It’s the summer of babies! On one side of the Atlantic, William and Kate’s royal arrival is making a royal splash in England. On the other side of the pond, the newest Kardashian baby arrived just a few weeks ago. It’s babies, babies, everywhere!
What’s a small business owner to do? Plenty! In England, the royal baby’s arrival is expected to pump $367 million into the British economy—and there’s no reason why your small business can’t have a piece of the imperial pie in the United States. Here are some ideas to put a royal spin on your business—and make the most of the occasion:
1. Host a baby shower.
Small businesses can organize an in-store party to celebrate. Decorate your store in pink and blue and offer special deals on baby items and accessories. Hint: Even if you don’t carry the usual baby things, think outside the bassinette. Bakeries, for example, can create special baby-themed cakes. Furniture stores can offer deals on rocking chairs. Hair salons can offer gift certificates for baby’s first haircut—and pampering packages for new moms and dads.
2. Hold a royal baby naming contest.
The IRS probably won’t let you take bets on the royal baby’s name, but you can hold your own baby-naming contest. Announce the winners at a special in-store event—complete with prizes, gift cards, and more for winners and runners up. Customers can guess the exact name that William and Kate will choose, or you can have a contest to come up with the best name to suggest to William and Kate. (No guarantee they’ll choose it, however.)
3. Partner with a non-profit in your community.
Lots of new moms and dads need help so throw a baby shower to stock their shelves. Ask a local non-profit to give you a list of needed items based on what your store sells. Customers can purchase items and drop them off at a designated spot inside your retail establishment, or you can host the party at the non-profit’s offices.
4. Spruce up your website’s baby gift registry.
You can temporarily reorganize your website’s baby gift registry to promote the newest celeb’s bundles of joy. And if you don’t have a baby registry, this is a great opportunity to launch one with royal fanfare. Remember, you don’t need to be a traditional baby supply store to do this (see #1 above).
5. Decorate your storefront.
We mean the one in real life or the one on your website. Choose royal-themed fonts and graphic designs and include photos of famous royal babies. Temporarily change your brand’s colors to pink and blue.
6. Email blast party tips.
Send an email blast to your customers with free tips for hosting a royal-themed baby shower. List items in your store that customers can purchase to complement the theme. Again, you don’t have to be a baby store to do this.
7. Host a royal bake sale.
Invite a non-profit in your community to have a royal-themed bake sale at your store. Serve scones, tea cakes, and other English treats. Or partner with a local baker to make a special “welcome baby” cake; sell slices to raise funds for the non-profit.
8. Ask customers to share “tips for new parents.”
Ask your Facebook fans to share tips for new parents and their own first-time parent stories. Be sure to comment on the posts that your customers leave; this is a great opportunity to engage with them. Offer prizes for the best tips in different categories such as most helpful, funniest, wackiest, and most creative.
9. Offer gifts to local babies born on the same day.
England’s Royal Mint will give a special commemorative coin to 2,013 babies born on the same day as the royal baby. You may not want to spring for a sterling silver coin, but you can create a special goodie basket from your store and partner with a local hospital to offer it to babies born on the same day (or even at the same time) as the royal baby.
Whatever you do to welcome the royal bundle of joy, promote it on your social media sites and ask your customers to do the same: post on their Facebook page, tweet about it, pin it, and upload pictures on Instagram. After all, heirs to the throne aren’t born every summer so make the most of this royal occasion.
Julie Degnan, founder of Cakes and Kids, also contributed to this tips article.
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