This year, Starbucks and Dunkin’ wasted no time in launching their most coveted fall flavors with their earliest debuts ever. While introducing fall flavors in the midst of summer, like these two did, may seem premature, these brands know what their customers want, and they're ready to deliver. According to Nielsen, in the past year pumpkin-flavored products across grocery brought in $511 million, which is an increase of 4.7 percent from a year ago. With the holiday season upon us, brands will have many more timely trends to capitalize on. Let’s explore why and how brands can leverage them to deliver a stand out customer experience (CX).
Anticipation Organically Fuels Demand
What’s great about seasonal trends is they provide brands with the opportunity to market products that are timely, generating a demand within itself because consumers know they’re only available for a limited time. In fact, for some retailers the holiday season represents as much as 30 percent of their annual sales. Knowing that this is an opportunistic time of year to positively impact a brand’s bottom line, companies should look to capitalize on pre-existing consumer hype around seasonal products to hone in on satisfying their customers.
Listen to Your Buying Audience
Beyond leveraging organic anticipation of a seasonal product, it's important for brands to understand which seasonal opportunities are the right choice for their business and target demographic. First, retailers must gather and analyze data from their customer base in order to make informed decisions on which seasonal trends to leverage. This might include feedback from customer surveys, listening to what consumers want from your business during contact center inquiries, or monitoring conversations across social channels to see what consumers are discussing. This data can then be used to enhance the customer experience.
For example, in May, there was an uproar on Twitter for Wendy’s to bring back its spicy chicken nuggets, with celebrities even chiming in on the discussion. Wendy’s monitored the conversations online and took action. In fact, Wendy's even used the positive press as a chance to boost engagement by telling customers that if 2 million of them liked its tweet, the company would bring back the nuggets. While not a seasonal trend in itself, this example shows the power of listening to your customer base to then deliver improved CX.
Make the Most of Seasonal Trends by Deploying Innovative Digital Tactics
Given seasonal trends have a finite beginning and end, it’s imperative that brands make the most of the small seasonal window by pairing in-store tactics with digital initiatives leading up to and during the season. This is a great opportunity for brands to go beyond basic digital deployments such as email campaigns or social advertising and launch more innovative, interactive means. For example, beverage brands could look to launch a pumpkin beverage bot equipped to answer consumer questions about where they can stock up on their favorite fall-flavored brew.
Seasons may be short, but the impact on your CX doesn't have to be. While pumpkin spice is all the rage right now, the holiday season is just around the corner, which means there’s continued opportunity for brands to leverage organic anticipation of the season, engage in more thoughtful listening to inform business strategies, and the chance to deploy more innovative CX tactics.
Mike Small is Sitel Group’s CEO – Americas, responsible for all functional aspects of the group’s Americas’ organization: North America and Nearshore (Latin America), including operations, finance, HR, sales and solutions, project management, workforce management, and account management.
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Mike Small is CEO – Americas at Sitel Group, a business process outsourcing solutions provider. He is responsible for all functional aspects of the group’s Americas’ organization: North America and Nearshore (Latin America) including Operations, Finance, HR, Sales & Solutions, Project Management, Workforce Management and Account Management.
As Chief Client Officer for Sitel Group, Mike led the Americas Account Management team to significantly improve business growth for clients and help drive strategic value across all industries and verticals.
Prior to joining Sitel Group, Small held leadership positions at VXI & SYMBIO Global Solutions, Capgemini and Hewlett Packard. His deep experience has a proven track record spanning two decades developing and leading high-quality teams within the BPO space and beyond.
An award-winning services executive, Mike brings nearly 20 years of proven success in leading and advancing high-quality teams in BPO and ITO for Fortune 500 companies. He was the BPO Sales Director for HP Enterprise Services, responsible for leading HP’s sales efforts in the US and Canada. Mike also held leadership positions with MphasiS, an HP company, in Bangalore India, and he spent a decade at IBM in multiple leadership roles.
Mike is a graduate of the University of Toronto in Business and completed his MBA in Corporate Finance from Queen’s School of Business. He holds certifications in Project Management from York University and Portfolio Management from the University of Ontario and earned his PMP designation from PMI. Mike is based at the Sitel Group global headquarters in Miami.