It feels like a lot more people than usual are putting their Christmas decorations up in early December. We don’t – we put ours up about a week before Christmas so that the tree will last. We do get the nativity set out and the Advent Sleigh (wooden sleigh with sacks in for each day of Advent) and throughout December Christmassy things will start to appear… because they can!
Decorating for Christmas is a lot of fun. I particularly enjoy decorating the tree, taking all the decorations out of the box one at a time – especially the ones that have a story or a connection. The box decorated with a china angel that was a present from an Auntie when I was little (the chocolate in the box long sincce eaten of course), the wooden gift tag with my daughters name on from her first Christmas, the blue and white China decorations we bought in Amsterdam on our honeymoon, the little cardboard angels that my Grandparents gave me when I was little, the angels that my Mam made when SHE was little – from a pipecleaner and a tiny bauble with paper clothes. The small wooden decorations I used to have on the tree in my bedroom – now upgraded to a full size tree since we got married.
That’s what I like most about the decorations. At my parents house, they have to save the four wooden angels for me to put on the tree. That’s always been my job.
Decorating for Christmas and decorating your business – sorting out your visual brand – have some similarities.
THE COLOUR SCHEME
Our colour scheme is a bit of an all over the place many colours look – with an emphasis on red and white – and I love it. It looks laid back and fun and it allows for the things with meaning to stay in place. If I went for just red and white then there’s a lot of memories I’d have to keep boxed up. This is not the best plan with your business, it’s much better to stick to one colour palette and own it so that people recognise your business from the colours – like Cadbury purple, or Sainsburys orange or Apple white. It’s important not to lose the meaning though. If you consider your colours really carefully then you should be able to keep the meaning through the shades used – or through other elements. Colour is really important because people form an opinion of your business based on the colours without even thinking about it. Consider how well known businesses would be perceived if they suddenly changed their colours.
THE STAR/ ANGEL
We have an angel on top of our tree. Made by me, she used to be a wooden peg and now wears a red handstitched dress and has white fabric wings stuffed with cardboard to keep the shape. Some people prefer to have a star, or a Santa Claus, or soemthing else. Whatever it is, think of this as your logo. The logo is often seen as the main thing. Sometimes people only think about the logo and don’t consider all the other elements of a brand. But how would your Chrismas Tree look if you just had the angel on the top and left the rest bare? You need all the other decorations, the lights, the baubles, the tinsel, the ribbon, the memories in all of those decorations, the previous Christmasses, the smell (if you have a real tree), the presents around the pot- all of those things – to have a tree which is really Christmassy and gives the full effect you’re after. The star is just a small part of the overall effect.
Your logo is just a small part of the overall effect of your brand. You need to decorate with much more than just an Angel to really get your tree to look right.
Light is really important at Christmas isn’t it? You pop twinkling lights on your tree – they might have a lot of movement to attract more attention, they might be still, they might be white or red or multi-coloured. They might be a regular shape or they might be a strong of tiny lanterns or stars. You might also get out candles. Certainly, advent candles become a focal point in church, Christingles are made, candles are available in red and green and presented in festive holders. Christmas events feature elaborate and clever lighting. Fairy lights twinkle and sparkle in trees, towns have their lights switch on events and people place large outdoor lights in the shape of snowmen and reindeer in their gardens and on their roofs.
This is about brightening things up when the days are darker, attracting attention, making everything feel more special.
You need to light up your business too. I just wrote a post all about this related to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. You can read it in full here – the main points were.
1. Use social media
4. Email people
5. Use images
6. Get some PR
Of course, there are loads of ways for your business to be lit up! These are just six. What else could you do?