Have you ever felt like that cup of hot chocolate tastes a little better in that red Starbucks cup with the snowflakes all along the side? If so, then you’ve experienced seasonal branding at its finest. Seasonal branding is an extension of a company’s existing brand identity that is often conveyed through its logo, tagline, and brand voice. When used correctly, seasonal branding can have positive, long-lasting effects for a company, so long as your core brand values and messaging remain consistent.
Benefits of Seasonal Branding
It takes time to build up a brand, but the payoff to using seasonal branding is exponential. Implementing a thoughtful seasonal branding campaign can:
- Create a more personable image of your brand
- Show your audience that your company is not afraid to stray from tradition
- Potentially attract a new audience that wouldn’t normally show interest
- Help your brand stand out in a crowd with atypical color schemes and messaging
- Help increase profit during the holidays
Steps of Effective Seasonal Branding
Running a successful seasonal branding campaign starts with giving your traditional logo, packaging, and color palette a bit of a makeover. These three items make up the face of your company, so they must all collectively convey to your target audience that your company is making a change for the season.
Give your logo a more festive look. Whether you’re giving your logo a spooky look by adding some spider webs for Halloween or adding some flowers to promote some spring savings, modifying your logo to look more festive is the most evident way to show your audience you’re brand is partaking in the season. The most important thing to keep in mind is you don’t want to change your logo so much that it is no longer linked to your company in the minds of your customers. Creating too much of a change can cause consumers to disassociate your logo from your brand, which is the complete opposite of what you want.
Update your product packaging. If your company offers tangible goods, part of maintaining a uniform voice and image during a seasonal branding campaign includes modified product packaging to go along with your logo. In many cases during any given holiday, customers are more attracted to products that are presented in a more festive packaging. A perfect example of this is when Reece’s uses hearts and arrows on their packaging during St. Valentine’s Day. Customers associate those symbols with the holiday and are more apt to select Reece’s chocolates if their packaging incorporates hearts and arrows compared to their traditional packaging.
A change in your color palette to bring it all together. The two actions above won’t have much effect if they don’t have the appropriate color scheme to go with them. Making a change in your brand’s color palette, especially a drastic one, can allow you to make a bold statement without having to say a word.
Remember, making an intentional effort to modify your brand’s image to accompany a season is the best method to ensure a successful campaign.
Tailoring Goods & Services with Seasonal Branding
Let’s take another look at the Starbucks example, as a brand that offers goods. For the better part of ten months, Starbucks is known for its green cups, packaging, and logo. During the tail end of the year, however, they switch out their iconic green cups for red. By making such a bold statement with such a simple change in color, Starbucks has created a level of anticipation in the eyes of its customers, marking the unofficial beginning of the holiday season.
You can look around on any given holiday of the year and find examples of seasonal branding from companies that offer goods. But what about services? One example of successful seasonal branding from a company that offers a service on the largest of scales is Universal Studio’s transformation of their theme park into the ensemble of Halloween Horror Nights. Over the years, Universal has become synonymous with Halloween. Every night during the month of October, the park immerses its attendants in a spooky experience with a change in music, rides, and merchandise.
Successfully Using Seasonal Branding
Although seasonal branding can be a fun way for your business to gain a larger following and show your company’s marketing flexibility, it’s important to plan ahead, stay consistent in your messaging, and stay focused on the goal you want to accomplish. You don’t want to lose your audience’s interest. Study how your target audience is reacting to your seasonal brand change and adjust your game plan accordingly.
Planning ahead will put you in the best position to implement a well thought out seasonal campaign. Failing to plan out seasonal promotions can cause your company to miss out on having a greater impact.
Consistency is key. As we touched upon earlier, the brand image and values that you’ve worked so hard to ingrain in the minds of your customers is invaluable, and deviating too far from that can cause irreparable damage to your brand. Give your brand’s core image a holiday twist, but don’t go overboard.
Having a purpose in mind for your seasonal campaign will help you measure its success. Are you looking to promote a certain product? Are you looking to gain followers? Narrowing down your goal will make sure your promotional expenses aren’t being wasted.
It’s important to note that the best opportunities will differ for each company and industry. For example, a company in the cleaning industry may have an easier time developing a seasonal branding campaign around the spring than it would for the winter. Likewise, although a candy company may put forth an effort to align itself with spring during Easter, its more substantial resources would be better served during Halloween and Christmas.
Also, a point worth making is your seasonal campaign does not need to target a specific holiday. Simply building your brand’s image around a given season can prove to be just as effective.
If you’re unsure about how your company can take advantage of seasonal branding, Summit Creative Marketing can help get you going in the right direction. Our team of experts will ensure your brand is capitalizing on all possible seasonal promotional opportunities while still staying true to the characteristics that make your company so great.
Ready to chat about how you can take your brand and marketing to the next level? Reach out to us today!