Another year is swiftly coming to an end and this one will be remembered for a long time. As we close out the summer months and head into the fall, hopefully your store remains open. If you read our blog post last month about extending your season, then you know there is still time to salvage part of this shortened season. To that end, we want to take advantage of our extended time in the shop and capitalize on the fall and winter season to make additional profits or boost our year end sales.
A sure fire way to take advantage of the fall and winter season to create buzz for your store and add profits is with…SEASONAL PRODUCTS!
As you might've guessed seasonal products revolve around anything going on or related to the current or upcoming season. So, here are some tips to get you started on how to leverage the seasonal into additional profits and notoriety for your operation.
When developing seasonal products, whether it be an ice cream flavor or a special sundae, use your imagination. There is no limit to what you can create and there is no right or wrong. Fall presents a lot of opportunities for different flavors beyond just making pumpkin ice cream. You can combine two flavors to make one flavor such as apple cider cinnamon, or come up with unique fall flavors like ginger snap or fig. By adding other fall flavor toppings you can really create flavor combinations that are completely out of the box. Think syrups. Think candy corns. Think candy corn syrups….see where I’m headed? Though certain flavors may not be the best selling item or biggest profit maker, they do in turn help create a buzz around your store. Even if someone tries the flavor and doesn't wind up getting it, you still were able to get them out of their home and into your store to make a purchase. That will pay dividends for future seasons as well. If you aren’t the ‘creative’ type, than just type. What I mean is instead of using your brain for creativity, use your fingers to search what others are doing. Take the ideas to meld your own unique, creative additions.
As we mentioned, there is no right or wrong. You're in control of what you can make and what flavors or combinations you can create. Do not be afraid to try something new or something you always wanted to try. If it doesn't work, it's not a big deal. By creating a fall or winter products your ultimate goal is to get them into the store, drive thru or window to buy something. It's not a big deal if they order Mint Chocolate Chip instead of the wonderful fall flavor combination you created. The worst thing you can do is nothing. So don’t do nothing…..wait that’s a double negative. Don’t do anything. Wait…that’s night right either! Do anything! There it is!! Try things…anything. See what sticks.
Sure this sounds obvious for a seasonal blog. But what we mean is to stick to the season at hand. In fall, use fall flavors: pumpkin, snickerdoodle, ginger, apple pie. In the winter season, use winter flavors: eggnog, peppermint, Santa's cookies. Have a definitive dividing line between the seasons and sort your products accordingly. Have fall flavors for your ice cream, sundae's, milkshakes and blizzards (if you do them) and then do the same for your winter flavors. This gives you multiple marketing opportunities for your business with which to capitalize.
What going on this year or season that you can build an idea or flavor around? Back to school, elections...things that may only occur once in a while or yearly, but are a big deal when they do. This year is an election year and though it may be difficult to build particular flavors around that, you can still capitalize on the trend and create a theme around it. For instance, create a way where people can vote for their favorite flavor or product or even run an ice cream for president campaign. You could name flavors based on politics, have presidential favorite flavors or just have some simple red and blue products.
Topical themes and flavors are a great way to build and is something local to you that is a big deal every year. Incorporate it into your theme or flavors and you can attract a new or different kind of customer. Take advantage of what's going on out there. Just remember, if you do anything politically related - just keep it lighthearted. You're looking to sell ice cream, not make a political statement. Taking it too far can cause grief rather than good.
Be Social and Promote
Whatever it is you do, you need to promote it. Promote it at your store, promote it on your website, promote it on all your social media channels. Whatever the promotion is and whatever the channels are, get it out there. Make sure your customers and potential new customers know about what you're offering. Use pictures and imagery to go along with the posts and promotions. You sell visually appealing items so why not use those visuals in your social media? A picture says 1000 words so take pictures of the items. Take pictures of people enjoying the items. Take pictures of people taking pictures of people enjoying the items. The point is….be visual and be social.