Christmas In October?

Smart Themes

Standard Google Logo
Standard Google Logo

It’s 80 degrees outside and marketing pros are busy planning for the holidays. If you are a consumer retailer, the holiday season can account for more than 50% of revenue for the year. Other business can also benefit from “seasoning” their marketing programs.

One of the biggest challenges facing website owners is keeping your website fresh and interesting. In addition to changing content, a smart theme is a great way to make the expected, well, slightly different.

Google gets it. They change up their logo several times a year with humorous graphics. See the Google holiday variations to the right for some fun examples.

You Can Do That

Google Christmas Logo
Google Christmas

So, think of your site design as a platform which allows additional promotional themes to be swapped in and out at the right time every year.

For example, Let’s say you want the “standard” theme to display every day of the year, except between November 25th and December 26th.

During the holiday period, your holiday theme is in place making people feel like they want to buy from you (and not your competitor which is, clearly unprepared for the season).

Themes are a great way to let your site reflect some important events of the year specific to your business, industry, or customers.

It’s smart, and really easy. After all, you are busy enough that time of year and won’t have time to manage design cutovers.  Just take the credit and go to the parties.  What is better than that?

Sounds Geeky Cool, Why Should I Care?

Google Halloween 2005 Logo
Google Halloween

Oh yes, we are geeks. The geeks on your team. You should care, we’ll prove it.

Here’s the logic:

  • Fact: Themes make a website look smart.
  • Fact: Looking smart online increases credibility.
  • Fact: Increased credibility online means more sales.
  • Fact: Sales completed (or started) online cost less than any other channel.

Using smart themes mean more (and more profitable) sales.   QED.


Google Thanksgiving (USA Only)
Google Thanksgiving (USA Only)

Being geeks, we love to overstate the obvious, so let’s just say that this is not just limited to the holidays. Of course, there is Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Back-to-School.

Those are the standards. The minimum you can do. To make it even more effective, get creative!  Here are some more ideas…

Naturally, there are four seasons, If you are located in Alpine’s home town of Bend, Oregon and depend on tourism – why not set up themes for Golf, Snow, and each shoulder season?

Consider a back to school, Christmas break, or spring break promotional themes.

If your company is a special booster of special causes, or your industry is known for something unusual, try paying tribute to those people or events that made you what you are. Industry anniversaries, Industry Events, Company anniversary or Birthday, The Olympics, your local high school sports champion, First ascent of Mt. Everest, etc.

Like other smart marketing strategies, a promotional theme embedded in your new design will help you personalize your site with your specialty or niche.  Anything you can do to personalize that experience will make your site look smart.

Start to think about a theme like you would think about other advertising or marketing efforts, window displays, golf tournaments, trade shows, or other specialty promotions you do on a year by year basis.