Business Christmas Adventure

When you think ‘Christmas’… What comes to mind first?

Is it the busyness of the season – Christmas parties, the kids Christmas concerts and prize-givings, and endless shopping? Is it Christmas trees, mince pies and the jolly fat man in the red suit? Or perhaps it is the feelings of joy, wonder and anticipation that come with the countdown to the big day?

For many kids and adults alike, advent calendars are used to heighten those feelings of anticipation and excitement. Unwrapping the little square of chocolate (or these days wine or toys) each day provides something to look forward to everyday in the lead up to Christmas day.

But what is advent and where did it come from? The word advent is derived from the Latin word adventus, which means ‘arrival’. It can be traced back to the 4th century and is used in Christianity to prepare for the coming of Christ, both the second coming and the celebration of his birth.

The modern advent calendar can be traced back to the mid-19th century when Protestant Germans lit candles or made chalk marks on doors to count down the days to Christmas. More recently, a marketing genius decided to package little boxes with chocolates and voila, the modern advent calendar was born.

Are you thinking “how on earth this relates to my business?”

Perfect, that’s the reaction we were hoping for! Let us show you the five concepts (that make advent calendars successful) that you can use in your business…


When you get an advent calendar, you kind of know what you’re going to get – a different chocolate, toy or message each day. Imagine what would happen if one of the boxes was empty – all hell would break loose in my house! It’s the same for a business. Your customers will often choose a shop or restaurant they have been to before because they enjoyed the service, the range available or because it is familiar. The customer knows what to expect and wants to repeat the experience.


That said, people are curious creatures and many enjoy surprises. Advent calendars work because while the item inside is often familiar, there is a little twist – the chocolates may be different flavours or different shapes, there might be a toy one day and a message to go outside and play the next. Never knowing quite what’s inside just adds to the mystery. Give your customers a little surprise. Free shipping, gift wrapping or even just a simple candy cane attached to the present can make the customer feel special.


Who hasn’t been like a kid in a candy store, or a kid at Christmas, at some point in their lives? Counting down to the big day builds anticipation and makes it all the more thrilling. Yet surprisingly, advent calendars also help us feel in control. We know exactly where we are and what’s coming next. In business, you can help control the customer’s excitement around events and sales, for example.


Every time you open a door on your advent calendar it provides a sense of completion and achievement. Our brains are wired to release endorphins – the happy hormones – when we achieve something. Think about what your business could offer to help customers feel this sense of achievement, loyalty cards for a free coffee or discount on products, for instance.


This is perhaps the most obvious concept that works for both advent calendars and businesses. Every time you open a door or box on your advent calendar you are rewarded. Rewarding your customers for their loyalty is a great way to keep them coming back.

Modern Christmas Advent Calendar

There are many things we can learn from the humble advent calendar. The most applicable to business is to encourage your customers to return. Deliver on expectation, surprise and excite them, give them a sense of achievement and reward them, it can be that simple.

Contact your local Nettl studio to discuss creative and affordable marketing ideas to keep your customers loyal this Christmas.