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Seasonal Marketing

Jan 25, 2022

Our Maverick Drycleaners members almost always see a decrease in sales of 15-20% each January (from the months before), but we often don’t understand why exactly it happens.

I want to offer an idea of why this drop in sales happens so we can learn about it, and can plan for the drop, and decide if we will do any marketing during this sleeper month.

We usually think of seasons in our business as changes in temperature – winter, spring, summer, and fall. But what happens in January is a different kind of season.

November and December are typically a season of excess. During these months, a lot of people overeat, drink too much, and spend too much. We feel great while we are doing it, but then afterward, we don’t feel so good.

For most of our clients, January begins a season of discipline. Some will try to plug in fad diets, others will quit drinking alcohol, and a lot of fitness equipment will be purchased. Their spending will slow during this season of discipline, as they catch up on credit cards bills or focus on the year ahead.

The good news for our businesses is this season of discipline is short-lived. It lasts about as long as it takes for the guilt of the previous season of excess to wear off, and I have found this is about 4-8 weeks. Most of us will regain the 15-20% drop by mid-February to March 1st at the latest.

The question becomes – when we know there is a dip coming, do we market the dip or wait it out? I would like to suggest that marketing the dip is okay, but the messaging must be done correctly. The best marketing enters a conversation already happening in your clients’ minds.

During this season of discipline, your clients are wanting to make smart decisions that will set them up for success in this year ahead. At In The Bag Cleaners, we focus on marketing our Time Saver subscriptions as a “smart decision” during this season. We also run our coat collection, where we will typically collect over 10,000 coats from January 5th- February 5th. Our message is to be smart – donate the coat you no longer wear as it will be a treasure to a neighbor in need. And we also make sure all clients know that with a donation, they can take 30% off their entire order during the campaign. That is a smart decision. Help someone else and help yourself all at the same time.

Overall, the rewards of marketing during a high season far exceed the rewards of marketing during a dip. But marketing during the dip can be effective if the messaging is right and congruent with how our clients are feeling and thinking. And if you have sat on the sidelines during this dip, don’t worry….. the guilt should be wearing off shortly.

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