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Tips for Effective Seasonal Marketing

July, 2019

Around the same times every year, a parade of bright packaging makes its way through our local supermarkets. Easter, Halloween and Christmas holiday periods would not seem complete without the accompanying marketing campaigns from the brands we know and love. From a consumer standpoint, it is all part of the season. But how can brand and marketing managers make their seasonal marketing efforts and packaging more effective?

Younger customers are not as brand loyal as past generations, and with more and more brands coming to market every year, it is important to stand out with packaging. Remember, packaging is still important to consumers, with as many as 72% claiming that it influences their purchase decisions. There are some helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to developing seasonal packaging.

Tell a Story

Marketing in the digital age requires cutting through content clutter to reach consumers. With so many brands competing for attention, storytelling has proven to be a useful tool in the marketer’s arsenal.

Think of the ways that your existing content marketing strategy can involve storytelling around seasonal marketing. Remember, brand storytelling helps create a more personal connection between the consumer and you. Most seasonal marketing and packaging revolves around holidays, which hold personal significance for many people. Authentically telling a story that captivates and links a brand to a holiday can build a strong relationship with consumers.

To do this right, follow a few tips. Don’t be ambiguous with the point of view, tell someone’s story. This can mean soliciting stories from a customer or an employee. Sharing a real story from real people increases the likeliness of resonating with your audience. It is also important to be clear on what is the goal of the story. A story that is meant to go viral and increase brand awareness looks different than one looking to drive sales. The direction the story goes should be aligned with existing marketing targets.

Tap Into Different Cultures

The demographic makeup of the United States continues to change year after year, and representing people of different backgrounds has become more important. The entertainment industry has started to take cues and is producing more content from people of different cultures and it has seen major success. Your seasonal marketing campaign can do the same.

Let’s look at Halloween as a specific example. In the United States, the costumes and candy define the season, and all of the seasonal marketing campaigns. But what if your brand marketed Día de los Muertos along with Halloween? If done respectfully, a brand marketing this Mexican holiday can gain a new following, while educating its existing one.

But it is important to be respectful. Marketing different cultures in a seasonal marketing campaign can be done well, but if the research is not done right or your team lacks the inclusion or cultural understanding, it can come off as tasteless and harm brand equity. Do your homework. Find out if there is an event or cultural happening from outside of the United States that resonates with your audience as well as your brand story.

Go Beyond Holidays

Although consumers may mostly associate seasonal marketing with holidays, as marketers we know that this is far from the truth. Brands have been doing outstanding work with seasonal marketing year round, especially with packaging. From a packaging standpoint, what can your brand do to stand out from the pack?

Each season evokes different emotions from people, and inspires consumers to take part in different activities. Have a look at your customer profile and brand story. What is an emotion, a feeling, an activity that your brand and your customers share during different points of the year? Armed with this information, your existing seasonal marketing strategy as well as some creativity, a fun and exciting package can be developed that grabs attention. This could be anything from a package depicting melting snow ushering in springtime to harvest themed packs in the fall. Thinking creatively about how spring, summer, fall and winter play a role in customer’s lives opens up a whole host of ideas year round.

Seasonal marketing continues to be effective, especially on the packaging front. While seasonal marketing can follow the routine, presenting bold new ideas and packaging to the market can be effective for brands in the CPG market.


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Last Edited on May 25, 2018