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  • Writer's pictureAriana Bhargava

Seasonal Branding Campaigns

We’ve all seen the obligatory holiday ads where Hershey’s kisses start dancing and Santa drinks coca-cola by the chimney instead of milk. Even during the pandemic in 2020, winter holiday branding raked in 777 billion U.S. dollars, but it's not the only successful seasonal branding we’ve all heard of. Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte has been an autumn staple for 20 million people annually and Dunkin Donuts’ St. Patrick's Day shake is a Boston favorite in the spring.

Exclusive seasonal products have proven to lead to a bump in revenue and increasing awareness of a brand. This can be done with large brands as mentioned or even with small brands. An example of this executed well with a small brand is Kolkata Chai, which has a chai ice cream that’s only available in the summer and is kicked off annually with a “free ice cream party.”

kolkata chai ice cream seasonal branding

Seasonal branding can also be more than just a product, Starbucks is known for changing their design on cups during the holiday season. Changes in design like this are another thing that allows for a mini-rebrand that consumers can be excited for and possibly lead to more people buying a seasonal product. Committing to a seasonal design aesthetic creates an even more memorable brand and an exclusive feel to seasonal campaigns.

Other design ideas include changing a logo to something seasonal, changing a color palette on packaging, thematic emojis in notifications and emails, themed social media posts for the duration of the campaign, or even decorating at physical locations. This works for both literal seasons as well as holidays and cultural celebrations.

Being aware of the primary audience of a brand can also help dictate what holidays and seasons a brand may choose to celebrate. For example, brands popular with children may want to lean into holidays and events like Halloween and back-to-school, like Market Basket does with an annual Halloween coloring contest for kids. There’s also even more niche events such as spring cleaning that can appeal to more specific audiences.

So how can brands decide on the perfect seasonal marketing campaign or product?

Deciding on a Seasonal Product

A brand can decide on a season or holiday based off of their audience, seasons where sales are slow, or a product they have limited resources for but feels may be successful for a period of time. Identifying what you want to get out of the deal - such as just increased revenue, more brand awareness, or expanding an audience - can also help decide what to choose. This can also be a way to showcase a brand’s inclusivity by celebrating a wider range of holidays such as cultural or religious holidays in a respectful way like Ramadan or Diwali with limited edition versions of an existing seasonal product or their own product altogether!

Building Hype

This can be done by changing design styles and advertising through social media or other marketing mediums. Adding incentives for consumers like special events, deals and offers, reposting on social media, partnering with an influencer popular with your audience, or contests also drive engagement and ultimately sales.

Planning Ahead

Executing a seasonal campaign can take a lot of planning. In addition to product, design, and advertising preparation, making sure a brand has done their due diligence on a cultural or religious holiday they are using for a campaign can also take time. It’s important to plan ahead and utilize marketing calendars because these deadlines can’t be pushed!

P.S Diwali is coming up! 👀

Creating exclusivity, excitement, and engagement through steps like these can allow for perfect seasonal marketing and that bump in revenue along with it.

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