Summer park

The sun has got its hat on, so what can retailers and brands do to capture that great sunshine mood and drive a better shopping experience?

There is such a perfunctory approach to seasonality in store - chocolate at Easter, pumpkins at Halloween, biscuit tins for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s. Where’s the originality?

For example, why are brands such as Jimmy’s Iced Coffee being sold for 99p in the hot weather rather than being picked up from a more connecting and ­telegraphed environment like an ice bucket on the way in, or merchandised from ice buckets near the tills?

These are fresh, inspiring brands, not ones that should have value driven out of them so soon in their life cycle.

A more exciting and connecting seasonality experience in store or at the front of store would capture the imagination to create - heaven forbid! - a more enjoyable shopping experience.

At the moment (well, down South at least) we are enjoying one of the hottest Aprils on record. What cues could this hot weather be driving in terms of shopper treats and opportunities?

“How great to reflect that happy feeling we get when the sun comes out”

In my mind, I am imagining Heinz handing me tomato seeds at the supermarket door to inspire me to plant some tomatoes in the sunshine. I walk past a Nivea suncare booth demonstrating the benefits of new sun creams and doing infrared “have you got your sun cream on ­properly” on-the-spot sittings.

I see the pop-up Tesco ­barbecue outside in the car park with branded picnic blankets and (if I’m really lucky) a ‘for one day only’ Hollister model strutting his stuff and enjoying his piña colada.

Sure, these kind of activities can be expensive and tricky to set up. But if it brings a tired, traditional brand to front of mind or creates a smile that means your brand etches out a positive and lasting memory, that would pay for itself 10-fold in the long run.

Brands need to have fun. Being a well-established brand, with a strong strategy and vision, can still allow for flexibility and enjoyment of a bit of entrepreneurial, spontaneous marketing. For instance, how cool was it when Immac came out with its instant ­campaign ‘Goodbye Bush’ as George Bush left his presidency?

How great would it be for brands to take the opportunity to get interactive and personal so as to reflect the mood of the nation and that sunshine, happy feeling we get when the sun comes out?

Brands should grab that chance to make a lasting impression and make people smile.

Possibly more complex and costly to set up, but arguably far more effective marketing than a lot of the standard stuff we see at the moment.

Claire Nuttall is founder of The Brand Incubator