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Is holiday messaging consistent across the US?

We all know southerners say “y’all” while northerners would be more likely to say “you guys.” But do regional accents and terminology impact holiday messaging?

We compared social media posts from Southern and Northeast chain restaurants and grocery stores to find out. Relative Insight’s text analysis uncovers the differences between two sets of qualitative data, giving us insight into the language and values of both geographical zones.

Northeast

The sample of northern chains we analyzed ranged from cult-favorites Wegmans to Wawa, where we found an emphasis on givingjoy and gift cards. Northeast chains were more likely, than their southern counterparts to encourage customers to purchase gift cards for loved ones during the holidays.

Northerners were also more likely to use the word love. Social media posts wished customers love, shared love and encouraged holiday activities with loved ones. They were also more likely to wish customers a Happy Hanukkah, in addition to Christmas and the holidays in general.

The Northeast in December can look like something straight out of a snow globe, and businesses capitalized on that picturesque holiday ideal. They were more likely to encourage customers to keep warm and toasty – often with a seasonal coffee or branded blanket.

South

A few of the Southern spots we analyzed included Bojangles, Publix and Whataburger. While other holidays including Hanukkah were addressed by these businesses, they were more likely to mention Christmas. Christmas cookies, Christmas trees, Christmas sweaters – the list goes on.

We also found regional chains in the South more frequently use comparative adjectives like brighter or better. This was often used in comparison to COVID-19, insisting that the holidays will be an improvement – with the addition of peppermint bark, of course.

Both

Overall, messaging across regions was fairly consistent. Both Northeast and Southern businesses celebrated the season and were equally as likely to use words like holiday and family. I guess some things really are universal.

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