How do you know that fall is approaching? Without even needing to step outside to feel the cooler breeze, see the sun emitting a duller light, or see the leaves start to change, the marketplace screams fall at you from all angles. You can’t turn the TV on, go on the internet, browse social media, or be out in public without having the annual fall trends thrown in your face.
Fall to businesses looks like capitalizing on products that were successful last fall, trying new variations of these, and perhaps introducing a new fall-theme product in hopes to start a new trend.
One seasonal trend that has absolutely taken over the market from September until beginning of December every year is PUMPKIN SPICE. I, personally, hate anything pumpkin spice. But apparently everyone else loves it seeing as it returns with ferocity and high demand every year.
This was displayed to me (literally) the other day. I was walking into Harris Teeter and right when I busted through the doors, an isolated display shelf full of new pumpkin spice chips was right in front of me. Yes, chips. I won’t even get started on that one.
Fast forward to the refrigerated section. I go for some butter and see a section decked out in pumpkin spice cream cheese, coffee creamer, and cookie dough. Then, as I stroll up to the register an hour or so later (it takes time to find the deals), I see a table overflowing with pumpkin spice cookies, cupcakes, bread, and all the sweet treats that you could think of.
I was surrounded.
I felt targeted.
I felt suffocated.
I had to get out…
Now, that example is clearly overly dramatic, but I’m sure you can relate to feeling bombarded with excessive advertisements and marketing tactics at times. A lot of the time it is for something that you either love or hate because it makes it jump out at you THAT much more.
Now, I know that September is underway when I start to see and hear about pumpkin spice everything, but that is not what symbolizes fall to me.
Despite it getting darker earlier and the fact that after autumn comes winter, this time of year holds a special place in my heart. I grew up in New England where the fall transforms your world into the most colorful, beautiful, and peaceful place you’ll ever experience. Leaf piles, bonfires, flannels and oversized sweatshirts, and hikes through canopies of red, brown, orange, and gold-that’s what represents fall to me. Fall reminds me of carving pumpkins, going on the haunted hayride, and the continuous sound of the rustling of the dried-up leaves as the breeze swept through the trees.
Think about what comes to your mind when you think of this time of season. Then think about what this time of season means to you. Are they two different things? Can you pinpoint whether any marketplace trends or advertising contribute to either of these?
It’s interesting to realize that your viewpoints and realities can be shaped by the messages that you don’t even know you are taking in. Whether we like it or not, we are surrounded.