Competition today is incredibly fierce. Small businesses need cleverness and a wee bit of luck. Entrepreneurs can learn about both qualities by thinking about what makes St. Patrick’s Day such a lucky and festive day. While it takes more than wearing green to make a statement, this Eire-inspired holiday can remind us of a few key businesses strategies to implement all year round.
Shamrocks and Strong Branding
St. Patrick’s mission was to bring Christianity to Ireland and he achieved it. One of the symbols used to promote the concept was the shamrock. The three leaves were supposed to stand for the Holy Trinity. This is an early example of branding. A shamrock was a simple way to convey the complexity of St. Patrick’s message. Many hundreds of years later, the shamrock is still the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. This has to be one of the finest examples of effective branding.
Be Ready for Change
Few people realize St. Patrick’s original color was blue. For hundreds of years, wearing blue symbolized support of St. Patrick. Now the symbolic color is green. The new color was adopted during the Irish Rebellion in 1798. Now green is the color people associated with Ireland because of St. Patrick and the country’s lush green fields. Sometimes you just have to let change happen so people still relate to a timeless message.
Many marketing campaigns make obvious and aggressive statements. Sometimes a symbolic message goes much further than one expressed in succinct words. St. Patrick is known for driving the snakes away from Ireland. Since there were no significant snakes to remove from the island, the message is notably symbolic. Evil is often represented by a snake. Bringing Christianity to Ireland helped drive out the evil people, who are symbolized by snakes. Imagine a more subtle way to convey the strength of your message. Try to make it visual so people can relate to it.
Don’t Fight the Tide
Know what the people want and deliver it. Thought it is difficult to imagine, Irish pubs would not serve liquor on St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday is often associated with imbibing including green beer and plenty of Bailey’s coffee with dessert. In 1961, pubs in Ireland went back to serving libations. In the meantime, people in America continued to celebrate Ireland by having a few drinks. Clearly is was an element of St. Patrick’s Day that nobody wanted to get rid of. Small businesses need to know when they have to bring it on because the people expect it.
Look for Earning Opportunities
A thriving businesses knows when to capitalize on unexpected earning opportunities. While everyone knows green hats and liquor are popular St. Patrick’s Day merchandise, few would expect to see increased sales in greeting cards. However, Hallmark revealed 12 million people exchange St. Patrick’s Day cards. The greeting card company has been making whimsical St. Patrick’s Day cards since the 1920s. A savvy entrepreneur realized this was a viable market and Hallmark has been making a green mint ever since.
A Rose By Any Other Name
Often actors and actresses change their names to make them more memorable and appealing. A funny name could actually impede a star’s progress. The same goes for business names. A business name and slogan should be catchy and stay in your mind after you see it. St. Patrick’s real name was Maewyn Succat. Can you imagine celebrating a holiday with that name? It certainly was beneficial for him to change his name when he became a priest. As a result, it has been on society’s tongue for countless generations.
Introduce a Unique Tradition
One of the ways businesses brand themselves is to offer a unique tradition. For generations, people went to Macy’s to visit Santa Claus. The department store benefited because then people would shop around for items they wanted or needed for the holidays. The Blarney Stone is a tradition associated with Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day. People come from around the world to kiss this famous stone and hopefully, get the gift of gab. Whether it is true or not, people still face the challenge of trying to kiss the Blarney Stone. While the novelty wasn’t expensive or specially crafted, it certainly attracts plenty of attention.
Finally, we need to believe in luck. Sometimes small business owners become stodgy and task-oriented. Taking a risk and having some fun is a great way to invite luck into our lives. Dare to step out of your usual routine and try something innovative. You might discover a four leaf clover – and if not, your standard shamrocks are still available. Either way, you could get that elusive pot of gold!
[box type=”shadow”]Main Takeaway: When it comes to success, small business owners often underestimate the importance of luck and creativity. Discover what we can learn from St. Patrick about branding, symbolism and timeless relevance. A new approach could bring you a wee bit of luck![/box]