If you live in the United States, you know what the Fourth of July means to the country. Each year, from coast to coast, millions of people set off fireworks and come together for outdoor picnics to celebrate America's independence. But selling American flags and lawn chairs isn't the only way for businesses to celebrate July.
Businesses from major corporations to mom and pop shops and numerous worthwhile organizations and special interest groups establish promotions during July to get their names and messages out there. The U.S. is particularly prolific at creating "national month" events to promote a business or cause.
Some events may seem so silly they diminish the importance of other events, but they are important to someone and worth considering. Coupons, discounts, donations, TV, and radio appearances are all ways to help a cause or sell a product. Sharing a ribbon, badge, or pin, or blogging about something shows that you (and by extension, your business) care and are connected.
Is there a way your business can benefit by promoting itself during this midsummer month? These are some of the popular topics or issues celebrated in July:
With Fourth of July celebrations come cookouts and other celebrations with food at the center. This makes it appropriate for July to be the national month for grilling, picnics, hot dogs, baked beans, horseradish, pickles, blueberries, and ice cream. For those who like to do their cooking in a kitchen, July is also National Culinary Arts Month and Lasagna Awareness Month.
Home and Family
Fourth of July celebrations also bring families together, so it's only natural that July is Family Reunion Month and Sandwich Generation Month, a recognition of people caring for family members from multiple generations. It's also the national month for bereaved parents, children of divorced parents, and making a difference to children.
The warm weather also makes it appropriate for July to serve as Air Conditioning Appreciation Days (July 3-August 15). And since pets likely will be spending more time outside with the rest of the family, July also is National Doghouse Repairs Month
In addition to picnics and other celebrations, July is a good month to get out and enjoy nature, so it is National Park and Recreation Month, Wild About Wildlife Month, and National Share A Sunset With Your Lover Month.
Health and Wellness
It's never a bad time to raise awareness about health-related issues, and July specifically serves as a national awareness month for HIV, hemochromatosis screening, and herbal-prescription interactions, as well as International Group B Strep Throat Awareness Month. For those looking to add a little fun to the month and raise some spirits, it's also National Wheelchair Beautification Month.
Some of the things recognized in July don't easily fit into a category. Some national months are serious, like bioterrorism/disaster education and awareness and social wellness. Some are fun, like women and motorcycles and international recognition of Blondie and Deborah Harry. Others are less exciting, like cell phone courtesy and smart irrigation. Some are a natural fit for small businesses, like National Independent Retailer Month.
What can your business celebrate in July? Choose from the many great causes, then start spreading the word. Try working your social networks first. Get the word out that you care about a cause, group, or issue. It might help you connect with your customers and clients, and you may just learn something new in the process.