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Are Brands Completely Out of Step with the Seasons?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Halloween candy is already out. It’s not even September yet. That means we have over two months to buy candy, but anyone can start now and maybe get the best deal. The same thing is true of winter holiday decorations; they’ll probably be available sometime in October, even before Halloween has occurred. And the back-to-school season. Well, this one follows the pattern as well. Products were being promoted for the start of school almost as soon as the previous school year ended. Who is in charge of all of this? Who decided to change the seasons before they naturally change themselves? Is it the brands that are trying to gain extra dollars and more success by having product available for a longer period of time? Or is it the merchandisers themselves who want to move product through the store and have a reason to boost those slower months? Whatever the reason, it seems like there needs to be a re-focus on quality instead of quantity. And another focus on impact as opposed to availability. Because the brand that is available the longest won’t ultimately gain the most success.

There’s always a reason to have a sale or a promotion. Extra inventory, time of year, and of course to drive customer transactions. But shouldn’t these sales, when connected to a holiday, be available when most relevant? How many customers are really thinking of buying all their Halloween candy this week in order to store and save it for two months? It most definitely cannot be a lot of them. And even if they don’t buy any candy, no consumer wants to think that the bags they purchase in mid-October are the same ones that were released in August. Something just seems off. Brands and merchandisers are rushing things along and potentially losing impact from a successful holiday season. But then again, this practice has been happening for years, so maybe there’s something to be said for extending the purchase time to ultimately make brands and merchandisers a little more successful.

Whatever the reason and thought process behind Halloween candy being available today, one thing is certain. Brands and merchandisers need to focus on the impact of a holiday campaign instead of the length of time around it. By creating something a little more unique, maybe a little shorter in length, brands and stores are apt to see success. Because not all customers are looking to be the first purchaser; instead, they want the best purchase.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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