Orange may be the new black – but come fall, it’s also the new green – or more accurately, a new source of green. Ever since Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte back in 2003 and enjoyed cult-level success, dozens of other companies have tried to capitalize on the pumpkin craze with their own pumpkin-themed products.
The pumpkin-spice craze is a classic example of seasonal marketing, which involves offering a product – often tied to a particular season or event – on a limited basis year after year. The product’s scarcity builds anticipation and ultimately results in customers over-buying because they realize the product won’t be around for another year.
Can solos and smalls implement the same principles of seasonal marketing as Starbucks and other food companies? Sure. Moreover, it doesn’t have to be done in a gimmicky way – like the family law attorneys who offer free divorces as a Valentines’ Day special. Instead, lawyers should examine whether their clients might have need a particular service at a certain time of year. For example, many lawyers recommend that college students sign a durable power of attorney and health care proxy before leaving for college. A trust and estates or family law firm could make these forms available for clients every fall. A student loan lawyer might offer discounted consultations every fall on ways to avoid default – and promote them to either new graduates, or their parents, as gifts.
The end of the year is a good time for tying up loose ends. So a small business firm might offer an end of the year discount on business audits, or strategy sessions on new laws taking effect the following year.
In addition to traditional seasonal events, new ones are created all the time. For example, October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On top of that, each day of October and every month includes around 4-5 additional “holidays” like National Depression Screening Day or National Fluffernutter Day. Often these dates garner local news coverage, so tying a law firm public service pro bono activity into one of these events could generate some free publicity for your practice.
Finally, seasons also offer a great opportunity for law firms to create their own annual traditions. Maybe your firm sends out annual reports, sponsors a float in a Memorial Day or July 4 parade or has become known for a fun holiday party or New Years’ open house for colleagues.
The most important part of seasonal marketing is consistency: offering a special or a program year after year until it becomes a tradition. In that way, you can keep yourself at the front of your client’s mind all year long.
Does your firm have a seasonal marketing tradition? Please share it with us in the comments below.