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August is the last month of summer and consumers are scrambling to enjoy the end of the season while also preparing for an uncertain fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Back to school season is going to look different this year. However, from Senior Citizen's Day to end of summer sales, there are many opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences. Here’s how brands are using August’s festivities to connect with consumers.
30 years ago, Ronald Regan declared August 21st National Senior Citizen’s Day. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2035, more than 78 million senior citizens will live in America. To celebrate the day and connect with their senior citizen customers, Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine California gave visitors over 55 years of age 50% off. This promotion not only provides a monetary reason for seniors to visit the museum, it also promotes family togetherness and encourages grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren at the museum and build memories together. Although museums may not be open this August, there are still many creative and safe ways for senior citizens to spend time with their families.
On August 26th, 1920, the United States passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Ever since the 1970s, Women's Equality Day has been celebrated in the United States to commemorate the occasion. Feminine hygiene products company, Always, launched its #LikeAGirl campaign to coincide with Women’s Equality Day in 2014.
Always conducted a survey and found that 80% of girls feel pressured to be “perfect” which drives a fear of failure. And half of those girls feel paralyzed by this fear. Always decided to create a campaign that would empower women of all ages. The phrase “like a girl” has negative connotations. However, Always used the slogan while featuring successful women and girls in various fields and industries, to show that doing something “like a girl” is a compliment, not an insult.
With the season coming to a close, brands are looking to unload their summer stock to make way for new product launches in fall. Although the pandemic cast a pall over retail sales in March and April, May saw a growth of 18%, a strong indicator that consumers are ready to buy. Savvy consumers will snap up products that are heavily discounted, from cars to swimwear, there are lots of opportunities for brands to grab consumers’ attention.
Subscription active wear brand, Fabletics, launches a new fall clothing line every year. To clear out summer inventory they heavily discount their warm weather styles. Fabletics creates a sense of urgency by making sure consumers know the sale is for a limited time only and once something is sold out, it won’t be available again anytime soon. Now that most Americans are working from home and living in their athleisure wear, this year popular styles and sizes are going to sell quick.
Back to school shopping is essential for families. Consumers are looking to stock up on school supplies, fall/winter wardrobes and dorm necessities for new college students. However, back to school might look different in 2020, as some schools will be continuing home-based virtual learning while others navigate re-opening safely.
While it’s not certain what “back to school” will look like this year, retail’s heaviest hitters like Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s and Staples will all be running creative back to school campaigns designed to catch their target audience’s attention with promises of quality products at a fair price. Macy’s 2019 campaign, “All Brand New,” heavily incorporated social media. Macy’s became the exclusive sponsor of a Snapchat original series, “The Dead Girls Detective Agency.” The series was loaded with product placements and mentions of the Macy’s brand. It also featured a “swipe to shop” activation allowing viewers to nab products as soon as they see them. Macy’s also started a video-sharing challenge on Tik Tok. They encouraged their customers to share their recently purchased back to school looks.