Christmas, the season of giving and receiving; for business this is that one time of the year where they come up with new business strategies to give consumers what we think we want so that they get more sales. In this article I will be evaluating three different yet similar markets and will briefly delve into the brilliant ways they take advantage of this festive season.
The first is obviously the fashion industry. With their seasonal sales, colours and clothes, subconsciously many of us realise that buying clothes that are on sale is really just the companies’ way of getting rid of stock or to aid them in breaking-even. However, for certain brands like Burberry or Prada the price of their product tends to still be outrageously high priced even after discount. So why do people still buy it, when they know that a key chain costing £100 is really not worth it? It’s simple, the ideology of the everyday consumer is that due to its cheaper price they are benefitting as they view it as a good bargain, when in reality high end brands price their goods at impossibly high-prices to begin with, so that when they go on sale they actually still earn profit rather than make a loss by keeping the products in stock. The fashion industry has particular trends for each season focusing mainly on colour and pattern schemes in order to attract customers who buy these new products because it’s seen as popular and a ‘once in a life time’ opportunity despite the fact that they do not need it.
Another market that uses this technique is the restaurant industry. Every Christmas restaurant around the world will tend to create a special Christmas menu that most people are compelled to try. How this strategy differs from the one used in fashion is that these are aimed more to attract customers to enter a restaurant, and ensure if they choose something that is not on the menu with a higher price then it is merely a bonus for them. Coffee shops such as Starbucks do this very well with their special peppermint hot chocolate that can only be bought during the Christmas season; Starbucks is constantly coming up with different blends for people to have a taste of. Much like the fashion industry though, Starbuck’s special blends such as their Toffee Nut Latte are more expensive than your average Americano. From my observations these specials are highly popular amongst the public as they constantly run out. In fact, according to Forbes, Starbucks fourth quarter fiscal earnings are a staggering $3.8 billion, which is a 13% increase since last year. Research shows that besides the slight dip between 2008-2009 this coffee chain is going from good to surpassing its revenues even before the recession, thus showing the effectiveness of the business’ tactics that undoubtedly will continue bring Starbucks to new heights.
Finally, is the supermarket/food industry that many believe is not so dissimilar from the restaurant business, but which in my opinion they could not be any more different. Generally, people already have a supermarket or food product that they are loyal to, so similar to the restaurant business, attracting customers is the main goal but the strategies used are different. This industry strangely enough mirrors the fashion industry in the sense that they use discounts to ‘bribe’ people to shop at that particular supermarket or for that particular good. In spite of earlier implications, this is not something that is just done at the end of a season and is ongoing as a result of the goods being perishable. So, a common strategy used by businesses is to use promotions such as buy 1 get 1 free in order to get rid of stock and draw in people to buy more goods. However, what is very distinct is that businesses re-brand themselves in order to echo the Christmas season and almost take advantage of people festive moods. Opposite to the two previous industries the product itself doesn’t change but the brand itself gets a make over whether it is by changing the style of packaging or the way the words are shown. A good example of this is Coca-Cola where they advertise the product in such a way that one would perceive the red colour of the can to be a part of the whole Christmas experience.
In conclusion, these businesses have similarities and differences in the way they tackle the Christmas season. The one feature that is evident in all of these industries is that they understand how the average consumer thinks and with the joys of the holiday season, they sure know how give and receive their Christmas Business Strategies.