Seasonal shifts

(Posted on 07/08/19)

Seasonal shifts

No we’re not lifting boxes of herbs, or working at Asda over Christmas, but rather looking at how companies can market themselves differently throughout the year. This is obviously sector-dependent, but there are many different ways a company can market itself depending on the time of year, or around national sporting or other cultural events. 

From hauliers and supermarkets to accountants and builders, we all have times of year that are busier than others. The way a company markets itself relies on a number of factors. To take some obvious examples from the world of retail and business – barbeques make a big deal out of the summer holiday season, but lay low during the winter. Chocolate makers do very well out of Easter, while accountants tend to be very, very busy towards the end of March, as the year-end accounts needed to be submitted. 

Some companies tie their advertising in with sporting events – however tentatively. Anything with a challenge – or about the winning mentality, or about working together as a team – can be easily adapted into a ‘And when it comes to [insert service or product here] we [insert company name] are way out in front/the best in our field/the clear winners [delete where applicable]’ all-purpose piece on any given business’ success story. Equally, a cultural event that’s recognised nationally, such as a royal wedding or Trooping the Colour, the Proms or Glastonbury Festival, can be used positively as an easy springboard to launch a discussion of a wider issue. 

We all know how weather affects mood, but how does it affect business? It certainly influences consumer behaviour, in terms of what products we buy, where to buy them and in what sort of quantity. Extremes of weather can lead to everything from lost productivity and spikes in sales (of sun lotion, or umbrellas), to increased business for the likes of builders or insurers due to damage caused. So many companies use the weather as a feel-good factor in their marketing – regardless of whether their business is affected by the weather or not. It’s an easily-understood universal common denominator, in the way our conversational small talk is often geared around “Isn’t it hot today”, or “Wasn’t it wet yesterday”. 

Holiday periods are another key link to audience empathy, with leisure time being something everyone enjoys. Of course, a side-effect of the summer holiday season can be that some offices become sparsely populated and your usual business contacts are nowhere to be seen, so everything takes longer to get done. Seasonal marketing is something all companies do, whether consciously or unconsciously. Talk to the Zebra team to find out ways in which you can make your marketing relevant to different times of year and how changes in customer and client behaviour can have an impact on you and your business.