Summer is almost here — hooray for warm weather! Nearly everyone loves the long, lazy hot day, but when it comes to your summer brand merchandising, we’re here to make sure “long” and “lazy” aren’t part of your vocabulary.
Some manufacturers find that summer is a slower season. While that can be true for certain areas, we’ve found that there are ways to make the most of your brand merchandising so that your June, July, and August are just as lucrative as any other months of the year.
The key to success lies in changing up your summer retail management. Here are some ways you can get started.
- Focus on High-Tourism Areas
For many folks, summer means vacation and vacation means getting out of the city. Ontario’s cottage country goes from winter populations of 6,000 to 12,000 people to a sudden influx of 30,000 to 40,000. The differences are seen in the stores. At one popular grocery store in Parry Sound, Ontario, on the Friday before a long weekend, the checkout line wound through the entire store and literally out the door.
The summer boom in tourist towns matters for your products. It’s a great time to get your product seen in a different setting. People on vacation shop differently — they might be willing to try a pricier product or a new variation, for example, because they have more time to enjoy it. They also just might have basic needs that are harder to get met in smaller stores. For example, in South River, Ontario, many people have cottages or rent camping space and the only stores nearby are small general stores. If a tourist forgot their toothbrush or needs a new pair of socks, there’s really only one option nearby to pick up that item, creating exclusivity.
- Build a Summer Marketing Strategy
Even in larger city that aren’t necessarily vacation destinations, the products you feature matter. Summer is, of course, the best time of year to display barbecues, camping equipment, swimming gear, etc. If your manufacturer makes these types of products — great! You’ve got a wonderful opportunity to market. But even if your products are more season-neutral, think about you can change up your marketing strategy for warm weather. Could a consumer use it on a camping trip or at the beach? Can you change the design on a product or create a new POP display that uses lighter colours? These are relatively small changes that will make a difference to your bottom line.
- Find Creative In-Store Demonstrations
Because people have more time on vacation and the days are longer in summer, shoppers are typically more relaxed. This can be the perfect time to host a create in-store demo or introduce new products. Many tourist locales feature brand ambassadors in the summer offering tastings, showcases, and even opportunities to try out products. In some cases, the more family-friendly the demo, the better. If you have a product that appeals to kids and parents alike, this could be a great time to market it.
- Consider a Pop-Up Shop or Outdoor Space
Another way your brand can get more traction in the summertime is by taking advantage of the nice weather. Pop-up shops are becoming more common, especially in tourist towns. In Minett, Ontario, for example, there is an entire pop-up village on Lake Rosseau beside a popular marina and yoga studio. In previous years, stores like Lululemon, NeedSwim, Teekees, and more have set up shop for the summer months.
Even if a pop-up shop isn’t viable for your brand, there can be other outdoor opportunities. Farmers’ markets, outside demonstrations under a tent, a sponsored barbecue, summer festivals with vendor markets — many of these can be ways to get your brand seen in a new light.
If you’ve consistently found your sales dropping in the summer months, you don’t have to accept the loss. Get creative to find new strategies and ways to attract customers — you just might see the turnaround you’ve wanted.
You don’t have to develop your summer brand merchandising on your own. Storesupport Canada offers brand support services that can help. Take for example our Store Sales Force service. Our team can increase your coverage of hard-to-get-to areas, like Ontario’s cottage country. We also help with in-store booking, product promotion, and more.
Take advantage of summer branding opportunities with our services by calling 1-877-421-5081 or visiting www.storesupport.ca.