Another day, another marketing blog. Hmmm…what should we discuss today? Oh! Of course! Guess what today is? Here’s a hint: It’s September 22, 2021. Yes, that’s right! It’s #AmericanBusinessWomensDay! It’s also #HobbitDay! It’s #CarFreeDay too (dang, already drove to work). With all these days to celebrate each month, it’s impossible to honor them all.
The obvious answer to the question at the top of the article is that, yes, today is the first day of Fall. With all the social media “days” out there, we were worried that the first day of Fall might get lost in the shuffle. We needn’t have worried. Despite how diluted “holidays” have become, the first day of Fall is trending “just now” in the top two spots on social media with #FirstDayofFall and Happy Fall. Check out this list of “social media” holidays in September. While there are some truly worthy causes to celebrate, it is easy to understand how, from a marketing perspective, many of these “special days” can get lost in the sheer number of them vying for our attention. *
Seasonal marketing lines have been blurry for years, which is our point of discussion here. When does summer end and fall begin, for example? It’s hard to tell anymore. Marketing, in its never-ending hope of riding any seasonal sales momentum wave early and for as long as possible, tries to anticipate our collective anticipation for the next season earlier and earlier each year it seems. Until it somehow crosses that line of being too early, which, from time to time, has led to an occasional consumer rebellion. Stores have become sneakier in reaction to this pushback by implementing something referred to as “Christmas Creep”, the putting out of Christmas items for sale in advance fully decorating their stores.
For a fall-centric example or two, given that it is the first day of Autumn, let’s start with Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t introduce its seasonal Pumpkin Spice Lattes today, the first day of Fall, which would make seasonal sense. This year Starbucks unveiled its PSL on August 24th. Another logical Autumn case study would be Disney theme parks. Disneyland doesn’t launch its Halloween decorations today, the first day of Fall, in anticipation of Halloween. Disneyland theme parks have been dressed up for Halloween since September 3rd. When you wish upon a star, Halloween ends up in Summer in the “happiest place on earth.”
There is a cynical point of view that the only reason for these seasonal head starts and, for that matter, all these social media “days” is that it brings in money to businesses. And, yes, it certainly does that. Whether it’s special products for the season or whether seasonal decorations (and, in Disney’s case, seasonal products too!) bring more traffic into businesses, there is gold in them thar decorations. Home Depot, as another example, sold out its entire stock of Halloween decorations back in August and, obviously, plans to stock its shelves over and over again until the Halloween holiday is past. Disney Parks attract more visitors due to the Halloween decorations. The rides are exactly the same year round but the Halloween “vibe” is so much cooler. And, of course, Starbucks rakes in the dough during Pumpkin Spice Latte season.
But let’s take a deep breath and relax around this seasonal “creeping”. There are other, less cynical factors at work here. The world can be a stressful place, especially in this time of uncertainty around Covid and its economic impacts. Stress is something we feel in the moment, a.k.a. the “now”. In order to escape our current states of stress, we must free ourselves from the present, which, of course, we can never really break free from. One way to escape our individual and collective “now” is to look back or look ahead. By introducing the Pumpkin Spice Latte in summer, we can look ahead to all things Fall while, at the same time, we can revel in the nostalgia of Autumns past. And the deeper we delve into each of the Fall and Winter experiences we know and love, the more we can bask in the glow of these seasonal memories as we look forward to this year’s coming events.
So, on this first day of Autumn, as we smell the scent of our pumpkin lattes, let yourself think about the changing of the leaves, and then Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, and the Winter holiday of your choice. All of us here at UrbanLink enjoy the changing colors of Autumn, where the City of Trees (Boise) turns many shades of yellow, red, orange and then, finally, brown.
Once the leaves have fallen, and Winter is upon us, some of us at UrbanLink celebrate Christmas. Some of us celebrate Hannukah. And some of us celebrate Kwanza. Regardless of what you celebrate, more and more experts are telling us to go ahead and let it happen early. Looking ahead while reflecting on past celebrations and seasonal gatherings gives us something to look forward to as we look back nostalgically. Enjoying the anticipation of the next few months can actually elevate our mood and make us feel a little happier.
Go ahead. Decorate your home early. Enjoy the seasonal events and decorations you see around you. Have the Pumpkin Spice Latte while you still can. Let the Fall colors and the bright lights of the holiday decorations that will be coming soon cheer up the darker days that will be our collective Winter.
If you own a business, it’s essential to understand that these factors are all around us. And the first day of Fall represents the beginning of this seasonal escapism. It’s ok to market to this collective societal experience, and our team is here to help guide you through all four marketing seasons.
Contact UrbanLink Group for a free marketing consultation.
*September Social Media Days
September 15-October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month
September 4: National Wildlife Day #NationalWildlifeDay
September 5: International Day of Charity #CharityDay
September 6: Read A Book Day #ReadABookDay
September 6: Labor Day #LaborDay
September 8: International Literacy Day #LiteracyDay
September 9: National Teddy Bear Day #NationalTeddyBearDay
September 10: Stand Up To Cancer Day #KissCancerGoodbye
September 11: National Day of Service and Remembrance #911Day #PatriotDay, #DayOfServiceAndRemembrance
September 12: National Day of Encouragement #DayOfEncouragement
September 12: Civic Day of Hacking #HackForChange
September 12: National Video Games Day #VideoGamesDay
September 12: Grandparents Day #GrandparentsDay
September 14: Live Creative Day: #LiveCreativeDay
September 15: Online Learning Day #OnlineLearningDay
September 19: International Talk Like A Pirate Day #TalkLikeAPirateDay
September 21: International Day Of Peace #PeaceDay
September 21: Miniature Golf Day #MiniGolfDay
September 22: Car-Free Day #CarFreeDay
September 22: Hobbit Day #HobbitDay
September 22: Fall Begins #FirstDayOfFall #1stDayOfFall
September 22: American Business Women’s Day #AmericanBusinessWomensDay
September 26: European Day of Languages #EDL2021
September 27: World Tourism Day #WTD2021
September 27: National Scarf Day #NationalScarfDay
September 28: World Rabies Day #WorldRabiesDay
September 28: National Good Neighbor Day #GoodNeighborDay
September 29: National Coffee Day #NationalCoffeeDay #InternationalCoffeeDay
September 29: National Women’s Health and Fitness Day #FitnessDay
September 30: International Podcast Day #InternationalPodcastDay