Unless you’re exporting all of your goods and services to the equator, your brand probably needs to get ready for winter. Here are a few examples of how some of the brands we work with tackle the winter months:
• Consultants and Strategists invite their clients to get ready for the next calendar year.
• Manufacturers reduce their carrying costs of old and off-season inventory with factory clearances.
• Retailers make room for new inventory by selling off this year’s goods with factory authorized clearances or a holiday-magic approach.
• For many charities Christmas is a great donation lever.
• Travel agents focus on destinations that promise sun and warmth or a winter wonderland.
• Restaurant menus get festive holiday makeovers.
• Food stores’ drink promotions go from cooling to warming.
• Clothing and skin products focus on protection from frostbite rather than sunburn.
What’s important to keep in mind is this:
While seasons change and technology changes, people don’t.
Value, uniqueness, security, comfort, convenience and no surprises are still the main reasons why people buy… regardless of the weather. For example:
Summer: On road trips I look for a clean room, good food, good customer service, aesthetic surroundings and clean, warm water for me and my dog to swim in.
Winter: On road trips I look for a clean room, good food, good customer service, aesthetic surroundings and clean, well defined snow paths to hike along.
Summer: When buying clothes I look for well-made products that I can work and play in, that will look good for a few years, and be cool and comfortable all summer.
Winter: When buying clothes I look for well-made products that I can work and play in, that will look good for a few years, and be warm and comfortable all winter.
Summer: My car is prepared for hot summer stop and go travel. I don’t want my car or passengers boiling on the side of the road.
Winter: My car is prepared for cold winter stop and go travel. I don’t want my car or passengers freezing on the side of the road.
You get the picture?
When a strong brand moves from one season to another, the manner in which it speaks to its audience does NOT change. Only the product inventory is modified.
A life-long brand-friend of mine is Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Regardless of the season, MEC is the brand I turn to for high quality clothing and accessories that protect me from myself and the elements. For people like me MEC represents good practical and psychological value: the math works and it feels right.
As you winterize your brand, ask yourself how you can provide better practical and psychological value to drive up brand loyalty and referral scores.
At 6P we did a number of very interesting customer use and attitude studies this year to help our clients build their businesses on solid knowledge foundations rather than on the shifting sands of assumptions. To learn more about how a survey can help build your business give us a call at 1-204-285-3176.