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Should we celebrate ‘National Returns Day?”

Published January 15, 2015 at 9:48 am


Sometimes, events or trends that don’t appear to put your business into a pleasing light can become secret weapons for promotion. Two years ago, Oreo won acclaim for a tweet during a power outage in the Super Bowl that helped capitalize on some misfortune. A more timely example is being suggested by an AdWeek article about the “season of returns.”

According to the source, we are now in the period when unwanted holiday gifts are often returned, so much so that UPS has turned it into something of a promotion. On that company’s official blog, the popular package delivery service invited readers to a “Twitter Party” on January 3 to celebrate the 520,000 items it claimed are returned by that date. Another source says that UPS expects millions of packages to be returned throughout the entire week.

This not only allowed the company an easy way to promote itself on social media, but a chance to give shout-outs to business partners around the country, including Sierra Trading Post, Octane Coffee Company and Wayfair. The company even granted authorship of the post to “Brad the Box,” a cartoonish cardboard box-shaped figure associated with its Twitter account.

Although this is a good time for UPS, not every business will be as excited to see customers bringing items back to them. However, it’s worth noting how UPS was able to parlay this busy period into something fun and positive for all of its online followers, practically a new holiday in its own right.

This could set a pattern for others in similar industries who have to deal with this trend and need to rally consumer attention somehow. A decentralized marketing plan that involves available platforms is a good idea for taking charge of something immediate and relevant.

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