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12 Ways for Seasonal Brands to Stay on Consumers’ Radar

“Out of sight, out of mind” need not apply to brands that are seasonal, annual or under renovation. Multiple marketing options, beyond having a social media or mobile presence, allow for destinations, museums, hotels, TV series, film festivals and sporting events to remain relevant throughout the year.

We’ve gathered twelve methods across categories to show how selected brands remain in public view. While these are similar to initiatives that year-round brands use, they often require more resourcefulness and additional resources.

     Make your presence known

1. Events: Offering a rich history, scenic countryside and famous golf courses, Scotland is a popular destination. During off-season April, Scotland hosts Tartan Week in New York. Festivities include a parade with Scots (and Scottish terriers) in kilts, and a trendy plaid fashion show.

2. Pop-up/temporary exhibits: Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum closed temporarily for an upgrade and will re-open this spring. Meanwhile, museum-goers can view the Dutch painter’s works at Amsterdam’s Hermitage museum.

     Get the word out

3. Generate buzz: Last year when New York’s legendary Waldorf Astoria was under construction, the hotel created an amnesty program  where prior guests were encouraged to return items they’d “borrowed” during their stays to showcase in the lobby. The program was intended to feed the hotel’s social media platforms and appeal to younger guests.

4. Sharing expertise: New York’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is currently closed during renovations. To draw designers’ notice, their acting director and curators started a blog. Called Object of the Day, it features graphic design items from the museum’s collection.

     Brand extensions

5. New location spin-offs: In 2002 Tribeca Film Festival launched to revive downtown New York after 9/11’s terrorist attack. The brand expanded its universe in 2010 by adding a Doha, Qatar location. In 2012 Sundance Film Festival introduced a London edition.

6. Counter-seasonal additions: Marketers learned about these brand extensions from the ski industry. Years ago Aspen was known just for snow sports. Ever since Aspen’s Food & Wine Classic was introduced, the town is also recognized for summertime culinary fare. Countless brands have copied this concept.

     Games rule

7. Contests: One of tennis’ Grand Slam events, the U.S. Open tournament, takes place in New York in late summer. To build tennis fans’ interest during the months leading to the 2011 event, the USTA hosted a multimedia contest, “Follow me to the U.S. Open.”

8. Awards: Held annually in New York in October, Advertising Week launched the Hubies to poke fun at industry narcissism, with categories such as ‘best self-promoter’. The organizer hosted the awards show in February. (Nominees showed up with large entourages).

     Stay connected

9. E-newsletters: Most brands keep in touch with customers via newsletter, and the most effective content goes beyond direct sales pitches. In its April off-peak season newsletter, Switzerland Tourism wrote about an episode of CBSAmazing Race being filmed there.

10. Partnerships: It seems Mad Men is off the air more than on, much to the chagrin of its loyal fans. To keep the series front and center, AMC network partnered with retailer Banana Republic to feature Mad Men-inspired clothes.

     Socialize and social good

11. Entertainment: In late May Internet Week will be held in New York. To spark renewed interest among prior attendees, event organizers are hosting an April party to preview Vice Motherboard’s IWNY series.

12. Cause marketing: Recently Social Media Week announced the launch of CrowdFundX, to link startup businesses with investors in local communities.

Of course, not every brand was founded by Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, hosts presidents and royalty, features art masterpieces, world class sports, fabulous mountains or adorable dogs. Still, with similar types of initiatives, your brand can also retain the limelight and approach “always on” status.

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