Each year as the crisp fall air starts to deepen into a winter chill, people across the country don their snow boots (or just boots for us Florida folks) and head out to Starbucks seeking the type of warmth that can only come from a seasonal Starbucks Christmas blend. The team at our Florida advertising agency loves these tastes – even when it’s still a balmy 70 degrees outside!
Starbucks’ Christmas coffees are insanely popular, and fanatics often endeavor to collect and sample these flavors year after year. The national coffee chain, which does very little advertising through conventional media such as TV advertising or print, managed to build this community through word-of-mouth – plus clever tactics that get people buzzing from more than just the caffeine in their tasty beverages.
For example, in 2011, Starbucks released an augmented reality mobile app tailored specifically to the Starbucks Christmas coffee experience. The reality app encouraged users to interact with their Starbucks-branded Christmas goodies, and offered them unique images and interactive graphics upon viewing.
How has Starbucks been able to so cleverly tap into the consumer psyche, causing positive associations between seasons and products?
We all know that holidays drive sales. But that’s only part of it. The other part is the authenticity of a company’s marketing efforts. Efforts geared towards seasons reflect life experience; and therefore, the most successful seasonal marketing efforts are ones that connect with the consumer’s emotions.
Beer marketers have known this for years, often releasing summer ales and winter lagers, made up of differing compounds to help correspond with the season. [quote]Rather than focusing on a one-off seasonal event, seasonal marketing becomes part of the company’s overall strategy.[/quote]
Therefore, a company’s “holiday” plan becomes a 365-day endeavor, with the most successful companies plotting their holiday strategies months in advance. Any company can do this by initiating a seasonal marketing calendar, and preparing for seasonal events months in advance.
For businesses that specialize in digital technology, it is easy to monitor website analytics to learn more about consumer’s habits through the seasons. Retooling the year-long marketing plan to conform with consumer tastes and spending habits can help marketers identify trends and capitalize on consumer actions.
Companies that rely on seasonal marketing efforts can stretch their efforts further by finding ways to piggyback off of seasonal campaigns. As discussed above, Starbucks keeps people coming back year after year with a line of limited edition items. However, other businesses can offer incentives for consumers to return after the holiday season, or can even start offering Valentine’s Day promotional materials just after the New Year.
Our Florida marketing agency wants you to remember that the important thing about seasonal marketing is its appeal to customers’ emotions. In particular, the holiday season is a time when families make happy memories, and therefore changes in the weather evoke feelings of happiness and adoration. By tapping into these emotions and consumer behaviors, marketers are better able to connect with their purchasers.
So, the next time you walk into Starbucks and smell the fresh-ground dark roast coffee with a kick of cinnamon in the air, look around, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by seasonal marketing at its best. Let our team help your company embrace the seasons and take your marketing efforts to the next level – contact us today!