Every fall, consumers around the country flock to their local Starbucks to purchase a Pumpkin Spice Latte. In the winter, people often enjoy purchasing scented candles that remind them of candy canes and real Christmas trees. And springtime is the season for Peeps and Reese’s eggs.
These seasonal products don’t just play off of seasons and holidays. They bring in a ton of extra profits and publicity for the companies that offer them. Your small business probably doesn’t have the notoriety of a Starbucks type business. But you can still utilize the tactic on a smaller scale.
Using Seasonal Products
Here are some tips to help you make the most of seasonal products for your small business.
The idea that seasonal products are only available for a short period of time is part of their appeal. Customers will want to take advantage of the offer during the short time that it’s available.
You don’t necessarily need to outline specific dates when your product will be available, though that is one option. Alternatively, you could simply offer products “while supplies last” or “for a limited time.” Whatever specific model or verbiage you decide to go with, just make sure that your customers know that the item is only available for a particular month or season. If they know that it won’t last forever, you can create a greater sense of urgency for them to actually complete a purchase — or better yet, multiple purchases.
The marketing of your seasonal product can, and probably should, start well before it’s actually available. Let customers know what you’re going to offer for each season and get them excited about it by putting up signs, posting on social media or even going after some press mentions.
By posting about your products early on, your customers will be better prepared for what you have to offer. And they might even start to share their anticipation with others. If you can get others to talk about your products or post about them on social media, you can get some free marketing and build even more hype about your seasonal product and your business as a whole.
Aside from simply posting product announcements, you might consider starting some kind of countdown to your launch date on social media or even hosting a contest or giveaway to get people more involved.
Build on Seasonal Excitement
Each season has its own themes and traditions that people already tend to get excited about. In winter, it’s natural to build off of the existing excitement around the holiday season. Fall is the time for pumpkin patches and apple orchards. Summer is all about beach days. And spring tends to have tons of flowers and Easter themes.
By centering your product around some of these existing associations, you can piggyback on the things that customers are already familiar with and excited about. Enjoying a pumpkin flavored coffee beverage or an apple cinnamon doughnut helps people feel like they’re really taking advantage of the fall season. It’s an association that’s already in their mind. So they’re already on the lookout for those types of products and they’ll be more likely to invest in those experiences during that particular time of year.
Nostalgia is also an incredibly popular selling point, especially for seasonal products. People tend to have fond memories of each season from their childhood. And they may be more willing to spend on experiences that remind them of those happy times.
For example, if you run a restaurant that’s near a boardwalk where cotton candy was very prevalent during the summer months, you might offer a special cotton candy flavored beverage throughout part of the summer. It’ll remind people of their childhood summers, and parents will want to share that experience with their kids as well. This tactic can also be very popular when marketing products around holidays like Christmas, Easter and Halloween.
Turn It into an Event
The launch of your seasonal product is a major opportunity for you to create some buzz around your brand. Instead of simply unveiling your product on a random day to little fanfare, make it a holiday in and of itself. Make sure the date is notable and easy to remember. For example, if you offer a Thanksgiving themed decor product, launch it on November 1, the day after Halloween. Customers will already be thinking about that change in the season. And you can provide a natural way for them to celebrate an upcoming holiday rather than mourning one that has passed.
To create extra hype around your launch holiday, you can also name it something special and create a hashtag for customers to get involved. If your business a physical location, you might even host a special event to promote your launch. Offer specials, photo booths and tons of themed activities to get people excited. The idea is for people to enjoy a full experience around your seasonal product. They’ll be more likely to remember it and then put it on their calendar again for next year.