Best of Brand Marketing Distilled is our weekly distillation of the best of brand marketing and business intelligence. We hope the ideas and articles are fuel for your organization’s planning and success. This week’s edition provides a distillation on Halloween Marketing as an increasingly important stop on the seasonal marketing calendar. We have two main points:
1. Halloween is a big and growing market. It is also a crowded market. If you have a seasonal Halloween offering, then marketing ideas geared to differentiate your offering will help you stand out from the crowd.
2. Halloween themed marketing for your non-seasonal offering is trickier. Beware of a Halloween marketing ideas luring you “off brand”.
1. Halloween is Big Business
Halloween spending in the U.S. and Canada is big business with billions of dollars spend on candy, costumes, decorations and celebrations. Spending and participation rates are also on the rise, with more money being spent by a higher percentage of the population. Reported participation rates have jumped in both the U.S. and Canada to between 60 and 70%. As a result of these trends, businesses are competing in an increasingly crowded market. If you have a seasonal Halloween offering, then a marketing campaign geared to differentiate your offering from the crowd makes good sense. To differentiate, think about your target customer and what about your offering fulfills their need in a unique and valuable way.
(i) Halloween Spending Rises by @marketingcharts
- The average U.S. consumer “will spend $72.31 on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy in 2011, up 9% from $66.28 last year, according to data released in October 2011 by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGresearch.”
- “Seven in 10 Americans (69%) plan to celebrate Halloween, up 8% from 64% last year and the most in NRF’s nine-year survey history. This increase in celebration includes more people planning to dress in costume (44%, up 10% from 40% in 2010), throw or attend a party (34% compared to 33% last year) and visit a haunted house (23%, up 10% from 21% in 2010).”
(ii) Halloween – A Really Sweet Business Opportunity by @SmallBizCanada
- In Canada, Halloween is also a growing holiday. While the Research Council of Canada average spending numbers are not as high, the “Value Village’s 2011 annual Halloween shopping survey found the average Canadian planned to spend $300 on the big day – and pet owners planned to spend on average an extra $59 on their furry friends.”
2. Halloween Themed Marketing Campaigns
For non-seasonal offerings, Halloween is an opportunity for a brand to express their brand personality and engage with their customers. However, it is easy for a business to lose themselves in the excitement of a Halloween marketing campaign and fail to stay “on brand” with their Halloween campaign. Despite the kill-joy nature of the last statement, it isn’t necessary to cross seasonal marketing off your list of campaigns; what is necessary is to be clear on how your campaign fits with your brand personality, brand promise and brand position and ensure you always keep the reaction of your target customer in mind.
If you are not clear on the brand that you are building, then you risk having disjointed campaigns, nothing enduring being built and squandering your marketing spend. Brands need to be strong. Edgy creative campaigns can be seductive and take you off brand. Your brand can have some fun at Halloween, but your brand should remain recognizable for its authentic personality, position and promise even under its Halloween marketing disguise.
(i) Halloween Candy = Opportunity for Free Marketing by @joymorinpiano
- Local awareness campaign by a piano studio. The proprietor plans to attach studio contact information to candy being given out to trick-or-treaters. This idea is simple and clever for this business since (i) the candy will find its way into the hands of target students and their parents and (ii) it emphasizes the neighbourhood location of the studio.
(ii) Zombie Sears: Retailer Pits Craftsman vs Undead for Halloween by @brandchannel
- The brandchannel piece includes links to a number of zombie themed ads, including Sears trying to build on its successful zombification campaign from last Halloween and links to the many brands (Honda Civic, Starburst, Polaroid, Geico, and Doritos) using zombies in their Halloween themed ads this year.
Do you think the zombie ads succeed in building the brands behind them? What will your brand do to engage and connect with customers this Halloween?