Autumn will not officially begin until the end of September. Unofficially, the fall began in August, when Starbucks ’beloved seasonal drinks arrived at the earliest.
Pumpkin has come to chat. 🎃
– Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) August 24, 2021
Starbucks may be the major supplier of pumpkin-flavored coffee, but it’s just one of many brands that redeem fall flavors, celebrations and cozy feelings. Using the Sprout Social Advanced Listening Tool, we analyzed more than 106,300 tweets and Instagram posts from August 23, 2021 to September 13, 2021 to take a closer look at the social hype surrounding fall tastes. Keep reading to get five takeaway marketers who can apply to their seasonal marketing strategies.
1. Act in anticipation of fall early
This year, the anticipation and excitement of autumn began to build early. In July 2021 “I can’t wait for autumn” Tweets up 112% compared to June.
Discussions about the tastes of the fall intensified significantly on the day Starbucks announced its fallen menu and again on September 1st.
Summer temperatures may still be hanging hard in most parts of the United States, but the change in discussions is in line with a change in consumer thinking and seasonal marketing. If you want to take advantage of the opportunities during pumpkin seasoning, companies need to consider their approach long before the weather cools.
Go to social media discussions early and often to understand what your customers expect, what they want to see about your brand, what signs of autumn they enjoy, and other insights to support the strategy.
2. Introduce new flavors and products that consumers like
Pumpkin seasoning regularly dominates the fall flavor combination, but this year others are glowing in coffee drinks and social media.
In addition to the typical pumpkin drinks, Starbucks introduced the new Apple Crisp Macchiato. Meanwhile, Dunkin ’introduced his apple cranberry ice cream.
In terms of volume, the debate leans in favor of pumpkins, but people are particularly positive about apples — 74% of social messages about apple flavors were positive, while only 43% of messages were about pumpkin spices.
okay @Starbucks It didn’t have to go as hard as with this apple pie macchiato. I come back every day, please
– madelyn 🌻 (@ maddybrown225) September 9, 2021
In such a pumpkin-saturated market, broadening your horizons and experimenting with extra flavors is a way to differentiate your brand. Autumn is a good time to introduce something new, whether it’s a seasonal or a permanent product, especially when the holidays and the rest of the year’s work are just around the corner.
1. Translate a new magazine with social information and consumer feedback
Starbucks and Dunkin ’are ready to sell their seasonal drinks every fall, but if your brand is considering creating new seasonal products or menus, the process can take you anywhere 12-18 months. Social, the world’s largest and most open target group, brands can see innovation differently.
By using social listening and gathering direct feedback from your customers throughout the year, your brand can use the information to influence your fall product strategy, reinforce your decision to bring back tried and tested favorites, or introduce something completely new that your customers have called for. Need help finding inspiration? Ask your audience directly about what products they want to see about your brand.
The atmosphere of autumn begins to flow in
What would you like to see this fall? Returning scents, new scents? 👀 pic.twitter.com/PG1j3BhPT7
– tarabusi creek (@tarabusicreek) July 27, 2020
4. Take notes on what’s new
In the summer, Kraft released a limited edition of mac- and cheese-flavored ice cream. The novelty, scarcity and unusual taste of the product made curious consumers wonder if it really is of any use? Result-all 6,000 pots were sold in less than an hour.
This fall, other companies have taken a similar approach and hoped to benefit from the novelty of applying seasonal flavors to unexpected products. Bud Light introduced its “Fall Flannel Seltzer” package, which included pumpkin spices, maple pears, apple pie and even toasted marshmallows.
Cup Noodles unveiled their own curious creation – pumpkin spice ramen.
YES, THANK YOU, CUP MAN !!! We take ABSO-PUMPKIN-LUTELY GOOD, STEAMING, LARGE CUP PUMPKIN SPICES !!!!
COME TO CHOOSE WALMART LOCATIONS NEARBY IN OCTOBER. (YES REALLY.) pic.twitter.com/rZXba1qQay
– Original Cup Noodles (@OrigCupNoodles) September 8, 2021
There is a shock in these products, but they arouse interest and make people talk socially. While these products may not have the enduring power of PSL, the novelty may be enough to promote shopping, meme-enabled social messaging options, and user-generated content. TikTok, for example, is full of people trying out the Bud Light flannel package.
A publication limited by such products creates a feeling of scarcity that causes consumers to move quickly and get it before it is gone.
5. Focus on emotions rather than tastes
Autumn is more than flavors, it’s a feeling. Sweater, apple picking, scary season, football, festive family time – autumn includes lots of moments with warm, nostalgic connections. Brands that successfully inject it into their seasonal marketing campaigns are making a positive impact.
Even if your brand may not have a fall-focused product, you can take advantage of this feeling and positive associations with fall moods in your message and seasonal content.
Let your seasonal marketing face social
Pumpkin spice fever is here to stay, but consumer preferences continue. The most effective seasonal marketing strategies are those that put customers first and show an understanding of their wants and needs. Social listening is critical to gaining this understanding.
Download this guide to learn about about 40 unique listening examples and real-life use cases to help inspire your own marketing strategies throughout the year.