Fall brings about a number of clear indicators, from the leaves, to pumpkin-flavored everything, to the crispness in the air. But it also showcases some interesting behavioral trends and gaps in services that are still waiting to be filled. Of course, those gaps are actually opportunities – so let’s look at Fall critically and see if we can’t identify at least three ways brands in B2C and B2B can take advantage:
- What Not To Wear – Leaves aren’t the only things that change in Fall – habits and clothing follow suit. While fashion-oriented brands and costume peddlers know this all-too well, many brands that have tangential connections to not wearing white after Labor Day overlook the change – and worse yet, fail to adjust the content of their posts to reflect the way their audiences are reacting to seasons. This goes way beyond clothes, and includes all kinds of ancillary elements that brands can begin messaging on. Increased dry air, colder temperatures, and more could be referenced or at least communicated in messaging that might normally find itself featured in the winter (especially for B2B audiences whose products or services might have special conditions or issues in the winter). This is especially difficult for those in states without seasons (ahem – California and Florida) whose HQ’s find it more difficult to relate to the more seasonal geographies. Your audiences are thinking about this now as things begin to change, go along with them!
- The Weather – As Fall spoiler Hurricane Joaquin proved, we aren’t out of the woods from seasonal storms just yet – but interestingly enough, while we often reach for our apps to help give us a chilly-o-meter for the day’s dress as it turns cooler in the fall, it’s a reminder that many weather apps do a poor job of helping look even a few days out when severe weather looks unpredictable. Take favorite Dark Sky – easily one of, if not the best local, realtime weather apps – and consider that as Joaquin hesitated when it became a Category 4 and its direction became uncertain, even by-the-hour apps were at a loss to give us much info we could count on – with no way to interrupt with even links to larger, more robust updates. It’s a good lesson for our apps: have a killer feature and do it well – but also have a way to deal with contingency.
- Social Habits Change – Weather, clothes, and yes – even their social media habits are undergoing a transition. The summer days of frequent posts (including mass dumps of photos from holidays) give way to first-day-of-school photos… and then what? Generally the “what” is that they become busy. Fall is notoriously difficult for parents who have to snap back into taxi mode while other factors interrupt any patterns they’d established on weekends (football, anyone?). Interestingly, we’ve observed that what was once the “show-you” of summer posting habits takes on a much more significant talkative and engagement-focused vibe as we cope with the fall change more “out loud” than other seasonal changes. This means that a shift to boosting posts with already high engagement on Facebook, or really stewarding conversations in messageboards, may be even more visible than usual. It’s a chatty time as new social habits are taking root for all audiences – even B2B. It’s the perfect time to capture and retain new engagement!
This time last year, Feedback was in Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. (Why yes, it WAS for a work conference, why do you ask?) It was our first, and we’re certainly hopeful that it won’t be our last. And while we aren’t there again this year, you can be sure we’ll be revisiting our own Fall-ish habits that line up just about right with our trip – with a Marzen beer in hand.
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– Dean Browell, Executive Vice President of Feedback