When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau steps out, he lets his feet do the talking. The affable politician is well known for wearing custom socks that deliver a pointed message that might be political, or tongue in cheek, or just plain fun. This summer, he conveyed support for both the LGBTQ and Muslim communities when he wore rainbow-striped socks in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, that were also customized with the Muslim greeting “Eid Mubarak,” marking the end of the month-long religious holiday, Ramadan.
Trudeau’s socks frequently make headlines; in fact, his mismatched R2-D2 and C-3PO socks, worn for a meeting with the Irish Prime Minister that fell on International Star Wars Day, was named the “Most Notable Accessory of the Year” by Vanity Fair magazine in its 2017 International Men’s Best Dressed Poll.
PAIR THE BRAND WITH THE RIGHT HOLIDAY
Novelty custom socks continue to have a solid footing in the fashion world, and are an affordable, clever and comfortable way to connect a brand’s identity or message with its target audience. The December holiday season is traditionally when brands step up and acknowledge, thank and delight their client base with gifts and promotional items.
No Sweat Specialties sells a lot of holiday socks – its Christmas Sweater-style socks are a hugely popular holiday trend – but there are other holidays throughout the year that generate even bigger sales for the company. Their top three holiday opportunities are LGBTQ Community Awareness and Pride, which is celebrated during the summer,
Breast Cancer Awareness in October and St. Patrick’s Day, according to Santana Fulp, No Sweat director of sales and marketing.
As 2017 winds down, flip the calendar and find hundreds of other holidays– including offbeat “hashtag” holidays – spanning all four seasons, offering unique marketing opportunities that can tie in with the brand’s theme, identity and mission. Do your homework to craft a surefooted marketing tie-in that is relevant to your client’s business. Check out websites like www.nationaldaycalendar.com which tracks nearly 1500 holidays and offers fun facts and trivia about each. Identify holidays that might be a good fit for helping your client connect with their audience, and target specific days to leverage. “Hashtag holidays” are unofficial holidays that lend themselves to reposting on social media and can work well, especially for smaller businesses. Example? College Colors Day, September 1, kicks off the collegiate sports season and fires up students, fans and alumni with school pride. Why not pitch a custom sock in school colors but with a twist – maybe argyle, plaid, polka dots or stripes that set the colors off in a fresh or surprising way?