September has always marked the end of summer and the start of a new chapter, but in light of the strangest year many of us have ever experienced, it’s safe to say that right now more than ever many of us are craving a breath of fresh air in our lives.
And as children finally get back into the classroom, it’s clear the usual ‘back to school’ feeling extends far beyond families. With students also going to university (albeit with restrictions in place), and office workers beginning to return to city centres, this September feels like a widespread reboot for the nation. Indeed, a recent survey commissioned by eBay Advertising found that 27% of consumers would be setting fresh intentions this September, to reset over the autumn months.
What does this mean for marketers? With 30% of consumers surveyed reporting that they want to be inspired by brands as they look for ways to reinvent themselves, and 40% saying they expect to spend more in the next three months than they did during the previous three, marketers have a great opportunity to inspire and engage shoppers this autumn. Here are some tips to bear in mind.
Not just a flash in the pan
Firstly, it’s important for brands to remember that this reboot opportunity goes far beyond the first couple of weeks of September.
Universities typically start term between the end of September and the beginning of October, which immediately lengthens this window of opportunity. And this year, as many offices slowly start to reopen for the first time in six months, workers will likely look to refresh their work wardrobes and stationery supplies, or simply explore the shops they’ve missed whilst stuck at home. From September through to October – when the clocks go back on 25th October – this year in particular will provide an ongoing ‘back to school’ moment for marketers to make the most of.
New autumnal intentions
So what are these new ‘autumnal intentions’, and how can brands tap into them? Our research found that the top resolution for this autumn is to be more active, with 33% of respondents reporting that this would be their focus. This was closely followed by the aim to eat more healthily (32% of respondents), be more organised (23%), and striving to look our best (20%). It’s clear consumers are planning to invest into their health and well-being – perhaps after being stuck inside during lockdown – as well as preparing to return to the worlds of school and work.
Marketers have a brilliant opportunity to engage audiences with content that inspires and speaks to their ‘autumnal intentions’, and personalisation is key. Starting afresh will look different for each individual, and so brands should ensure that they harness the freshest data in order to engage consumers with relevant messages that will really resonate with them.
Age is just a number
It’s not just young people who get the ‘back to school’ – or reboot – feeling. While the desire to start afresh this September was strongest amongst 16-24 years olds – with 47% of this age bracket reporting that they would be setting fresh intentions – as many as one in ten aged over 55s have reported feeling the same.
This suggests that for some of us, the ‘new school year’ mindset never grows old. Those in their 40s and 50s could be just as likely as students to buy organisers and diaries, look to improve their fitness, or invest in a new wardrobe. As autumnal intentions are set across the nation now and over the next few weeks, brands should consider how they can reach audiences across all age groups.
No time like the present
With consumers of all ages feeling the need for a new start more than ever this autumn, brands have an incredible opportunity to engage audiences with meaningful and engaging marketing campaigns that tap into ‘autumnal intentions’.
And with consumers looking to brands to be inspired – and ready to part with more cash than they have in recent times – this period could be particularly fruitful for the brands that get it right.