When I was a teenager, my dad worked as the owner/operator of a painting business with a winter side gig of managing snow plowing contracts. During the cold and snowy months living in southern Ontario, when the forecast was calling for active weather, he would always say to my sisters and I,“white gold!” Because businesses needed their parking lots cleared for customers, this was his code for earning good money in a short period of time.
Admittedly, I thought the term sounded silly and often giggled to myself when he would say it. Fast forward 25 years later, I was recently consulting with a senior marketer of a national outdoor retail brand who said these exact words shortly before what would end up being one of the biggest snowfalls Ontario had seen in decades. I was immediately brought back to the days when my dad said the same thing.
The truth is – in Canada especially – weather can play a big role in driving business success (or not) for seasonal brands because of the power it has to create a stronger sense of urgency, heightened relevance, and in many cases, action. In this example, the idea was to leverage real-time weather data during the heaviest periods of the snowstorm and align it to various digital advertising activations. Myself included, many adapt to the situation at hand only once things around us begin to change.
The impact from changing weather is no different and offers the opportunity for brands of all types to connect with their customers in a meaningful way. In this case, with kids back at school and many now returning to the office in some form or another, consumers need the right gear to face the elements in front of them. I’ve worked with many seasonal brands who have taken similar approaches and had great success. Timing matters.
Now a father myself, it has never been more clear on how important timing is for many things, including a brand trying to speak to its audience in a relevant way by offering utility, meeting an immediate need, or inspiring pure indulgence.
“White gold!” Turns out my dad was right.