New Year, New Me
It’s that time of year again where we all vow to actually use our gym memberships and throw away the holiday candy. The New Year signals an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to rid your life of bad habits. What have you pledged to improve this year? Have you even dared to use the phrase “New Year, New Me?”
From Then to Now
Ever wondered how this phrase came about? Well, it all started with the Babylonians, then changed with the Romans, and eventually turned into the phrase and New Year’s resolutions we all now today. 4,000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians started an annual tradition beginning with a 12-day long religious festival called Akitu. Sounds familiar to 12 Days of Christmas, doesn’t it? The festival was followed by the crowning of a new king or renewing devotion to the current king. The Babylonians pledged to do whatever they could to remain in good standing with their gods, whether that be paying off debts or returning borrowed goods. These were the traditional “new year’s resolutions.”
From there, the Romans put their own spin on the beginning of the year. The Babylonians held their Akitu festival in the spring time, so around March of our current calendar. However, the Romans celebrated in January. When Julius Caesar came to power, he wanted to make his mark and put an end to the “wandering day count.” So Caesar erased the entire system and remade it in his own name. Caesar changed the beginning of the year to January 1st around 46 B.C.
Fun fact: The month January was named after the two-faced Roman god Janus. The Romans believed because Janus had two faces that he could look into both the past and the future. His power was so great the Romans included promises to be good during the year with their sacrifices.
The Christians associated the beginning of the year as a time to repent and reflect on the mistakes they made in the past year. The Christians vowed to change their wayward habits and commit to living a righteous life. The founder of Methodism created the Covenant Renewal Service on December 31st or January 1st to serve as an opportunity for believers to renew their covenant with God.
Determining how these traditional religious activities of the Romans and Christians morphed into the secular ceremonies of today’s culture isn’t as easily calculated. However, the change from religious to secular could be related to a belief in magic. Wendy Doniger states, “the idea that you’re suddenly going to change is a magical idea. Religions are in charge of magic for most of us” (Fast Company). By the term magic, Doniger is referencing how faith and ritual point to influential forces beyond our control. Those who are not religious can relate to the belief in a magical power at work in our lives as well. We all love Harry Potter, right? Midnight also has magical connotations in most religious traditions, which probably explains why secular traditions today include a countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve.
New Year, New Business
When you google the phrase “new year, new me,” you get a lot of mixed emotions. A lot of articles give the phrase a negative connotation, displaying titles like “pushing past the clichés of the phrase ‘new year, new me’ and “why we should all stop saying ‘new year, new me.'” Some articles approach the phrase positively, displaying titles like “new year, new me” is not a ridiculous saying.”
The articles that give the phrase a negative connotation are looking at it from a personal point of view. But what about applying it to areas outside our personal life – like our work? While some may think it’s ridiculous to apply the phrase to their personal life, it isn’t so ridiculous to apply it to a business. Using a certain time of the year to make changes in your life probably isn’t the most effective strategy for accomplishing your resolutions. However, using a specific time of the year is the perfect opportunity for a business to make some changes.
The Once-A-Year Marketing Strategy
When it comes to a business, especially a business’ marketing strategy, it isn’t a bad thing to want to change things up or fix some problems. Change is necessary for a business’ growth. So we may not want to apply ”new year, new me” to our personal lives, but we definitely can apply it to not only our business.
Consumers, especially those on social media, are constantly looking for what’s new. This quest for what’s new and improved is only heightened around the start of a new year. Every business needs to focus on how they can get people clicking on their content and walking in their doors.
Because of this, it’s important for a business to stay current with the services they offer. The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to offer something new. Even if a business doesn’t have any new products or services, they can still use this time of year to make it seem like they have made some changes. The New Year is the perfect platform to paint your business in a new light.
Profiting from Failed Resolutions
Businesses have been making money off resolutions, or should we say failed resolutions, for decades. The majority of the population makes resolutions, but only half of them make it to the end of the month before their resolutions are broken.
The most common resolution individuals make is to get fit. Gym memberships spike in January, and gyms fill up. Large gyms can only hold about 300 people at a time, but they usually have over 6,000 members enrolled at their gym year-round. How is this possible? Gyms can accept that many memberships because gym owners factor in the statistic that 67% of memberships go unused.
Another common resolution made at the start of a new year is to quit smoking. This means smokers are going to be replacing their cigarettes with patches, nicotine gum, and vape pens. Retailers that sell these items are going to experience huge profits from the millions of smokers vowing to break their habit. Smokers often bounce back and forth between quitting and smoking around 30 times. This cycle creates an ongoing profit pattern for these smoking-alternative vendors.
Those who are single at the time of the New Year are motivated to find their true love in the new year so that next year they can have that special kiss at midnight. Because of this, Match.com declared the first Sunday of the year as “Dating Sunday” (Fast Company). Tinder also records twice as many matches on Dating Sunday than any other day of the year. Not only do paid dating sites make money, but so do the countless dating spots like coffee shops and restaurants.
A Bridge to Their Resolutions
While business can make money off failed resolutions, they can also profit from helping individuals keep their resolutions.
Ask the question: How can my business provide for these people?
Most resolutions, like losing weight and eating better, are quite tricky to commit to, but that’s not true for all resolutions. A business’ main mission should be to solve problems for their customers, so a strong business strategy at the new year is to help customers solve the problem of a resolution.
A business’ main mission is to solve problems. Two things people are reminded of around this time of year is how they need to make some changes to improve their lifestyle and how much time they don’t have. Right now, consumers are faced with the problem of how to accomplish new resolutions and how to find more time in their busy schedules. Every business has the opportunity right now to come alongside their customers to help them achieve these goals.
It’s apparent that there is ample opportunity for multiple types of businesses to make money at the start of the new year. Take advantage of this opportunity with special deals so that this year’s resolution makers choose your business!
Make 2019 The Best Year Yet
This time of year makes consumers realize how lacking they are with time and money. They’re shopping habits over the holidays have put their bank account in a bind. Catering to family members and holiday parties have zapped their time and left them with a long to-do list.
Has the same happened for your business? We want your business to succeed in 2019 – here’s 5 tips for cutting costs and saving time this year!
- Set a budget: the holidays can tempt business owners to go over our budget, so set a budget ahead of time!
- Compare Prices: Whenever buying new tools or office supplies, or even hiring a consultant, make sure to research the right price so you don’t pay more than you need to.
- Hire Freelancers: Rather than bringing on a new employee, freelancers are a cheaper option, especially for completing temporary projects.
- Barter: Bartering is a great way to create new professional relationships that can be symbiotic between you and other small business owners.
- Use Social Media: There are several unpaid options for promoting your business via social media. Take advantage of as many options as you can! We recommend using all platforms and hashtags (especially #NewYearNewMe at this time of year) to increase your reach. Post appealing pictures of your products and services, and include an easy way for your followers to reach out!
Now that you have several strategies for optimizing the New Year, we hope you are excited about applying the phrase “New Year, New Me” to your business!
Hyperchat Social wants your business to be the best it can be in 2019. If you love these ideas but need help applying them, we want to help! Schedule a demo with us today!