Here’s a way to make tedious holiday shopping a bit more palatable.

While your trudging around the malls and stores this holiday season,  don’t look it as a chore, look at it as a brand adventure.

Or at very least… brand research.

Notice which shops have the longest lines, what branded shopping bags are people walking around with.

Ask the shop keepers about the hottest items.

And make a mental note of what people are wearing.

Take your flip cam or a notebook and write it down.

Think about t what trends are revealed by these facts.

And then reflect on how these can be applied to your brand.

A while back I wrote about how important it is to Go Out and Explore. In other words to get out of our offices and into the real world to experience brands and how consumers interact with them.

Too often we substitute the ease of exploration on the Internet for actual experience. But it’s really not the same.

Maybe we’re too busy, maybe we’re lazy…but I think if you are really serious about innovation you’ve got to get out and experience the world.

So as you as walking around with aching feet  looking for that perfect gift for your Secret Santa colleague, take consolation in the fact that you might actually be gaining some actionable insight.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
What trends have you noticed this holiday?

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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.


  1. You’re a great research advocate Julie! I’m doing some holiday research for a client at the moment and working to get a 360 opinion on what people say they are doing and what we observe!! Often best laid plans get abandoned in the heat of the holiday shopping frenzy. I’m looking also for interesting blogs or forums where shoppers are talking – any ideas

  2. Thanks Julie! – Really helpful

    I’ve also come across a great Nielson tracking tool called Blog Pulse where you can track what people have been blogging about with a key word search – it’s compulsive – great for seeing how key retailers are doing in terms of ‘noise’ from bloggers!

  3. Like this idea!

    Personally, I’m going to be “BRANDOM” – that is, purchasing brands I’d never dream of, just for a change. I still can’t bring myself to buy anything with Sony on it though…

  4. Thanks Julie!

    Well, it could go either way – interesting and synapse-growing newness or just a pile of random ebay bound junk 🙂

    I’ll keep you posted. Like many men, I will be shopping at the last minute, in a blind semi-drunk panic. Should prove interesting.


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