If you’re anything like me you’ll be ecstatic that spring has finally sprung, your ‘sunnies’ will be on standby and your holiday plans well underway. If this is the case, like many others you will be looking to make those inspirational purchases for the months ahead. In anticipation of the changing seasons, brands across the land will have been planning campaigns, advertisements and packaging, but we’re noticing a growth in the seasonal diversity in which brands today are adapting and marketing their products. Seasonal branding and advertising are rapidly becoming the norm for thousands of brands.
Take for example Urban Outfitters, who opt to ‘inspire imagination’ by completely refreshing themselves every 6 months. Stuart Reed, who oversees design, identity and branding for Urban Outfitters Europe, says “Urban Outfitters has an incredible lifestyle concept which is a reflection of the way our customers shop, their wardrobes and their lifestyle objects. As we believe in the honesty of that concept it is important that we as a company, constantly evolve to reflect these changing needs. The brand message follows this evolution, and as such Urban Outfitters completely rebrands itself every six months (as a minimum). Everything is refreshed, from logo, to bags, to point of sale to the store environment and it’s an exciting environment to be in.”
(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)
Needless to say, connectivity has been the catalyst for many advances in brand consumerism. Contemporary consumers have become accustomed to being kept ‘in the know’ – a sense of ‘nowness’ that transcends every commercial market. The wide use of ‘hashtagging’ means that brands can connect and engage with consumers at a moment’s notice. Whether it be through cultural, social or environmental events or happenings, characteristic of that particular moment in time, agile brands are able to appear relevant to their consumers.
(Image credit: Coca-cola)
Along with personalisation and novelty products, seasonality has helped brands stay in sync with consumers. Retailers are now adapting their ranges and décor to between 13 and 20 ‘seasons’, and whilst notoriously in retail, anything remotely resembling a gift is likely to do well, surprisingly Halloween in now the third biggest event in the retail calendar behind Christmas and Easter, and is worth £300 million in the UK.
Christmas may be the season of giving, but come New Year, consumers look to the year ahead, setting new goals and resolutions, resulting in a booming trade in weight loss and self improvement products. Also at this time, people turn to travel companies to help plan their holidays for the year ahead. Valentine’s Day presents opportunities of a loving kind, with more gift-giving opportunities, followed by Easter which, along with the long bank holiday, presents not just gift-giving opportunities but sees the boom in home improvement, gardening and DIY (for those with any money left!)
Planning for the trends and tendencies relevant to each season has been an integral part of strategic planning for many a retailer, and has been crucial for brands to prepare for peaks and survive the troughs. Graphic branding in particular has been highly impactful for driving sales of consumables with innovative seasonal packaging. This is something that many food and drinks companies have come to rely on for consumer interaction.
(Image credit: Mr. Kipling)
(Image credit: Currys PC World)