Retailers are not just focused on the World Cup at the moment. Rising temperatures mean something else to the sector - time to start thinking about Christmas.
Retailers have played the nostalgia card in the past few years, often marketing the occasion rather than themselves. This year, it’s time for a change.
Yes, recessionary habits are ingrained and the ‘savvy shopper’ is here to stay, but as incomes and confidence begin to rise, retailers should look forward, not back, to deliver footfall and sales-driving inspiration.
Inspiring consumers through a message that focuses not on savings (which can cheapen the brand), but on quality underpinned with a good price, will yield results. The success of Lidl and Aldi is driven not just by low price hunters, but also intrigued shoppers seeking award-winning quality or ‘luxury’ products such as lobster.
Your messages also need to be more daring and unique if your Christmas marketing is to cut through with consumers. Step away from the Nordic knitwear and Christmas clichés, deliver a truly creative campaign and you’ll inspire consumers not to save, but to spend.
For seasonal events, more creative marketing works. This year for instance, we observed much more inventive promotional mechanics around Mothers’ Day. Waitrose’s social media-driven floral display at Kew, for example, was an inspiring step up from the simple “Don’t forget Mothers’ Day” message in a bucket of carnations that was the norm just a few years ago. Such initiatives have influenced consumers: in research carried out for Haygarth, 46.5% said they had shopped especially for Mothers’ Day, almost equal to the second-biggest event, Easter (47%).
Be distinctive. Clichés mean marketing will lack standout. Be specific. What can your brand bring to Christmas that’s unique to you? How are you improving Christmas for shoppers? Be meaningful. Have a point of view, and inspire consumers with it.
It’s time for grocery retail to let creativity, fun and excitement back into Christmas: it should be the happiest time of the year both for consumers and retailers.
Anthony Donaldson is planning director at Haygarth