New Year’s Day Monday 1 January

Opportunities around new year’s resolutions.
Also ‘morning after the night before’.

Dry January All January Last year, according to Alcohol Concern, five million Brits went dry for the month. In that they joined the 10.6 million who are permanently tea-total with millennials the most significant demographic of non-drinkers (ONS). A great opportunity for anyone selling anything non-alcoholic.
Supporting image - A puppy
angela n. (flickr)
Blue Monday 15 January According to Cliff Arnall, then tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Cardiff University the most depressing day of the year. Other scientists have poured scorn on his misery algorithm. Maybe he was just a bit grumpy. In any event an opportunity to promote anything that makes people happy. Robert Burns Night 25 January Any Scottish connections or products? Anything with a spot of tartan? Super Bowl Saturday 3 February

Of interest to at least some of the 180,000 Americans living in the UK along with dedicated Brits who will sit up to watch the very long show. Justin Timberlake is rumoured to be pencilled in for 2018 half time show.

Pancake Day 13 February Also known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Mardis Gras. Traditionally the last day before Lent. In any event, an excuse for a party and a clever PR angle.
Supporting image - Love hearts
Source: terren in Virginia (flickr)
Valentine’s Day 14 February Are you in love with your customers? Are they in love with your products? Of course, if you are selling flowers, chocolates, romantic gifts or are involved in catering this will be one of your favourite days. Random Acts of Kindness Day 17 February In fact there is a whole week, culminating in the Random Acts of Kindness Day. It stared in New Zealand, there’s a foundation to promote it and maybe a random act of kindness could involve one of your products? Fashion Weeks Most of February, some of March

There’s a Fashion Week happening somewhere all the way through from 8 February to 6 March. People are going to be talking about high end fashion, ready to wear and street fashion. so, should you. All of this gives rise to a new event which we would like to propose…

New York 8 – 16 February London 17 – 21 February Milan 21 – 27 February Paris 27 February – 6 March Exhausted Fashionista Day 7 March Shhhhh. They are probably asleep. Winter Olympics 9 – 25 February Held in Pyeongchang, South Korea and covered wall-to-wall on TV. Are we the only ones nostalgic for Eddie The Eagle? Chinese New Year 16 February

This time it’s the Year of The Dog. Loyal, straightforward and honest, apparently. A hook for fashion, FMCG and B2B?

St David’s Day 1 March All things Welsh or with Welsh connotations should be getting a bit of a lift today. The Oscars 4 March The annual festival of frocks, weepy speeches and film is talked about for weeks in advance and after. And where there are conversations to be joined there are PR opportunities. Maybe a time for your own awards?
Supporting image - A girl
Source: Tove Paqualin (flickr)
International Women’s Day 8 March

Celebrating women and their achievements everywhere. How do you wish your customers a Happy Women’s Day? Great for B2B, Fitness, Fashion and everyone else.

St Patrick’s Day 17 March

The national day that’s celebrated internationally. In the States you are going to get pinched if you forget to wear green. If it’s Irish, if it’s green, it’s an opportunity.

Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race 24 March

A rowing race along the River Thames between the same two teams every year. Boring? Maybe but possibly an opportunity.

Mother’s Day

11 March UK 14 May US

Not until 14 May in the US but in the UK it’s nine months before Father’s Day. People used to send cards but there’s an opportunity to encourage a spot more generosity than that. And how about mother’s treating themselves. Great for the Flowers, Gifts, Chocolate, FMCG, Food, Fashion and Beauty industries.

Easter Weekend 30 March – 2 April – Easter Weekend It’s an important Christian festival but it’s also a time when people talk about renewal, new starts and spring. And it’s a long weekend at home with the kids. So marketing opportunities for leisure industries, sports suppliers, travel and tourism. And, of course, lovely, lovely chocolate. April Fool’s Day 1 April

Brands line up to win coverage with spoof announcements and jokes galore. When it works it’s great, when it backfires it still gets coverage. Sorry Google. April Fool’s Day clashes with Easter Sunday this year which may require a little sensitivity.

National Tea Day 21 – 22 April

National Tea Day lasts two whole days in 2018, Maybe someone asked one day or two? Apparently, the people behind National Tea Day recommend four cups a day. Just four? Are they crazy? And who ever has a cup of tea without a little something on the side? But great for all sorts of FMCG, Kitchen Gadget and Food industries.

London Marathon 22 April

Celebrities galore, serious runners, fancy dress fanatics and more. It seems that everyone knows someone who is running the London Marathon. A great opportunity of health, fitness and gym clothing and equipment companies.

Earth Day 22 April

A world wide celebration organised by the Earth Day Network. If you are a green, eco-friendly company it’s time to shout about it.

May Day Bank Holiday 7 May

The first Monday in May. It’s been associated with all sorts but probably started as a Roman festival marking the end of winter. Someone, somewhere, probably in the fashion industry, is planning a promotion featuring Morris Dancing, one of the two things we were warned not to try by Sir Thomas Beecham.

National Vegetarian Week

14 – 20 May

The Vegetarian Society have come up with keeping your figure on the pulse, which is rather neat. An obvious time for eCommerce Food and FMCG companies to promote meat free products. Ramadan 16 May – 14 June As Muslims mark Ramadan with a month of fasting, eCommerce retailers need to plan for greater sales towards the end of the month as shoppers prepare for Eid al-Fitr. Royal Wedding 19 May Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. An opportunity to promote any products with a British, patriotic, royal or romantic theme. And of course, a focus for the wedding industry! And we are told Prince William may well be dashing across town to our next event. FA Cup Final 19 May

Arsenal win this more than anyone else, so an end of season treat for football fans. A good one for sports and electronics retailers but also FMCG for all those TV viewing snacks and treats.

Supporting image - May King & Queen
Source: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere (flickr)
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 22-26 May The Chelsea Flower Show is a four-day event with extended media coverage. According to Horticultural Trades Association 2/3 of Brits visit a garden centre at least once a year and we spend £1.5 billion on plants. But its not just a PR opportunity for the Horticultural, Garden, Plant and Seed Industries. Food, Fashion and Travel industries can all join in winning coverage using this as a hook. FIFA World Cup 14 June – Sunday 15 July

No Italy, Netherlands, Chile or USA this time around but the World Cup is still the worlds most viewed sports tournament. Of course it’s a biggie for the Sports and Fitness industries but also FMCG brands with snacks and drinks and Pub sector with a great hook to draw in new customers. And clever Clothing, Fashion and Online Subscription brands will find a tie in as well. In fact, this is an opportunity for just about everyone. For example, have you ever wondered about Cristano Ronaldo’s skincare routine? Our hats off to Birchbox.

Father’s Day

17 June Huge gift guide opportunities for Men’s Grooming, Skincare and Gadget companies.
Supporting image - Festival girls
Source: Shawn Perez (flickr)
Festival Season June – September No Glastonbury Festival this year but lots of other festivals, some muddy, some not. Opportunities for Camping Supplies and Outdoor Accessories companies as well as Fashion and Jewellery brands. Wimbledon 2 – 15 July Obvious opportunities for Tennis and other Sporting suppliers but also FMCG. Strawberries and Champagne anyone? American Independence Day 4 July Celebrated by Americans and their friends but an opportunity for anyone with products with an American flavour, FMCG and Fashion included. British Grand Prix 5-8 July

Glamour, money and mechanics all meet in Silverstone. Opportunities for Boys’ Toys, Fashion and FMCG.

School Summer Holidays 26 July – 3 September Six weeks of school holidays which either go like a flash or drag on forever. It all depends on your perspective. Actual dates will vary by area. Opportunities for Leisure, Clothing, Sports and anything catering for Kids Activities for bored children or desperate parents.
Supporting image - Paul McCartney
Left Handers Awareness Day

13 August

Ten percent of the world’s population are left handed, And many, Paul McCartney and Ned Flounders included are very proud of it. Left Handers Day is a great opportunity for Kitchen Equipment retailers, Musical Instrument retailers, anyone who sells scissors and more. Eid al-Adha 22 August – 25 August

The three day weekend for Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan. Ecommerce transactions peak for Travel, Clothing and Food. Be prepared.

Back to School 3 September Actual date varies. Children’s Clothing and Sports Suppliers will already have this at the top of their opportunities lists but for FMCG there’s something around Healthy Food and of course Stationery. Great North Run 9 September

The North’s favourite half marathon centred around Newcastle. Not as high profile as The London Marathon but still a great opportunity for Sports Clothing and Equipment retailers amongst others.

Supporting image - A pirate
Source: Gaétan Picault (flickr)
International Talk Like A Pirate Day 19 September A little obscure but we like the sound of this. According to the organisers, Krispy Kreme used to give free doughnuts to anyone who spoke like a Pirate. An opportunity for Costume shops, Make Up retailers and who knows, maybe Pet Shops? Someone should make more of this me hearties. National Poetry Day 4 October If you’re selling on-line or in store
And you want to achieve much, much more
Click right here,
The solution is near
It’s time to talk to ThoughtShift
OK, you do better. Ideally in time for National Poetry Day. Halloween 31 October

According to Mintel, Brits spent £310 million on Halloween in 2016, That’s more than Valentine’s Day. Opportunities for Costume, Fashion, Beauty, Food, FMCG, Leisure industries and anyone who can turn their hand to scary.

World Vegan Day 1 November The Vegan Society are planning a whole month starting with World Vegan Day. We frequently see keywords including ‘Vegan’ out ranking ‘Vegetarian’. Obviously one for Food and Drink manufacturers but also vegan-friendly Cosmetics, Beauty and Fashion retailers. Bonfire Night 5 November With seven in ten UK adults celebrating Bonfire night and spending a spot under £500 million on fireworks this is still a big deal. Source: CityAM this event still matters. Marketing opportunities for FMCG and Fashion. Diwali 7 November The Hindu festival of lights is important to communities across the UK but with a focus on the Midlands and London. An occasion for well targeted promotions. Armistice Day 11 November

Armistice Day 2018 also marks the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I. An occasion to be marked with respect and gravitas but certainly one to be aware of.

Single’s Day 11 November The figures are almost unimaginably big. Singles Day 2017 saw Alibaba, the company which has taken ownership of the day in China take $25.4billion. (Source: FT) That dwarfs Black Friday, Cyber Monday and every other day. But does Singles Day matter in the UK? Alibaba are talking about taking the day International. And there was a time when Black Friday and, for that matter, Halloween, were seen as the preserve of the USA. Watch out. We would be very surprised if Singles Day didn’t become an important eCommerce retail day in the UK. That said, the clash with Armistice Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of Word War 1 maybe an issue for 2018. International Men’s Day 19 November With a focus on health, International Men’s Day is less of a celebration than International Women’s Day but still an opportunity for the Health and Fitness Industry. Thanksgiving 22 November Some Americans take this much more seriously than Christmas. And it’s getting some attention this side of the pond. Black Friday 23 November

ThoughtShift’s own research has shown that consumers search for Black Friday bargains earlier and earlier. Retailers who do best are those who have Black Friday Digital Marketing Strategies in place several months in advance.

Cyber Monday 26 November

As Black Friday expands with retailers offering their deals and bargains all weekend, all week or longer Cyber Monday feels like it’s being subsumed into a longer retail, omnichannel and eCommerce opportunity. As with Black Friday, get your strategy in place now.

St Andrews Day

30 November

Any tartan print or fabrics? Scottish heritage? Scottish products? This should be an important day on your marketing calendar.  Christmas 25 December Still the most important focus for retailers although more and more shoppers are buying their gifts around Black Friday. According to Essential Retail quoting research by Savvy, around a quarter of consumers were planning to shop online during Christmas 2017. Expect that figure to rise in 2018 especially if retailers such as John Lewis, Homebase, Argos and Curry’s start their sales today or even Christmas Eve. Boxing Day 26 December Traditionally a day of sports, more gift giving, visiting relatives and the start of sales. And some high street names will start their in-store sales today but increasingly the bargains will have been snapped up online without the need to brave the crowds.

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