead up to the holiday. Are you in the fashion industry? Can you offer advice on what to wear for various Fourth of July themed events? Are you in hospitality? If so, you have a wealth of ideas to work with, from special themed recipes to pre-prepared snacks. Even those who may feel they can’t offer a particular product or service for Independence Day can still be a part of this advertising opportunity. You don’t need to spend a fortune or engage the services of a fancy marketing guru – instead, why not follow the examples of some of the biggest brand names around.
Launch an Independence Day Sale
This is perhaps the most obvious, but also one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your sales this Fourth of July. Summer has started, which means people are starting to think about purchasing those warm weather essentials; items such as cotton clothing, lawn mowers, picnic sets, and backyard grills. This is why a lot of big name stores will start launching their Fourth of July sales a few weeks in advance; Best Buy typically start their big sales around the 20th of June, while JCPenney and Home Depot offer huge price reductions on a range of stock standard items.
The key to a good Independence Day sale is making sure that customers are aware of it. This gives them an added impetus to buy sooner rather than later and to buy from your business instead of from one of your competitors. This is where you’ll want to make the most of marketing templates since these will allow you to customize your social media accounts, your website, your emails, and even your store display with appropriate patriotic advertising. This is a tactic that Jeep has used to great success in the past. The simple addition of a “4th of July Sales Event” banner on their website home page makes the message loud and clear, particularly since the bold red, white and blue coloring contrasts so well with the more muted tones they usually feature.
Show Your Patriotism with Red, White and Blue
This is a chance to have a little fun with the office décor, the showroom display, and the social media pages. Nothing quite says Independence Day like a striking motif of red, white and blue, so get on board with emphasizing these particular colors. They’re the colors that America will be wearing and displaying on the actual day of the holiday, plus they’ll be on everyone’s minds in the lead up to the event. As well as updating your company banners and social media badges with red, white and blue, why not offer special deals or discounts for customers purchasing products in these colors?
British retailer Topshop showed how on point it is with American customers by sending out an email prior to the Fourth of July with style tips for the quintessential US holiday look. The showcase included models wearing stars and stripes, as well as red, white and blue themed clothing and used a classic American boardwalk as the setting.
QVC also tailored their marketing to focus on red, white and blue by creating a special page on their website encouraging buyers to “wear your patriotic pride”. The items featured were only standard pieces from their collection but in the colors of (you guessed it) red, white and blue.
Get Your Social Media Pages Holiday Ready
Social media is a fantastic way to engage with customers on a more direct level. You’re still promoting your business, but in a more engaging format than traditional marketing methods like email campaigns or magazine adverts. You’ll want to start by updating your Facebook cover and main Instagram image to something suitably patriotic, but there’s a lot more you can do with your social media accounts in the lead up to Independence Day. By all means, give updates on any sales or special promotions you’re offering over the holiday period, but don’t just leave it there. Your customers will appreciate anything that helps them get ready for their Fourth of July celebrations. So why not put together some little tutorials that you can share (“How to pack the ultimate Independence Day picnic”, for example)?
Even a humorous meme or relatable photo will be well received by those getting into the Independence Day spirit. Customizing social media posts to suit the spirit of the day is something that companies such as Hallmark and Zappos are very good at.
Hallmark, by advertising their themed products; and Zappos, by taking a more tongue in cheek approach.
Put Together an Email Newsletter That Adds Value to Your Business
In the lead up to Independence Day, many businesses will be throwing together a promotional email campaign and mass sending it to every client in the database. Most recipients will open it, decide it is nothing but advertising, and delete it without a second thought. The key is to stand out as different. By all means, include a themed email banner to show how your information relates to the Fourth of July, but focus on helping your customers rather than only selling to them. Why not wish them a “Happy Independence Day” and include a delicious recipe that will go down a treat at a backyard barbecue? Or offer some tips for staying safe while celebrating on the day? Give customers something that will make them see the value of your email, and in turn, your business.
Google gave a fantastic example of how to do this with their email guide to celebrating Independence Day in 2017. The email was full of very useful tips, but it also showcased how Google Assistant could help users make the day less stressful (for example, by setting reminders and noting down parking spots near parade routes). This content was also promoted on their social media accounts to ensure they reached the largest possible audience.
Entice Customers with a Discount Code or Special Freebie
This is a popular marketing technique for all major holidays because it generates such good results. People love the idea of getting a discount or, even better, something for free. All you have to do is decide on the discount and how you want it to relate back to the Independence Day theme. For example, can you offer free delivery for all items purchased on the Fourth of July? Can customers get a discount if they purchase items that are red, white or blue? Or you could add an Independence Day-themed icon to certain products on your website and earmark these for special discounts? Coca-Cola, for example, has employed the discount code tactic in the past advertising a 25% discount when customers use the code 4JULY25.
Alternatively, skin-care brand Fresh put together a red and white themed set of products and offered it as a free gift for all customers who spent over a certain amount and used the relevant discount code. This is a great example of how a product that people typically wouldn’t associate with Independence Day (skincare) can suddenly become very Fourth of July themed.
Give Back to The Community
Independence Day is all about people coming together to celebrate a free nation, so this is a great time of year to give back something to the community. The Fourth of July will play host to countless parades, carnivals, ball games, and fireworks displays, so why not offer to lend a hand where you can? Sponsor an event, offer up one of your products as a prize or give out free samples to local residents on the day. Macy’s are one of the foremost examples of how a business can garner great publicity just by getting involved. With their annual Fourth of July fireworks display in New York City, Macy’s has become as synonymous with Independence Day as they are with Thanksgiving. Of course, most businesses can’t deliver such a large scale community event, but there are still plenty of opportunities for local businesses, both big and small, to play an important part in Independence Day celebrations.
Remember that Independence Day is a time for people to come together, to celebrate what it is that makes America special, and to revel in the collective action that helped bring about independence. It’s a time when your business can show its patriotic spirit to the public by getting amongst the festivities and encouraging customers to celebrate with you.