March 2nd, 2016 in CPG, Retail, Spring

Targeting the first moment of Spring

Having had a very wet and stormy December and January with some of the worst storms on record, and then a colder than average February, most people in the UK can’t wait for Spring to arrive. At this moment, there is a real consumer desire to go out and “buy spring” as the meteorological change shifts in consumer and buying behaviour.

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Creating emotion-led marketing opportunities for branded FMCGs & retailers

Positive emotion is linked to the first moment of spring, and emotion is essential in effective marketing particularly in creating resonant brand values. According to research carried out by The Weather Company, the first moment of Spring generates feelings of optimism, encouraging people to be with others and make fresh starts. There is a general switch to socializing: parties, gatherings, including barbecues. This is an important time for marketers as, at these moments, consumers tend to switch and try new brands. In addition, consumers will pay more for products translating into a liking for more premium products. Emotion is also important in advertising effectiveness. According to a 2015 study by ZenithOptimedia, people exposed to “happy” stimuli were 9% more likely to say they would use an advertised product in the future than others. The sense of optimism and “newness” that Spring generates can be harnessed in brand marketing to deliver more effective, more influential, and more meaningful advertising.

When is the first Moment of Spring?

The first moment of Spring is a movable date; in the UK, generally it tends to occur after three days of warm weather, when temperatures hit the magic 18oc, plus generally dry conditions. At these moments there is a sales spike in barbecues, barbecue meats and adjacent categories, ranging from sauces to salads to ice creams. There is also an increase in beer, cider, juices and water. For many categories, big-tub ice cream or barbecue charcoal, at this moment consumers will stock up. And it is therefore crucial that market-leading brands are top of mind and readily in stock to ensure they – and not their competitors – are being purchased.

When will Spring spring this year?

The first moment of Spring varies from year to year; for example in 2014, it was the first weekend of March, whereas 2015 it wasn’t until the second weekend of April. In 2016, it is more likely to occur in April than in March as a prolonged dry period is not likely until April.  However, it will be difficult to say with certainty as this year, the weather forecast is looking changeable, and changeable weather during the seasonal transition period will result in massive weekly swings in product sales. This volatility makes it particularly important for retail and FMCG brands to have an effective weather strategy.

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