As we move from summer into fall, cooler weather marks the point at which consumer behavior patterns shift and marketing plans kick into high gear, preparing for the holiday season.
In Minnesota, the State Fair carries people from the end of summer through Labor Day. While it closes out the celebration of warm weather and long days, it kicks off the point in time representing the start of the school year, changing of leaves, warmer clothes, cooler nights and the upcoming hustle and bustle.
Although the emblematic Great Minnesota Get Together drew to a close a couple of short weeks ago, memories and impressions will linger. This year’s fair experienced oppressive heat, lowering crowd tallies that once again surged upon the heat wave cooling. Consumers, media companies, products, politicians and food on a stick all converged at the MN State Fair. People were introduced to new consumer goods, met some of their favorite on-air personalities, ate foods not found on grocery store shelves and milked cows and goats. Even for the most extroverted, the crowds of record attendance overwhelmed.
Amid this equation were consumers and sellers. Impressions from local media organizations wanting to win the hearts of viewers, listeners and readers, politicians shaking hands and promoting their platforms, and those hoping to bring return customers from previous years. A new twist to the standard fair-going included an increased social media presence. Even Goldy the Golden Gopher requested social shares via Instagram – not unlike multi-billion dollar retailers.
Social shopping is reaching an all-time high in activity. During the July Anniversary Sale, Nordstrom asked shoppers to post pics of their favorite items via Instagram, Pin to Win and more recently to finish the phrase “I shop at Nordstrom because…” complete with the hashtag #nordstrom.
Autumn 2013 will see many businesses kicking off their season of promoting goods and services to capture their share of wallet with an increased social presence. Retailers like Nordstrom will hear praise for celebrating one season at a time, where others, like Kmart, will receive negative feedback for starting too early. With recommendations of friends being more highly rated than other forms of advertising (Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages), brands are wise to engage audiences in the upcoming changing seasons.