How to Leverage End of Summer Sales to Boost Your Brand

Another Labor Day is in the books and kids all over the country are back in school.  To hear some tell it, the calendar is now just a countdown until Black Friday and the “real” work can begin. Of course, you’re not someone who believes in such things!  The end of the summer season is a perfect opportunity to bring retail shoppers into your place of business and capitalize on the fact that as the leaves change and the days grow shorter, your marketing efforts shouldn’t be stuck in a holding pattern until Halloween and Thanksgiving.



Flag Down Those Shoppers
For retail businesses located in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, an end-of-season sidewalk sale can be a good way to attract shoppers. Going outside with clothing racks and/or tables of sale merchandise, you’ll be noticed by passers-by.  For the moment, let’s assume that you are well aware of any city ordinances or local rules about putting merchandise or any other structure outside of your shop, and that is not going to be an issue. Especially while the weather is still warm enough to let people enjoy strolling and browsing, the novelty of a sidewalk sale can be a benefit to a brick and mortar retail establishment.

Now is also a great time to catch the eye of passers-by on foot or in their cars. If you have a branded flag for your location you’ll certainly get noticed at the many festivals that take place in the September and October months.  Take a look at the offerings at flags.  You can find an affordable and easily customized outdoor flag in whatever size and style you want.

One fun idea could be to create a special offer for customers who take a selfie next to your flag and share the image on social media with a mention of your business. You could offer them a small gift, or a voucher good for a discount on their next full-price purchase. But most importantly, it’s a way to reach out to customers who like your business enough to share news about it on social media!

Oktoberfest gets lots of attendance as do other street festivals and community events. Participating in these types of activities and celebrations can be a fantastic way to bring visibility to your business, so you might find some benefit from getting involved by renting a booth or becoming a sponsor.

Team Up For Greater Reach
Partnerships can be a fantastic opportunity to increase your business at this time of year and also to make connections with other complementary businesses.  For example: A restaurant could offer a discount to couples or groups who patronize a local dance studio. In turn, the dance studio could let their students know that the local restaurant offers a signature dish or dessert for the dancers if they patronize the restaurant and mention the dance school.

Don’t underestimate the power of local sports teams. If you’re a booster for the local high school football program, or if your business is in an area where the college or pro team takes over the weekends, you can certainly get creative about how to get customers who are fans. Pizza chains and fast food places often do well at this kind of thing with promotions such as “Free drink with large sandwich order if our team wins!”  Get creative and have fun. If it’s homecoming weekend and the town has lots of travelers, what incentive can you think of to get families and alumni into your business?



Take Advantage of Offbeat Holidays
Between Labor Day and Halloween, there are a number of days of commemoration and celebration that range from the silly to the profound.  There’s Guacamole Day, held on September 16, and International Coffee Day on October 1. These are pretty easy dates for food businesses to use in their marketing strategies.  But what if you’re a dry cleaner? How about letting people know that they can get a free cup of gourmet coffee when dropping off or picking up dry cleaning or a side of free guacamole if they show their cleaning receipt at the local taco joint?  There really is no limit to how much fun and how much business your and your potential partners can drum up!

This time of year is ripe for the pumpkin flavor onslaught.  And this might actually be something that can help you market your business in a cheeky and unique way. While some folks don’t have any particular affinity for pumpkin and spice, there are any number of people who love the flavors and can’t wait until it’s sweater weather and they are free to see the world through orange pumpkin eyes!   Might it make sense to jump on the bandwagon and let your clients know that they are free to enjoy pumpkin spice with you? Or maybe you’re #TeamAppleCider and you need to let your customers know that yours is a store divided. They can come in and enjoy a warm fruit drink while they shop and they can cast their votes for which is the better fall flavor.  There might be no better example of the old statement usually sighed with resignation, “If you can’t beat them, join them!”

Child Health Day is observed on the first Monday of every October. If yours is a business that serves children in any capacity, this is a day you definitely want to mention in your marketing efforts! And if your business doesn’t particularly concern children, could serving parents make for an easy reminder that self-care means taking care of one’s own inner child?

Don’t read too much into the fact that Boss’ Day, October 16, is right between the International Moment of Frustration Scream Day on October 12 and Evaluate Your Life Day on October 19.  If yours is a service business, perhaps this is a good time to remind people they’ve wanted coaching and now is a perfect time to evaluate their choices.  Or perhaps your cleaning service can give families one fewer reason to scream this month.

The key is to keep in mind that there are definitely a number of ways to reach out and encourage your customers to think of your business and how much they need you.

Modern consumers demand a personal touch, and they report that they don’t like feeling “sold to” or approached in a generic manner.  So this time of year is a good one to let your business personality shine through and flag down some new consumers who might become your biggest champions.

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