Unless you’re nuts and don’t enjoy the new lease of life that an injection of vitamin D tends to offer us all, you’ll most likely agree that during summer we tend to be our best selves.
We’re absorbing more fresh air, socializing (drinking) more often, swimming in the sea… Basically increasing the means through which we create endorphins.
Any company that’s worth its salt should be taking this into consideration.
Whether we realize it or not, predicting the weather plays an enormous role in the realm of marketing and advertising.
The weather can often hugely influence the way in which products and services sell successfully and on a deeper level, this even influences how we spend money.
While we can’t physically manage the weather, we can manage its financial implications. All we must do is look for patterns.
The most notable pattern in the advertising and marketing worlds is the cooling down of sales in the warmest parts of the year. There are two aspects to this, the relevance of the products to the season and the change in audience attention.
While it’s easy to predict the sale of lawn seeds in early spring, swimming pools in summer and ski-gear in winter, it’s not so easy to decide which campaigns deserve the most investment.
Stellar campaigns that can successfully thrive in the busy months cannot expect to translate fluidly into the summer market; it is a notoriously inhospitable landscape.
The routine of everyday life, the ‘Métro, boulot, dodo’ sensibility, is turned on its head. And so, in turn, the marketing strategy should be drastically reconsidered. Tailoring this to suit the ‘summer life’ is imperative.
So, what are the main factors that cause the market to change so drastically?
The answer to this question is as simple as you think:
· The weather is warmer.
· People are outdoors.
· People are travelling.
Companies can do two things to intelligently take these warm forecasts into consideration and turn them into cold hard conversions.
Firstly, they can harness that ‘summery’ excitement that festers in all of us and design a campaign that beckons it out. And secondly, they can physically augment the mediums and paths that their campaigns take to get there.
Recently, Corona debuted their limited-edition summer can as part of their ‘Summer Vibes’ campaign. This new strategy is almost certainly aimed at the millennial demographic. The commercial is upbeat (sound-tracked with Jimmy Cliff’s ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’) and features numerous good-looking bikini and swimming-trunk clad twenty-something-year-olds. Not only does it incur a thirst for the sun, sand and a cold beer, but it directly links the ‘coming of summer’ with their brand.
“When you think summer, you think Corona. Popping off the cap and dropping in a lime, instantly transports you to that carefree-state-of-mind no matter where you are," says John Alvarado, vice president of marketing for Corona Extra. "No one does summer like Corona, and we think this is the perfect way to capture the essence of what the brand means to our consumers."
Despite the fact that Corona’s main emblem is the iconic bottle and lime wedge, the company were willing to change this in order to accommodate a need and association that is seasonal and considered. After all, glass is illegal on beaches. This is nothing if not a no-brainer for the advancement of their product sales in their peak market time.
Aside from designing a marketing strategy that is ‘summery’ in a visual sense, it’s important to also adapt the means and mode through which you are depicting the brand.
Here’s some simple suggestions:
1. Reach at the Beach
Many businesses rely on television to portray their message. Inevitably, however, during the summer months, people simply are not sitting at home as often as they would normally be. Individuals and families alike are out and about, on the beach or sitting in a car or on a plane. What’s the common denominator in these situations? You can be pretty sure that many of these people are donning a pair of earphones and listening to the radio, podcasts, Pandora or Spotify. Investing in advertising through these mediums is a viable way of reaching your customers when their routine has changed. There is also the option of geographically targeting these advertisements and calibrating them in such a way that the areas to receive it are most useful to your business.
In the same vein, mobile marketing becomes far more important during the summer as people are more likely to be using their handheld devices as opposed to their laptop or desktop. Whether a site is mobile/tablet friendly can be extremely implicit in whether a user stays on the page or not. Ensuring that a site is responsive and easy to use on a handheld device can make or break a sale.
2. Summer Swag
What better way to insert your brand in the psyche of your consumers than to emblazon items that are specifically useful in summer with your logo. Frisbees, & beach towels are inexpensive items that can be used over and over again and the branding subconsciously becomes a familiar image to those using them. Travel items like earphones or portable chargers are also excellent items to utilize as vessels for advertising.
You could even go a step further and choose items that reflect the brand design of your business. For instance, here at Hydro Studios, bearing in mind that much of our brand imagery centers around water, we commissioned bespoke water bottles as part of our summer campaign with incredible results.
3. Aim for Al Fresco
People are outside during summer which makes for better photos. How do you harness this? Launch a UGC (User Generated Content) campaign or competition. Ask your followers to take a photo with one of your products in a certain setting using some relevant hashtags. Not only is this vastly improving your reach but you are gaining a database of usable content which you can then repost on your own channels, and in turn flatter and thank your followers.
Take advantage of the weather and host an outdoor event for your valued customers. A barbecue or beach party. Dole out your swag at local festivals and farmers markets. Make use of the proximity to your business, local clients are a valuable asset.
Aside from actively creating new aspects of your campaign to suit summer, you can also use this slow down to get ahead for the busy months.
· Build - Get ahead with editorial calendars and create content for your social channels for the months to come.
· Reconnect - Touch base with your best clients, check in.
· Revisit - The summer is the perfect midway point to re-evaluate your business’ goals for the year.
There’s no doubt that a lot needs to change in order for a campaign to adhere to a certain seasonality, but with a few small changes you can easily get ahead of the game.