Navigating the Pros and Cons of Seasonal Displays
Seasonal campaigns are a valuable tool for retailers and manufacturers throughout the entire year. Festive-themed displays, packages and products are developed to give brands a swift boost in sales in the weeks surrounding a major holiday. Careful planning is critical for any type of seasonal display, as one poor decision can be the difference between a successful campaign or lackluster results.
With fierce competition, budgetary restrictions and constantly changing shopper preferences, it's as challenging as ever to implement an effective seasonal campaign. Consider the following points before jumping into a themed in-store marketing campaign:
1. Contemplate cultural sensitivities. Holiday displays are often designed to resonate with a cultural theme. Take summer holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. For these holidays, manufacturers and retailers often look for ways to incorporate "American" themes into products or displays.
Before implementing a new campaign in-store, however, it's essential to realize the impact on consumers. While leveraging colors like red, white and blue is seemingly harmless, usage of patriotic displays may not resonate with some shoppers.
For example, InContext Solutions completed virtual research for a client looking to understand how shoppers would react to seasonal displays that incorporated the American flag. While the reception was positive and well-received by the majority of shoppers, there was a vocal subset that raised concerns with patriotic displays. Some shoppers were hesitant to select the products for fear of ruining the flag, while others found the entire display to be unpatriotic.
Shopper sentiment is crucial for the manufacturer and retailer in this instance to correctly understand the impact on purchasing behavior. Without these types of insights, retailers and manufacturers risk alienating shoppers and reducing sales during crucial holiday periods.
2. Leverage shopper associations. Seasonal displays are a great way for brands to create positive associations with consumers. Consider the time surrounding winter holidays when shoppers tend to be have that "warm and fuzzy" feeling. Brands should attempt to position their merchandise as the product of choice for festive parties, family traditions and seasonal indulgences.