While winter may still be lingering in New York City, there is no denying that spring is here and finally making an appearance in other areas of the country. Along with flowers and longer days, spring brings noticeable changes in how we feel and behave. We’re happier, more energized, and generally more excited about life when the sun is shining and warmer weather rolls around. In fact, it turns out that this change from winter blues to spring fever is actually backed by science.
This means that there is a real opportunity for brands beyond just mimicking seasonal cues. Spring is a season when we can enact meaningful behavior change. After all, it’s known to be easier to change our behavior and break (or learn) habits when there’s also a change in our environment. What bigger, near-universal environmental change is there than when people emerge from the monotonous hibernation of winter excited for new experiences?
While seasonal opportunities emerge a few times a year, it is essential that brands — especially in the CPG category — understand where they can capitalize on these seasonal opportunities in and out of the store:
An opportunity to renew
From fashion to flowers, spring is a time of renewal. One way we celebrate the end of winter and seize what’s new in spring is by taking advantage of the foods that are now in season. When seasonal produce and vegetables become available, there’s a greater threat that consumers will move away from packaged food in favor of something fresher. Instead of fighting in opposition to this trend, why not work with it and show how your product can be elevated with the help of what’s in season? Kraft could use its new recipe hub “Twist That Dish,” which is designed to show how easy customizing Kraft recipes are, to integrate seasonal produce into meals. Brands could also release limited-edition product variations that utilize these flavors and ingredients.
An opportunity to reimagine
Longer, warmer days mean more opportunities for socializing outside with friends. For brands, it means a chance to go all in on an occasion and re-imagine a better experience. This would particularly appeal to Millennials who we know are extra keen on participating in unique experiences (oftentimes in place of purchasing something tangible) to enhance their social profile. One way to achieve this is through the actual facilitation of events by brands. Red Bull is probably the most successful and well known at doing this, constantly re-imagining how its ethos can work with new experiences, big and small. However, if budgets are tight, this can be replicated through a smart content strategy that anchors your brand, tying it to an occasion. Smart USA, the brand of those tiny Smart cars on the road, (owned by Mercedes-Benz), has leveraged the spring season with a clever content strategy to differentiate itself. The brand has linked itself to sports, which is a consistent theme of some of the top trending search keywords in the spring, as a way to teach consumers about the differences of Smart Cars.
An opportunity to reinvigorate
There’s no reason for brands to be immune from spring fever. Consumers are getting excited during this time, so why not follow their lead and up the excitement in your marketing? Tax and accounting companies, like Turbo Tax or H&R Block, are perfectly poised to take advantage of spring fever in consumers. Spring is arguably their busiest time of the year, but filing taxes doesn’t align with the excitement of the season, so these brands must look for positive and uplifting opportunities to connect with consumers. By focusing on insightful tensions or harmonies between your brand and the season brands will set initiatives apart from competitors. While this is particularly true if your brand’s product is already a staple for making the most out of the season, it can be applied to any brand interested in bringing on the spring fever (even if they don’t have the pastel colors, chocolate rabbits, or marshmallow, sugar-coated birds.
Although you may think the average CPG lives beyond traditional seasons and environmental changes, taking advantage of all that spring has to offer has the potential to give your brand the boost it needs. It’s a chance to win new consumers and breathe new life into what might have been frozen and stagnant all winter.