Building Brands for Seasonal Changes

Ah, fall is in the air. The pumpkins are abundant, the Halloween stores are around every corner, and the conversations are filled with talk of colder weather. “I can’t wait for sweater weather”, she states. “I just want to be able to wear my flannels”, he sighs. We know, we’ve been here before. But what if the idea of finally getting a break from Wilmington’s humidity is more than that? What if our love of all things comfy is the perfect gate for clothing companies to slide on through? Let’s take a look at how three brands market themselves and what we can take away from their methods. Their marketing strategies utilize the dropping temperature to appeal to certain demographics. People are bracing themselves for a more frigid world and brands are quick to remind their consumers that winter is coming.

  1. H&M


At first glance, H&M’s website is innocent enough. Sales to get rid of the summer clothes of yesterday and new arrivals of knits and denims, but let’s analyze this deeper. The new arrivals scream “hey you… it’s time to move on from your summer style, but don’t worry we can help”. They have me. My clothes from last fall aren’t up to date with the style trends of this fall so I need to step my game up. The front page of their website advertises knits, holiday décor, and how to style fall 2017’s most popular items. They are constructing an aesthetic before our eyes; warmer shades to emulate the leaves changing, “last chance” written below the remnants of summer clothing. These autumn vibes are even further displayed as we venture onto their magazine. Right smack dab in the middle of the page is an article discussing how leaves are the best accessory of the season. You weren’t wearing earrings shaped like maple leaves in the summer were you? But ‘tis the season. What can we take away from H&M’s marketing strategy? Aesthetic is everything. The colors, the clothing on the front page, the new arrivals, all of it is painting a picture. As soon as a consumer clicks your page, show them what to buy.

  1. Pacsun

Right on the front page of Pacsun’s website there is an advertisement for “Holiday Must- Haves”. Must have? We can’t live without these products? According to Pacsun, no. Looking through the list of “must-haves” the items feed into current trends for the fall 2017 season. This is important to consider when creating a marketing strategy. It’s common to feel the need to fit the collective, which makes consumers easy to persuade by saying “everyone wants these items, you should want them as well”. Certain brands and styles will make you fit in with your peers, and these stores can give that to you.

  1. Banana Republic

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“Obsession-worthy dresses”, “a fresh coat”, “up your sweater game”. What do these all have in common? They are the first words you see displayed across Banana Republic’s website. Let’s break this down. Holiday season is around the corner, social events will be plentiful, looking good will be expected, the weather is getting colder… you get the gist. All of these are appealing to a westernized culture, particularly the North American ideal. Seasonal changes are not the same around the globe, but if your targeted audience is the American population you can utilize their environment. Similarly, not everyone around the world celebrates the same holidays, but their targeted demographic does. What can we take away from Banana Republic’s marketing strategy? Utilize the environment of your targeted demographic. Make them feel like you are speaking directly towards them…you live where the seasons change? We have something just for you. You have westernized holidays to build your wardrobe for? We can help with that.

In a digital world, a brand’s website can make or break them. As a consumer it’s important to be conscious what the brands are trying to evoke and as a marketer it’s important to use these strategies in our works. What can we take away from these three brands and how they tackle the changing seasons? Build an aesthetic that appeals to the state of your consumer. Paint an experience for them as they scroll through your products. Make them feel apart of something bigger than just themselves. The rest of our consumers like these items so you should as well. And lastly, Cater your marketing strategy to the environment of your consumer. Brands build stories, a website is the story being told. Do I care about being on trend this fall? I didn’t think so. Did I need that western style belt? No. Were their marketing strategies effective on me while I was writing this article? Absolutely.

-Nia Crerar