4 Black Friday Lessons for Business and Life

4 Lessons we can learn from Black Friday

We often talk about Hallmark Holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and let’s not forget all the random days for celebration in between – Did you know that today is also National Bavarian Cream Pie Day? We won’t get into the history of Black Friday here, but we all know about the hype that it stirs up for retailers, shoppers (and vocal protestors) the day after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday

Whether you’re among the wrestling crowds or you choose to take REI’s well-publicized #OptOutside stance, Black Friday has a lot to teach us about business, life and human nature.

1.) You can never be too prepared.

Many businesses rely on Black Friday to meet their annual revenue goals and spend months preparing for the shopping frenzy. This intense preparation spans across every operation of the organization, including (but most certainly not limited to):

  • Marketing: campaign creation, purchasing/scheduling of media, email marketing, social media posting/monitoring
  • Sales: evaluating/planning staffing needs, setting up sales tools (i.e. live chat)
  • Inventory: evaluating purchasing needs, stocking, showroom/website merchandising
  • Manufacturing: delivering on holiday orders
  • Accounting: collecting payment, reporting

Even with so much time and effort spent gearing up for the big day, there are bound to be unpredictable factors that play out. The best you can do is plan for what you know, adapt to the unforeseen and learn from your experiences.

2.) Branding is everything.

There are several other names that I can think of as more appropriate for the day after Thanksgiving – Friday Food Coma, Leftover Friday, Family Friday – but the name Black Friday has become an American tradition synonymous with a retail bonanza to kick off the holiday shopping season. Regardless of your feelings towards Black Friday, you can’t help but admire the power of the branding machine that makes up this un-holiday.

Effective branding takes commitment and conviction with the ultimate goals of awareness and adoption. I think it’s safe to say that the term Black Friday has become a household name with widespread recognition.

3.) FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real!

Black Friday conjures up images of mass crowds trampling each other to get the best deal on large flat-screen tv’s. Electronics have long been the items associated with Black Friday deals, but the craze seems to have spread to even the most unassuming businesses and industries. B2B businesses, nonprofits and beyond have jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon in hopes of reaping the same rewards.


4.) A good deal does not equate to you NEED-ing it.

We work hard for our money, so of course it’s important to feel like we’re getting the most out of what we spend it on. So, it’s easy to understand the anxiety surrounding the notion of passing up a great deal. However, just because you see a value pack of Chia Pets for 75% off for one day only doesn’t mean that you NEED them. Be sure to evaluate your needs and priorities … and please, for goodness sakes, don’t spend your hard-earned money for the sake of a good deal!