How to ensure your brand is top of mind during peak sales times and holidays

May 29th, 2024

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Francesca Nicasio
'tbh times' print newspaper in a stand

What's the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the phrase "warm up"?

Maybe you think of a car gradually getting ready to hit the road on a cold winter morning. Or, you could be a fitness enthusiast and think of athletes warming up before lifting weights.

Here at Tracksuit, we think of warming up in the context of brand building — particularly when it comes to peak sales occasions like Mother's Day,Valentine's Day and the end of year festive season. When you warm up and prime shoppers well before these events, you build awareness, familiarity and sometimes connection, ensuring your brand is at the top of their minds when they're ready to purchase. This is a concept called mental availability, meaning how readily your brand comes to mind when consumers think of a particular category.

To test this, when you think of makeup, what are the first three brands that come to mind? That’s mental availability. Of equal importance is physical availability, meaning how accessible your product is to buy. If you’re a healthy snack brand, you don’t want your customer to have to travel 10 miles to your nearest retailer, and if you’re a makeup brand you don’t want to charge $20 shipping to the state with your highest sales volume and biggest fanbase.

The importance of warming up customers before peak sales periods ⏰

Let's take a closer look at the benefits you'll unlock by launching brand-building initiatives early.

You have better chances of converting customers 📈 🛒

Investing in brand marketing with consistency during the off-season, allows you to tap into Future Demand, a concept that emphasizes the importance of long-term customer engagement.

Coined by Tracksuit co-founder James Hurman, the concept of Future Demand means creating brand awareness and preference long before customers are ready to buy.

James explainsOpens in new tab:

"In any market, there are two types of demand. I call them 'Existing Demand' (the people who are 'in the market' and ready to buy from a category now or in the very near future), and 'Future Demand' (the people who are not in the market and ready to buy now, but who will buy from the category sometime in the future)."

When you ramp up your brand efforts ahead of peak sales periods, you're able to build Future Demand. Then, when those key sales days roll along, your brand will be at the top of customers' minds, and they will be much more likely to convert compared to brands that are unfamiliar and new.

You'll cut through the competition 🎯📣

Establishing your brand early on is the best way to stand out during highly competitive marketing periods.

As Sam Sherson, Tracksuit's Head of Digital, points out, "When every brand in a category is fighting for share of voice around one particular sales event, the comms get cluttered and it overwhelms consumers."

That's why he recommends building your brand presence early.

"It's good to warm customers up in advance and not rely on the specific day. You could use Black Friday as an example here. People aren’t usually discovering your brand on the day, they go into it with a hit-list of brands they are waiting to go on sale and are generally primed for purchase. So for marketers that means when that time comes, are they going to remember your brand, choose a trusted experience, and value the little touches you offer? Chances are slim unless you have established these associations already in their minds”.

Better marketing ROI 🤑

Another downside of concentrating all your marketing efforts during peak sales periods is that you're faced with higher competition and ad spend. Advertising costs spike dramatically during these events, so you won't get the most bang for your performance buck when you run marketing at this time.

You're much better off spreading your marketing dollars throughout the year to reach customers when other advertisers aren't quite as active and you can establish your unique point of difference.

4 Tips to help you prepare for — and win — key sales events

If you made it this far, we hope you're on board with warming up your customers before the shopping frenzies begin.

Now, let's explore ways to do just that.

Start early 🗓️

The early marketer gets the sale. Google searches for festive season gifts are starting as early as August these days. If you want to capture customer spending during important shopping days, you must ensure that you're top of mind in the weeks and months leading up to the event.

How early should you begin? We recommend ramping up your brand efforts at least six months before peak sales periods, if not longer. This will give you enough time to build brand awareness, create engagement, and establish a strong presence in your customers' minds.

Go omnichannel with your brand initiatives 🌐

It's no secret that consumers today use multiple channels to research, browse, compare, and buy. It's pretty common for a customer to discover products on social media, do deeper research online, and maybe even check them out in person.

So, to get on people's radars, you need to meet them where they are. Determine which channels your target audience frequents, and invest in those platforms consistently to build share of voice. Depending on your brand, this could mean launching initiatives across a variety of channels, including:

  • Search engines
  • Social media
  • OOH advertising
  • Offline activations like pop-ups and trade events

Whatever the case, ensure your brand messaging is consistent and engaging across all these touchpoints to maximize your reach and impact.

Of course, smart marketers are using Tracksuit to measure the impact of their brand marketing plays by keeping an eye on shifts in their funnel metrics in the months leading up to and following peak sale campaigns.

Don't forget about your non-paid marketing channels 🙌

Organic search. Organic socials. Word of mouth. Email campaigns. These are all examples of non-paid channels that can help you build lasting customer relationships and drive engagement.

That's why it's also essential to build a solid foundation of these non-paid initiatives. These efforts will complement your paid branding initiatives AND reduce your reliance on high advertising costs during peak periods.

Remember, strong non-paid channels provide consistent traffic and engagement, allowing you to be more strategic with your advertising spend.

Analyze and optimize 🕵️🧐

How do you know if you're successful at warming up your customers? Make sure you’re measuring your brand-building efforts. Track your brand health performance across the year so you can keep any eye on uplifts in your funnel metrics in the lead up and months after your peak seasons.

With Tracksuit, you’ll have insight into:

  • All your fundamental brand metrics - and those of your competitors
  • Brand perception and association
  • Brand performance throughout different stages of the funnel
  • Your top audience demographics

The key is to consistently measure your brand's performance in the market. Instead of getting a brand performance snapshot every quarter or once a year, you should track your efforts on an ongoing basis.

Thanks to Tracksuit's intuitive and highly visual dashboards, you don't have to be a data scientist to understand your metrics. Our beautiful graphs and charts make it effortless to spot trends and uncover insights that can inform your marketing strategy.

With the Milestone feature, you can drop markers into your Timeline view to indicate when a campaign kicked off and ended, so you can easily spot any shifts in your brand metrics in the months post campaign. In the KFC dashboard below, three Milestone markers have been dropped over the past 12 months.

Final words 💜

Staying ahead in the marketing game is all about foresight and preparation. Warming up potential customers ahead of significant sales events puts you in the best possible position to engage and convert them at the right time.

So, invest in those brand campaigns sooner rather than later, and see to it that you measure your performance so you can optimize accordingly.

Haven’t teamed up with Tracksuit yet? Take us for a spin! Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your brand, and one of our brand experts will be in touch soon. Book a demo here.


Start growing your brand today.