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24/08/2019 Communication Science news and articles

Ho ho ho, holidays are here

How are companies trying to influence us regarding the holidays that are just around the corner?


The ‘pepernoten’ are back in stores, YouTubers are posting Halloween costume ideas again and Christmas is less than 80 days away. October seems to be the start of the holiday season. But why are we already being bombarded with holiday-themed ‘everything’ when the summer has only just ended? Are companies trying to influence us?

Creating holiday cheer 
When you think about it, there really is no better time to start preparing for the holiday season than September. The summer holidays have just ended and autumn is officially around the corner. Although leaves are not falling by the bunch just yet, the cold weather has manifested itself in the Netherlands. Marketers see this as the perfect opportunity to launch as many festive items as possible. Lush has started selling their Halloween and Christmas products and you can’t walk out of a Dutch supermarket without passing a Sinterklaas stand, complete with chocolate letters and other sweets related to the holiday.

It seems as though companies are preparing you for picturesque evenings with gingerbread smelling products and a bowl of pepernoten next to you. Realistically though, they are not painting that picture for the festive ambiance alone. By getting consumers in a festive mood, they hope to sell products that contribute to this merry spirit.

Companies are preparing you for picturesque evenings with gingerbread smelling products and a bowl of pepernoten next to you

Limited editions 
The Body Shop has started selling their Christmas advent calendar two days ago. Within their campaign, they have mentioned to ‘get them while you can’, which implies they are expecting to sell out of advent calendars quickly. But at the same time they are using a principle based on the fact that items in scarcity are more desirable by consumers than items that are more available.

By doing so, companies are trying to create an image of exclusivity associated with their products. When you only have one chance to buy a certain product or version, you might be more inclined to buy said product. But let’s face it, is that one ‘Christmas’-version of stationery really that much better than all the available options? Well, yes, maybe, a little bit.

Expensive gifts 
Another reason to start so early on with promoting holiday items, could involve expensive items. People tend to be more careful when buying expensive items, to ensure the product is worth its price. The process that precedes buying a pricey item can take up some time and companies are taking that into account when marketing their merchandise. Advice for businesses would be to promote offers for expensive items early on and for cheaper products nearer the actual holiday. As cheaper products are easier bought on a whim, this technique could be in the advantage of a business selling products.

In the end, it’s – almost – the most wonderful time of the year and no business-savvy marketing technique should hold us back from celebrating to the fullest. Whether you want to start your Christmas shopping already is up to you, but do keep in mind that Sinterklaas has not even left Spain yet to arrive in the Netherlands on November 12th.

Cover: Tamar Hellinga

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