By Debbie Laskey, MBA

Today is Cyber Monday. If you sell farm equipment or airplane engines, you probably don’t care. But if you’re like most of us and you survived Black Friday, then you probably care.

According to Wikipedia, Cyber Monday is “the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, created by companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005, in a press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”… [In the years since], Cyber Monday has also become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, and Chile.”

Often, people use Cyber Monday to comparison shop, find great deals, learn about new and exciting things on websites they often visit, and take advantage of wish lists they have been adding to all year long.

So, to take advantage of Cyber Monday, did you create specials for the day? Did you send promotional emails in advance? Did you create special landing pages just for Cyber Monday?

Did you join with vendors or other strategic partners in order to reach the as many consumers or customers as possible? But above all, did you make any changes to your brand to appeal to customers in a unique or different way?

Does your brand mean the same thing on the days following Thanksgiving leading up to the December holidays as it means every other day of the year?

But take note, if you change your brand by partnering with lower quality vendors, you are damaging your brand. If you simply want to sell more units, your brand equity may suffer. And once the damage occurs in the minds of your customers, you may not regain lost market share or devoted brand advocates.

And what about customer service? Do you have enough staff to handle the increase in business either by phone or online chats on Cyber Monday? Don’t allow the surge in business to become an excuse to sacrifice service – a less-than-satisfactory customer experience could negatively affect your brand for an unknown amount of time.

Bottom line, don’t get greedy and focus on the possibility of huge sales from one day. Instead, incorporate a strategy for Cyber Monday into your overall annual marketing plan and invite your team to participate in the implementation of the day’s strategy.