Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is one of the biggest shopping events of the year, with millions of consumers flocking to online and brick-and-mortar stores to snag the best deals.
As a result, BFCM is also a critical time for retailers and e-commerce businesses to maximize their sales and revenue. In this blog post, Jake Karls shares his experience launching Mid-Day Squares—a D2C food company—and explores some of the most effective marketing strategies that businesses can use to prepare for and capitalize on BFCM 2022.
Who is Jake Karls? 🚀
I'm the Co-founder & Chief 'rainmaker' at Mid-Day Squares, an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 finalist, a marketing whiz with a twist, and an honest storyteller.
What Made Mid-Day Squares Successful? 🚀
The Business Problem: Lack of Awareness
My sister & brother-in-law had a brilliant product that was ready to go—but they needed someone to blow it up and make the product shine in the food ecommerce space.
The Market Problem: Status-Quo
Typically, the food space is archaic—there is a lack of emotional connection between the brands & the person buying the product.
It's more of a purchase habit based on function or commodity, which bothered me.
So what I said was I said I'm happy to join this team as the third founder.
But the kicker was I said, we are going to make the consumer feel like they're buying from humans.
The Insight: Buyers Want Their Hearts (and Stomachs) Full
Customers buy what they want, and this decision is not limited to the product's greatness. Their purchase habits are also impacted by how they feel and whether there is a connection with the brand.
When I joined my sister & brother-in-law, I told them we would create a reality show on entrepreneurship. We're going to show the good, the bad, and the ugly of how we build this business. And that means showing the milestones, the successes, the failures, the therapies, the breakdowns—everything you never see about a company.
My goal was to allow customers to come on this journey with us, making them a fan rather than just a customer. And we're still doing it four years later.
The Struggle: Comparison is the Thief of Joy
Soon enough, we were getting some noise, and I went down this dangerous path that entrepreneurs tend to go down: It's called the yard-sticking path, where you start to compare yourself to everybody around you.
And I was basically in this game in my head where I was like, "why am I not getting it? Why me?" And I was being selfish, which was horrible. I went through a six-month experience where I couldn't even perform.
I had no motivation, no inspiration because all I cared about was getting things—the next big thing, the following article, the following money raised.
And that damaged me for quite a while. Then, I worked with my therapist to get out of that, which took a lot of mental work.
Today, I don't use that yardstick and I don't compare myself to others. I'm on my own game, and I'm all my game. Our game is to make the best experience for our fans and deliver the best product. That's all. And I cheer on everyone that wins those specific things in life. And that made me happier, more fired up.
Tips for Your BFCM Marketing Strategy: Lessons from Mid-Day Squares
I think for any holiday campaign, if you have a good product, product-market fit, and a great brand, I could almost guarantee that it will fly high. Don't forget to do something fun for your customers and your fans.
Lesson 1: Create Connections
Create an emotional connection with the community through your brand presence, communications & identity.
We have a strong community on our social media channels, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook; we also leverage our email list and the best part? They'll reward you when you update them with something unique and fun.
Lesson 2: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
During BFCM, it's common for brands to compare themselves to their competitors, which can be counterproductive and distracting. Instead, focusing on your own online store can help you stand out and succeed during this highly competitive time.
Lesson 3: Build a Community
By creating a loyal customer base and fostering a sense of connection and engagement, online stores can boost their sales during this highly competitive shopping event.
Plus, who doesn't love a good community? It's like having your own little squad of loyal customers who will shout your praises from the rooftops (or their social media accounts) and keep coming back for more.
Lesson 4: Tell a Story
Phenomenal, authentic storytelling with a specific call to action, along with the support of a great community, will work. Always.
By sharing stories that resonate with your audience, you can create a deeper connection and establish an emotional bond that goes beyond just making a sale. Whether it's a tale of triumph over adversity, a heartwarming moment, or a funny anecdote, storytelling can help you capture your audience's attention and keep them engaged throughout the BFCM frenzy.
Be yourself every single day.
Focus on what makes you great and go all in on that. I think I always say the entrepreneur willing to withstand the most pressure will win because the journey is full of stress and hardships. And you got to try to enjoy it as it's so hard.
Reminders for Your BFCM Marketing Efforts
- Keep your inventory stocked up
- Make it fun—this is so much better than just a standardized discount because everyone does that.
- Set yourself apart, do something that will engage the consumer again, and lean more into your brand, not just the product, because you want them long term; you don't want the one-time customer.
- Focus on creating a great product, like ensuring product market fit.
- Don't just launch something for the sake of throwing something.
If you have these, I can assure you that you will sell many products, even when it's a crowded discount day and all that stuff. If your brand is strong, people love who you are, your community drives you, and your product-market fit hits, customers will want to purchase your products in bulk on that day.
It's not complex, but don't follow the typical standard playbook because that stuff gets saturated, and it's not working as much as it was 15 years ago or ten years ago.