Psychology Behind Business Holiday Madness: Dark Side of Holidays– Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa… Let Madness Begin!

Holiday madness and chaos has become a widespread phenomenon, globally… For many, holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Winter Solstice… are emblematic of global religious and cultural diversity that should be embraced with quite reflection, but instead for many, its madness. It’s the most wonderful time of year when marketing and advertising goes out of its way to be more idiotic and insane than usual.

Anything, and I mean ‘anything’, can be contorted, recontextualized, reconfigured, verbally massaged and vigorously manipulated to tie into– play on words, visual cues, reference to cultural traditions, religious references … there is madness that takes over both customers and businesses alike. Customers that throughout year are reasonable, easy to work with, polite, seem to change into ‘monsters’– demanding, unreasonable, and trans-fixed on having it all ‘now’–the biggest, best, fastest, cheapest… Whereas, traditionally these winter holidays are supposed to embody a certain ideal of that which is best in the hearts of human beings…

But according to Tyler Durden; those of us who pay attention are well aware of a trend of cultural decline, and this problem is disturbingly visible from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It’s not just the highly publicized Black Friday (now Black Thursday) riots over semi-cheap-made garbage– it’s idiocy, barbarism, madness that seems to span all economic ‘classes’– from the upper-middle-class snob screaming at bewildered cashiers over a coupon worth 50 cents, to the middle-class suburbanites brawling over flat-screen TVs, to the part-time employee who sold her soul for minimum wage and who now yells at people at the company holiday party to stop filming mindless brawls that the corporate masters encourage because such videos might ‘reflect badly’ on the company image…

According to Candace Plattor; the addiction to holiday chaos has become a widespread phenomenon– it happens in many countries the world over, often starting prematurely in October. Business owners and shopkeepers can hardly contain their excitement, as visions of wallets wide open and credit cards screaming to be swiped dance in their heads…

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In the article Dark-Side Psychology Behind Holiday Madness by Tyler Durden writes: The dark side truly knows no social or financial bounds… It was Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, who taught the marketing world how to appeal to the basest instincts of human beings and to use those instinctual desires to covertly control them. Corporations used Bernays’ strategies to create an atmosphere of decadent consumption in America that has lasted since the end of World War II. The idea was simple: Convince the public that buying corporate products will satisfy their animal urges.

All commercialism to this day revolves around this method (which is why almost every beer commercial for several decades has included scantily clad women or sexual innuendo, for example). But Bernays was not only teaching corporations how to tap into existing human impulses, he was also teaching corporations and governments how to use psychological trickery to manipulate citizenry to ‘rely’ on their basest impulses.

Essentially, Bernays taught the establishment how to convince people, or shame people, into ignoring their greater selves and indulging their psychopathic and sociopathic urges. Bernays taught the establishment how to turn people into zombies. We see the clear results today all around us as we enter into the absurdity that Christmas has become. The ramifications are dire. The holidays have come to represent not hope, but despair; not reflection, but callousness; not compassion, but narcissism and selfishness…

In the article Countries Where Christmas Shopping is Bigger Than U.S. by Jason Karaian writes: In U.S., retailers are fretting about one of the shortest Christmas shopping seasons in recent history– there are six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than last.

Given the fanfare around the holiday shopping season in the U.S., you could be forgiven for thinking that the weeks leading up to Christmas are a matter of life or death for retailers in the country. But according to analysis of retail sales data by Quartz, the U.S. shoppers are positively subdued in November and December compared with counter-parts in some other countries, for example:

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The Brits in recent years have spent some 14% more in November and 31% more in December than the average month in the rest of the year. This ‘full-on consumer orgy’ in the words of one retail analyst has been kicking off earlier each year in Britain, where the lack of a traditional starting point, like Thanksgiving in the U.S. or Advent in continental European markets, which gives retailers a freer hand to keep pushing holiday promotions earlier in the calendar. This may also explain Australians’ enthusiasm for shopping in November and December (in addition to summer weather). Varying gift-giving traditions could explain the differences in spending trends elsewhere.

The holiday season isn’t just about shopping binges, of course; there’s also binge eating and drinking. The Brits and Aussies distinguish themselves on this score, too. When comparing spending on food and drink services, essentially in restaurants and bars, in December– with the average month during the rest of the year few other countries come close…

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All of those Australians out on the beach and Brits hitting the booze at the Christmas office party make for a roaring trade, it seems. Revelers in other countries may be every bit as gluttonous during the holidays, just not in public. Perhaps it’s because they don’t spend so much time out shopping…

In the article Maximize Social Media Campaign For Holidays by Carolyn Rasley writes: It’s no secret that these holiday weeks are the biggest shopping time of the year… Being a standout in the holiday marketing frenzy may seem like daunting task but it’s absolutely critical to market to your audience on your social media platforms during this peak time.

It’s critical to shine bright to your crowd during the holiday season– engage customers with posts and promotions that strengthen your overall brand and contribute positively to the online community. Short on ideas? If you plan accordingly, integrate a few simple tips to help maximize social media and your brand is sure to flourish during holiday season, for example: Loyal customers love getting discounts from their favorite brands over holidays– it’s one of the best tactics to drive traffic…

Also, take advantage of holiday-related contests on Facebook and Twitter… Kindly ask fans for– shares, retweets, likes and comments so your message spreads far and wide… Engage your customers– adds an extra personal touch during holiday madness, which many brands forget or don’t make a priority– it will distinguish you as thoughtful when others simply self-promote… Showcase employees, holiday happenings, decorations, stories… it makes your brand unique. ‘Humanity’ does wonders for brand equity, so take off the corporate hat for a moment and relate to people…

In the article Feeling Dark Side of Christmas by Rick Blue writes: The Christmas season is an important sign-post each year and probably the biggest if retail sales are anything to go by. And for a short period, routine is suspended and we all observe special rituals of one type or another; rituals that have survived the test of time. But even though Christmas returns each year, the past does not; people and places disappear.

As Christmas provokes us to look back– it’s natural to feel nostalgic and if you allow yourself to be carried deep into it, it will open like an abyss: The past is like a big black hole that swallows the present. These intimations may be triggered by our senses that manage to short cut the intellect. There are familiar sounds of Christmas music, smells of a fireplace, taste of a Christmas dish…

Many people get uncomfortable and step back from this mood: They say that we should never live in the past, but to feel nostalgia doesn’t mean one is living in the past, just feeling it… Suddenly we are reminded of times gone forever; not just intellectually but more important– emotionally… It’s a bitter-sweet feeling; the sweetness is the memories the past has left us in the context and comfort of the Christmas season rituals. But, bitterness is the terrible realization of what the past actually meant– for many, this is the dark side of Christmas…

Your mom was right when she said that manners were important and we’re not just talking about table manners. Minding your P’s and Q’s in business can go a long way in helping you win over customers. So let me ask you, when was the last time you thanked your customers for being customers? In our busy lives, especially during this busy time of year, it’s often so easy to let the little things slide and saying thank you in one of those things that can get lost in the holiday shuffle…

But according to smallfoodbiz; a simple thank you can help you stand apart from your competitors who are constantly hounding customers to—buy, buy, buy… There are inexpensive ways you can reach out and thank your customers, for example; an old-fashioned thank you card. With so much technology at our fingertips, an old-fashioned thank you card – mailed with real old-fashioned stamp – will likely be a welcome surprise in customers’ mail boxes…

Give customers something– everyone likes to receive something special and now’s the perfect time to give customers something for all they’ve given you this past year– perhaps a percentage off their first order in the new year. Giving your customers something will give them a reason to keep coming back after the holiday madness has worn off… Give something to someone else– give to charity… Don’t make a big deal out of it, but just make a note of it in the company blog, newsletter… such that your customers will see and make it clear that you’re doing it because of them

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