A Halloween Marketing Story

By: Richard Michie

Our Halloween Marketing Story is set on a cloudy Sunday just outside Pontefract, a sleepy Yorkshire town once known for being the world centre for liquorice production, a very scary setting, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Don’t be scared it’s marketing not witchcraft

But we’re not here to be scared by our Halloween Marketing Story, no it’s more a miracle than a scare fest. This is the story of how at Halloween the sale price of the lowly pumpkin can rise from around £3 to an astonishing £45 or more through the miracle of marketing strategy!

You see, each year on the spookiest holiday of the year, Farmer Copleys near Pontefract performs a marketing miracle. And today in the pumpkin patch we discovered the secret of how to increase the value of the humble pumpkin massively.

How to pull off a Halloween miracle, here’s the recipe

  1. Take a well established holiday which suits your product perfectly.
    Farmer Copleys have loads of land for pumpkins, spot on for Halloween.
  2. Find your niche.
    They could easily grow their crop for the supermarkets, who will buy them low and retail high. In this scenario the farmer will be lucky to make a few pence per pumpkin, not much for all their hard labour. Instead looking for a way to make buying a pumpkin at Halloween part of the whole experience is the way to go. That way you can get much more per carveable squash.
  3. Create a demand and a spectacle.
    In this case the demand is already there, but if the experience is no better than going to Tesco, who’s going to remember that and make a special trip?
  4. Make your product scarce, so they’re hard to get.
    This year, due to previous years causing traffic jams and the covid considerations, the farm made visits to the pumpkin patch ticket only – £4 per person. No ticket, no carved lanterns gathering experience.
  5. Build a festival feel.
    Yes you could just walk into a field and grab a pumpkin, but why not come and have a burger, Chinese food, hot chocolate or candy floss too? While you’re here let the kids go on the bouncy castle.
  6. Once in the pumpkin patch make sure it’s MASSIVE!
    The drama of seeing a field of pumpkins isn’t something most people see these days, so make it special. Dotting skeletons and gravestones around won’t hurt either.
  7. Let your customers make their own selection.
    That was the main reason for coming after all. To help them get their huge orange squash back to their car hire them a wheelbarrow too, pumpkins are heavier than you think. And, perhaps, with a little encouragement customers will purchase more than one pumpkin for Halloween.
  8. Give them the option to carve their find before they leave.
    Get customers to stay longer by offering all the tools their kids need to make their pumpkin really scary. At the same time offer to take away the pumpkin flesh they scoop out saving them throwing it away themselves (most people don’t make soup or pies with it sadly).

Halloween Marketing

Magically increasing profits

If you go to Tesco you’ll pay as little as £1 for a pumpkin this year. But you won’t get a day out or any lasting memories from visiting their store. At this price lord knows how much farmers are making per pumpkin I reckon about 10 pence if they are lucky.

Our Halloween visit cost approximately £45, we stopped in the on site cafe for hot chocolate and buns afterwards too. As we only purchased one pumpkin, from just our family the farmer made at least £41.90 profit on our pumpkin against £0.10 selling it to Tesco. Needless to say the farm was packed when we visited and will be most days running up to Halloween.

Of course running this operation take a lot of work, investment in time, money, staffing, marketing and of course the foresight to see this opportunity.

The trick of adding value to a shopping experience is big news in retail at the moment as the pandemic has closed lots of big high street names and footfall is down massively. When you can easily shop online and have your shopping delivered to your door you need a good reason to leave the house?

We could, of course, have done the same with our pumpkin, but would we have these memories, would I be writing this blog? Don’t think so.

How could you make your product or service be more of an experience to purchase? If you could how much more could you charge for your pumpkins?

If you’d like help with creative marketing ideas to help you make more profits for your business call us on 0113 477 1210 or fill in the form.

 

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