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Happy Holidays, a bit early

January 29, 2008

I stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts this morning to procure breakfast for Little IT and coffee for me.  While standing on line, I noticed a freestanding display in the corner, new to this store, and certainly not one I had seen at any other Dunkin’ D.  It was an 8 pocket display with header and it had T shirts in cardboard containers that looked like T shirts.  The header on the display touted these at the “ultimate holiday gift” and the “best stocking stuffer” and was decorated with gingerbread men and Christmas trees. 

Hello?  It’s January 29.  Talk about compliance issues!  This display kinda missed the boat.  This would have made sense two months ago, but now, it’s going to get no traffic.  Truth be told, I don’t know anyone I would give a Dunkin’ Donuts shirt to, but that’s not really the point. 

It did get me thinking about holiday promotional products.  People joke about how retailers begin planning for the next Christmas buying season the day after the current one ends, but it’s not too far off the mark.  In the technology publishing group, we’re not exactly known for our coffee table gift books, but we do have our moments.  For instance, we usually do a campaign running in January to plug books that help you get the most out of your holiday gifts.  You received a new digital camera or iPod?  We’ve got a book for that.  January is traditionally the biggest month for technology book sales, and that’s a big reason why.

For the 2007 holiday season, we created a special bundle product that sold in accounts throughout the season.  It was a copy of “Windows Visa For Dummies”, the bestselling computer book evah, bundled with a Vista training DVD.  You essentially got the DVD free for buying the book.  It was a huge success (and took a lot of hard work to pull off, hello Julie and Andy!) and something we’d love to try again for holiday 2008.  Now of course is the time to start thinking about such a product.  Most retailers are sold holiday products in March – May, and have promotions for these books wrapped up by June, so we’ve got to get cracking.  Let’s just hope our retailers don’t decide to debut our stocking stuffer products on the sales floor for Valentine’s Day. 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael Lombardi permalink
    January 29, 2008 4:03 pm

    I realize it’s not the take home message of this post, but I just wanted to point out:

    I’d wear a Dunkin Donuts shirt! 🙂

    When I found a blog tagged with “Marketing” and included the words “Dunkin’ Donuts” in my tag surfer, I couldn’t help but click–but FWIW, good post. 🙂

  2. Michael Lombardi permalink
    January 29, 2008 4:04 pm

    Boy, seeing my picture next to my post, everyone’s going to say “of course he would want a Dunkin’ Donuts shirt.”

  3. January 29, 2008 4:08 pm

    LOL! Thanks for quite an afternoon chuckle, Michael. I’ll have to get a picture of the shirts to show what they looked like. They weren’t witty or creative enough for me, FWIW. Of course, all they really needed for a graphic was a pink frosted donut with sprinkles, and I’d be wearing it…

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