Source: Pexels {Alt text: Two women in aprons working on a laptop together.}

Iconic Marketing Campaigns to Inspire Your Strategy

7 mins read

Who says you need a blockbuster budget to make your mark? With a pinch of creativity and a generous dash of strategy, even the smallest candle businesses can shine brightly in a crowded market. Let's explore how you can borrow from the best and tailor iconic marketing campaigns to fit your brand.

The basics of marketing your candle business

Before we take a trip down memory lane, let’s make sure your business has the basics nailed down. Here are four components of your marketing strategy that are non-negotiables.

1.   Digital footprint

Think of the internet as a giant celebration, full of brands competing to be the life of the party. Without a well-designed website and smart SEO, your candle business is like the wallflower in the corner. Make sure your online presence is as compelling as your scents. A slick, easily navigable website acts as your digital storefront – not just drawing people in but also getting them to stick around and shop. Remember, when potential customers search for the perfect candle, you want yours to be the first they find.

2.     Content is king

Content marketing isn't just throwing words on a webpage; it's publishing stories that make your brand the go-to guru for all things fragrant. Boost your brand's authority with expert-backed blogs about candle care, fragrance profiles or the magic behind your making process. Keep content fresh and engaging to transform casual visitors into loyal enthusiasts who advocate for your creations.

3.     Social media savvy

Let's face it, social media is where your candles can really show off. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook spotlight your products in all their glory. Post those glossy photos, drop the hot deals and chat with your followers. And remember, it's not just about broadcasting what you've got – it's about sparking real conversations and turning likes and shares into a community of candle enthusiasts who can't wait to see what you'll create next.

4.     In-person impact

Don't just mingle online; hit the streets! Attending local markets and pop-ups puts a face to your brand and lets customers get up close and personal with your products. These real-world interactions are golden opportunities for direct feedback and forging genuine connections. Nothing beats the experience of someone smelling your candles and falling in love with them on the spot. 

With these fundamental marketing strategies in place, your candle business is set to thrive. It all starts with building a memorable brand that resonates both digitally and face-to-face.

Unforgettable marketing campaigns and what you can learn

Now, let's look at some stellar marketing campaigns that have catapulted brands into the limelight. From the clever use of social media to quirky community engagement, these strategies are goldmines of inspiration for creatively inclined candle makers.

Estrid – pastel-coloured razors

Source: <span><a href="">Tech Net CXO</a></span> {Alt text: <em>A person holding a trio of pastel-coloured Estrid razors.</em>}&nbsp;

Estrid’s campaign was a visual feast on Instagram and TikTok, where their pastel-coloured razors cut through the mundane to turn shaving into something glamorous. With a focus on eye-catching aesthetics and by encouraging user-generated content, Estrid didn’t just reach a wider audience—they engaged them, boosting both visibility and sales significantly.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

Think about it: if a razor can become a sensation with some pastel hues and user videos, imagine what visually stunning candles could do. Snap vibrant, eye-catching photos and shoot mesmerising melting videos to encourage your customers to show off their cosy candle setups.

Leon – Feed NHS

Source: <span><a href="">Leon</a></span> {Alt text: <em>A campaign image that reads “FEED NHS” in colourful letters with a blue backdrop</em>.}&nbsp;

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leon stepped up in a big way with their initiative to provide NHS workers with nutritious meals. This not-for-profit campaign did more than feed frontline heroes—it showcased Leon's deep commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. The public's response was overwhelmingly positive, reinforcing the brand’s reputation and community support.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

Engaging in social responsibility initiatives can significantly bolster your brand's image. If you're in the candle business, think about running a campaign where a slice of your sales goes to support local charities. Showcasing your efforts to give back strengthens community ties while deeply resonating with customers. Don’t just make a difference—share that story on social media to inspire loyalty and encourage more people to support your cause through their purchases.

Coca-Cola – "Share a Coke"

Source: <span><a href="">Medium</a></span> {Alt text: <em>A marketing image for the “Share a Coke” campaign, featuring two clinking Coke bottles with the names “Chris” and “Emma” on the labels.</em>}&nbsp;

Back in 2011, Coca-Cola did something game-changing: they swapped their iconic logo on bottles with people’s names. The "Share a Coke" campaign transformed standard Coke bottles into personalised invitations for sharing and connection, resulting in a huge boost in sales and brand engagement.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

Personalisation isn't just a marketing tactic; it's a connection catalyst. Candlemakers, consider this: let your customers play perfumer with options to customize labels with their names or mix their own signature scents. Then, urge them to flaunt their fragrant creations on social media. It boosts your brand's visibility and transforms customers into eager brand advocates, proudly showcasing their unique, tailor-made candles.

Pepsi – "Is Pepsi OK?"

Source: <span><a href="">The Brand Hopper</a></span> {Alt text: <em>Pepsi marketing image that reads “is Pepsi ok?” in their iconic colours.</em>}&nbsp;

Pepsi turned a typical restaurant scenario into a viral sensation with their "Is Pepsi OK?" campaign, featuring stars like Steve Carell, Cardi B and Lil Jon. This ad took a common understatement and flipped it with humour, showing that Pepsi is far from just "okay". The approach was playful and self-aware, and struck a chord across audiences, proving humour can be a powerful branding ally.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

Humour can transform your marketing from mundane to memorable. Candle businesses can infuse wit into social media posts, ads, or even candle descriptions. Why not create a candle named "This smells like my last paycheck" for a bit of comedic flair? Partnering with local comedians or influencers (don’t worry, nano- and micro-influencers can be just as effective) for quirky content can cast your candles in a fun, relatable light, making your brand stick in your customers’ minds and hearts.

NYX Cosmetics – Pride collaboration

Source: <span><a href="">Cosmopolitan</a></span> {Alt text: <em>A rainbow product shot of NYX’s pride makeup collection.</em>}&nbsp;

NYX Cosmetics celebrated Pride with a splash, partnering with LGBTQ+ influencers to launch a multi-coloured, inclusive collection. Their authentic and engaging content not only showcased the collection but also resonated deeply with the community, positioning their brand as a champion of inclusivity.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

Engaging with causes close to your heart isn't just good karma – it's good business. Candlemakers can shine a light on what they stand for by collaborating with influencers who echo their brand's values, whether it’s sustainability, craftsmanship or equality. Consider creating special product lines and use these collaborations to authentically engage with the community. This strategy widens your reach while building a loyal, supportive base of customers who share your values.


Source: <span><a href="">Bhatnaturally</a></span> {Alt text: <em>KFC’s apology when they ran out of chicken, with an image of a bucket that reads “FCK”</em>.}&nbsp;

Remember when KFC had a chicken shortage back in 2018? The brand tackled it head-on with a dose of clever humour, rebranding their buckets with "FCK" in an apologetic ad that quickly went viral. This clever spin on a crisis defused frustration, enhancing their brand image through transparent and humorous communication.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

When mishaps occur, tackle them head-on with transparency and humour. If your candle business runs into supply issues or any other hiccup, a straightforward and light-hearted apology can go a long way. Offer a creative fix or compensation to show your commitment to customer satisfaction. This approach can turn a potential setback into a standout customer service moment.

Greggs - Veganuary Vegan Steak Bake

Source: <span><a href="">Metro</a></span> {Alt text: <em>A marketing image of a vegan steak bake, with the words “the greatest vegan creation ever?” overlaid.</em>}&nbsp;

Greggs perfectly aligned with the Veganuary movement by introducing a vegan steak bake, capitalising on the growing movement towards plant-based diets. Their timely and trend-focused campaign caught the vegan wave at its peak, resulting in boosted sales and increased brand relevance.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

Stay alert to cultural and seasonal trends to ensure your products remain relevant. For candle makers, this might mean crafting scents that align with environmental movements or seasonal changes. Utilise social media to spotlight these timely offerings and engage with a community eager for innovation. Special editions like these cater to niche markets and invigorate your entire product line.

Twix – "Twix Meltdown"

Source: <span><a href="">Ads of the World</a></span> {Alt text: <em>A marketing image of Twix’s coffee meltdown products.</em>}&nbsp;

Twix tapped into the hearts of coffee and candy lovers alike with the "Twix Meltdown", a device that lets consumers enjoy their Twix with coffee. This unique combination, promoted through engaging social media contests, created significant buzz and drew customers to both try out and talk about this novel creation.

Takeaways for small candle businesses:

Innovate with limited-edition products that merge traditional offerings with unexpected twists. For a candle business, think about combining scents with experiential elements—perhaps a candle that changes scent as it burns down (just don’t forget you’ll need a bespoke CLP to cover your blend). Promote these limited-time treasures through social media challenges that invite your audience to experience and share something novel. This strategy drives immediate sales, building anticipation and exclusivity around your brand. 

And, that’s a wrap! Now, draw inspiration from these marketing masterstrokes and put them into play for your own brand. Let’s take your candle business from under the radar to unforgettable by adapting these bold strategies to your unique flair and audience.

Final comments

Mastering the basics like SEO, social media and in-person marketing sets a strong foundation for your candle business. Drawing inspiration from iconic campaigns, you can infuse creativity and innovation into your strategies to truly stand out. Implement these tactics to engage your audience, boost your visibility and grow your brand. Stay tuned for more business insights and tips to keep your growth burning bright!

1 Response

NI Candle Supplies LTD
Dawn jarrett

Brilliant take on some iconic marketing – live the twists into how that can actually help my business – v useful!

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