How to sell a seasonal product all year around

How to sell a seasonal product all year around

I’ve started seeing “Fireworks for Sale” signs popping up on the roadside over the past few weeks. Fireworks are the perfect example of a seasonal product, and I often wonder what the pyrotechnics guys do the rest of the year to keep income coming in, apart from the occasional speedway event or high-society wedding.

Even on Guy Fawkes Night, how do they make the most of their service? Surely they’d only be able to do one event, two at a push, what with the set-up, execution and traveling between sites and everyone wanting their public displays to go off at around 9pm?

Quite a few business have products or services that are most definitely seasonal. Selling Christmas trees, Halloween paraphernalia, high-school ball season, even some small coastal towns (like Whangamata) that experience most of their turnover during summer – if your offering is based solely on a certain time of the year or occasion, you really have to make the most of it.

Or you need to think of a way that you can make your product less seasonal. For some that can be impossible, right? Christmas trees outside of December? Valentine’s Day cards outside of February? Easter eggs outside of April? Well, hang on there one minute…

Let’s talk about the Creme Egg, one of Cadbury’s offerings. Those little rugby-ball shapes of goodness must sell their socks off at Easter time – people go nuts for them and they adorn every counter I come across: petrol stations, supermarkets, supermarkets, my kitchen bench…

In recent years I’ve noticed them lingering on shelves a while after Easter has come and gone, and then I’ve spied them sneaking onto shelves not long after the New Year. Lengthening their time on shelf is one way to try and increase sales. But there’s a certain stigma to Creme Eggs being sold outside of Easter-time – customers perceive them as being old stock, so are a bit wary about indulging.

Until now… It looks like some clever clogs at Cadbury has had a light bulb moment. In our local The Warehouse store today I spied the iconic Creme Egg, but cosseted in a new get-up… Just in time for Halloween, the Creme Egg has become… the Scream Egg! Pure brilliance! Same product, a new outfit and a new occasion to hinge sales on and Cadbury has scored themselves a whole new load of sales and a whole new revenue stream.

If you have a product or service that’s purely based on one time of the year or certain occasion, can you gussy it up to suit another? Double your exposure, double your relevancy?

Zac de Silva is a business coach and former owner of Barkers Menswear. He currently runs Business Changing and works with over 70 clients, including BNZ, Westfield, Huffer, Foodstuffs, The Icehouse and Les Mills.