How To Leverage Creole Celebrations for Your Business
Every year, Creole-speaking countries around the world celebrate Creole Day or more appropriately Jounen Kwéyòl, to help increase awareness and pride in their unique cultural heritage, encourage the practical use of the Creole language and culture and to encourage solidarity among creole-speaking communities.
The centerpiece of Dominica’s Creole celebration is the World Creole Music Festival, widely regarded as the world’s preeminent musical event dedicated to the advancement of Creole culture and music.
The festival was launched to create a world-class platform for native Dominican music and to promote the island as a tourism product. The festival gives a special focus to musical genres with roots in a variety of musical fusions from various countries of the Creole-speaking world.
However, a well-managed and organized festival like the World Creole Music Festival offers a lot more than just a time for celebration. It can provide both economic and social benefits for local businesses, as well as communities.
It is important that local businesses understand this and learn how to leverage celebrations like The World Creole Music Festival and the larger Jounen Kwéyòl festivities for their success. Here are a few simple but very effective tips.
- Sponsorship – Sponsorships are always a great way for businesses to gain exposure and increase awareness of their brand and products. It is also a significant way for local businesses to leverage an event for their success. When taking this path, it is important to remember to be dedicated to your efforts.
- Themed Promotion/Sales – One of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and sales, is to run a successful promotion and/or sale concurrently with a current event and/or local celebration. It makes the promotion timely and increases the likelihood of customers being interested. Therefore, an effective way to leverage creole celebrations is to have a promotion or sale around the theme of creole. If your business is the food industry, e.g. a restaurant, offer special discounts or vouchers for creole food all during Creole month. If your business is a retail store, offer sales on creole inspired items, etc.
- Utilize Social Media – Social media continues to be one of the most effective marketing tools for any business. It’s fairly cheap, with incredible reach if utilized in the right way. Your business should use social media not just to promote your promotions, sales or sponsorships but also to celebrate creole month in general. Find interesting and engaging 3rd party content related to the history and celebration of Creole, its relevance to the island, the people, etc. Content from respected and trusted sources is an effective way for your business to also gain credibility. Another way to leverage creole celebrations using social media is to invite user-generated content. Ask customers and consumers to tell you what they love about Jounen Kwéyòl and what it means to them. This is a very simple, yet very effective way to increase consumer/customer engagement.
- Create Strategic Alliance – Strategic alliances in business can be very effective and beneficial to all parties involved. A well-executed strategic alliance can increase brand awareness, introduce your business to a new target audience, reduce costs because resources are shared and by that token, reduce risks. The biggest key to a successful strategic alliance though is for businesses to find the right partner that aligns with their goals and is a good fit.
- Tie-In Product – Whatever path you take in leveraging creole celebrations for the benefit of your business, it is important to remember that you must tie-in your product and brand message in some way. After all, your goal as a business always is to make a profit. Your path to doing that can take many forms but at the end of the day, it is always your number one goal. Therefore, you always have to let the audience know who and what your business is.
- Avoid The Hard Sell – That said, in relation to the above, it is also important to remain as authentic as possible. While your end goal in business is to make a profit and it is important to talk about your products and increase your brand awareness, it is important to do so in a way that doesn’t come across too aggressive. Consumers and customers are fairly intuitive and if there is a sense that your only interest in creole celebrations, something that is so unique and relevant to the island, is to make a profit, they might reject your efforts entirely.