Are you ready for the big day next Friday? It came up quick, didn’t it? I know a lot of you are looking forward to putting this year in the books and moving on to 2021.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind, implement, and do NOW to ensure your survival and success going into the new year.

I cover one of those objectives in this week’s edition of Mike’s Marketing Minutes with the help of Buddy the Elf. It’s a great marketing strategy that will help make 2021 a success for you.

Watch it here:

Think about the #1 thing that you can do in your business to make it stand out and makes you different from your competition. What gets your customers talking about how great you are? Even with the operating restraints that have been placed upon you by the Pandemic.

I think about two great quotes that represent this concept that I’m talking about:

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others to show them how well you do what you do.”

– Walt Disney

“Sometimes it’s better to be different than be the best.”

– My Friend, Author, Speaker, Artist, all-around good egg, Tim Paulson

If you own a restaurant, auto repair shop, or retail store, your competitors have figured out pick-up and delivery service, sanitation procedures, how to keep their customers safe, and how to market. What are you doing to make yourself stand out from the herd?

You need to be doing something different. Something that makes your customers realize how special you are, want to tell their friends about it, and leave you positive reviews on your Google Business Listing! You don’t have to do 10 different things to stand out. Just find that one “thing” and execute on it really, really well. And then market the heck out of it!

In my video I told you about the local hotel/restaurant near me that reinvented themselves and did something different. They created “holiday experience” suites for the holiday season. The Buddy the Elf Suite Experience and The Gingerbread Suite Experience that are all Covid-Safe. Their Buddy the Elf Experience includes: “Walls in your room adorned with lights and gift wrap, the ceiling filled with snowflakes, and 5,000 feet of paper garland. Touches of Buddy the Elf’s favorite things are present throughout. Guests will receive a welcome amenity featuring a Maker’s Mark “Buddy’s Mail room beverage kit, and variety of Buddy’s Favorite food groups re-imagined amenity.”

And for their dining options, which have been shut down, they invested in private snow globes that seat up to 10 guests. Families can still go out and celebrate together during the holiday in a safe environment that is allowed by the state.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t easy and it’s not cheap, but my point is do something different that gets your customers attention and gives them something they want. Most importantly, do something that will sell. Their outdoor holiday dining experience isn’t cheap either. To rent a snow globe it’s $150 and the holiday menu starts at $75 a person with sales tax and a 20% gratuity added on. Last time I looked at the availability online, they were booked till the end of the year. Good lesson here: do something well and charge for it.

Here are some other suggestions you can use, that are a little simpler, to make you stand out from your competition:


  • Create your own holiday experience in a to-go box complete with a holiday meal, ornament, bottle of wine, holiday movie, etc.
  • Have a New Year’s Eve at home package for your customers. Dinner for two or four, noise makers, those irritating paper poppers that are so hard to clean up, candles, champagne, plastic champagne glasses, and maybe even a hangover kit for the next day.
  • Involve a local charity that you can associate with.
  • Online cooking, wine tasting, or tequila tasting classes.
  • A Thank You card in every carryout order.

Auto Repair

  • Offer Pick-up and drop-off services.
  • Special UV sanitizing machines for vehicle cleaning. The important thing here is to let your customers know what you are doing.
  • Have a printed piece that explains exactly what you did to sanitize their vehicle. Leave it on the seat with a wrapped treat such as a cookie or mint.
  • Contactless payment options.
  • Align with a local charity to have a fundraiser.
  • Offer free winter auto checks as a holiday gift to your customers.


  • Offer contactless shopping options, delivery, and curbside pick-up.
  • Include a Thank You card with every purchase, “hand signed.”
  • Add a free little gift with every purchase.
  • Partner with a local charity.
  • Have a big drawing and give away free merchandise, gift cards, etc.
  • Personalized shopping consultants.

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas and have started the juices flowing to make 2021 a successful year. To top it off, I have a special holiday gift for you!

Click the button below and schedule a Strategy Session with one of my top DFY Marketing Masters that will be happy to share what the top businesses in your industry are doing to create one-of-a-kind experiences for their customers. They will tell you how they are marketing it with success during the Pandemic.

(And, if you’re really nice and say please, I’m sure they will also take a peek at your website and let you know what you can do to improve your online presence and SEO).

So, the big question I know you are wondering right now… how much would this in-depth analysis cost me?

Well, the great news is Santa is paying for 7 of these online business reviews for next week. If you click the button below and secure your time with your DFY Marketing Expert the cost to you is Nell, Zero, Noda, Nothing, It’s FREE!

Happy Holidays, and make sure you grab your spot before they’re all gone. This is an honest, real-life, FREE holiday offer. No tricks, no shenanigans, no high-pressure sales pitch. It’s our gift to you for reading our blogs.

Stay safe, stay the course, and be different!


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