Oh, hello there, fall! It’s nice to see you again. It’s been a while. Some of us have been pretending it’s autumn since September 1st. Others of us like to wait until the official start of the season, which happens to be today. Whatever your preference, we can now all rejoice because all of those fall memes on Facebook are now actually relevant. Happy first day of fall, everybody!
In all actuality, autumn has become somewhat of a marketing strategy, and it seems like each year, it starts earlier and earlier than the previous year. Back in July, I remember talking into a Michaels’ craft store and seeing the displays of pumpkins, wreaths, and fall decor… in. July. Rather than standing in the shadows of the Christmas/holiday season, it has its own image now–most notably, all things pumpkin and/or apple.
I challenge you to find a coffee shop, home decor store, or Bath & Body Works that doesn’t bombard you with their autumn selection as soon as you walk in the door. It’s a cyclical process, really. American consumers, generally speaking, love autumn. Therefore, businesses and corporations follow suit, and the more businesses buy into the madness, the more consumers do, too. Herein lies the cycle.
Companies such as Starbucks are notorious for their autumn campaigns. The pumpkin spice latte–or PSL, as its affectionately called–has its own Twitter account for crying out loud. Its job is to promote the annual PSL release and hype people up for the season, and all things considered, it’s incredibly effective. If you follow the account and remain updated, you’re privy to secret codes, early launches, and special contests that others are not. They also create various hashtag campaigns, such as #spotthespice, to keep track of their followers’ posts. In essence, it creates a sense of in-group membership, and many people revel in that feeling.
The autumn craze isn’t just limited to Starbucks, though. Companies and corporations of all industries cater to the madness. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, stores like Michaels’ and Hobby Lobby have had their autumn decorations out since the middle of July. While that may seem a little overzealous (and perhaps it is), it resonates with people. It gives their customers something to look forward to in the coming weeks. After all, a new season incites a desire for a fresh start. Who can’t appreciate a fresh start?
In a way, it’s nostalgic. As a autumn baby myself, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit my love for the season. My childhood was spent raking up leaves only to jump in the piles, undoing all of my hard work. I took numerous day trips to the mountains, picking apples in the orchards with my parents. When stores start to bring out their fall gear, I immediately taken back to those memories and instantly filled with a sense of nostalgia.
No matter what your feelings are about the season, it is quite obvious that the marketing strategies employed by businesses are effective, and the fall “brand” doesn’t look to be going anywhere any time soon. With all that said, I wish you a happy, healthy, and productive fall season.
What is YOUR favorite “sign” of fall? Let me know in the comments below!