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ccasions are important in retailing because they provide a point of relevance and are the reasons that shoppers are coming to you outside of their routine stock up and top ups of regular products. With occasion-based retailing, because you’re fulfilling a specific need, and telling a story, price becomes less important. Previously I’ve written about specific kinds of occasions, ranging from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day and gifting. These are examples of what I would call ‘retail occasions’. Here I’m going to overview these and some of the other types of occasions. You’ll see there are enough occasions to fill a calendar for pretty much the whole year. The timing of some may overlap, and you can’t do everything at once, but even if you have just one rotating display in the store that you change out every two weeks (which may or may not be linked to the promotional products program), you’re providing an ongoing point of interest, relevance and news for shoppers, particularly those who may be visiting you several times a month. The aim is to create the impression for shoppers that you are their destination irrespective of what their need or occasion is. Broadly I define types of occasions in this way: • Retail and gifting occasions • Commemorative and religious • Sporting and events • Consumption occasions • Seasonal A short outline of each group follows. Note for the purposes of this I haven’t included ‘sale’ driven events such as End of Financial Year, Black Friday, Cyber Monday Click Frenzy, Boxing Day sales etc. Although these are retail events, they are driven by retailer ‘push’ rather than a cultural occasion or individual consumer need that creates ‘pull’.

RETAIL AND GIFTING OCCASIONS Aside from individuals’ birthdays, the most commonly executed occasions on the retailing calendar include Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween (increasingly), and Christmas. (Christmas would also sit in Religious). As discussed previously, liquor can fulfil the role of either ‘main’ or ‘fall back’ gift depending on how premium it is and whether


or not it is the recipient’s preferred or favourite drink. Retail gifting occasions are an opportunity to up trade shoppers as they are looking to add value (quality) to the gift itself rather than a bargain for themselves.

COMMEMORATIVE AND RELIGIOUS This is everything from Australia Day, Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday and New Year’s Eve through to Easter, All Saints Day/Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo, St Patrick’s Day, Bastille Day, US Independence day etc. Many of these offer an opportunity to showcase something specific to the country of origin. Obvious examples include Guinness and Irish Whiskey for St Patrick’s Day, Bordeaux reds for Bastille Day, top end Bourbon for Independence Day, tequila for Cinco de Mayo and Day of the Dead. The public holiday occasions such as Australia Day are well understood as barbeque and picnic occasions and should have ‘barbie packs’, ‘picnic packs’ and ‘party zones’ executed accordingly.

SPORTING AND EVENTS This is probably the occasion that is most activated after retail gifting. It includes events such as footy finals, Olympics, even simply the Boxing Day test. As discussed it involves marketing to blokes sitting on the couch and possibly having other blokes around to sit on the couch with them. These events should be marketed with various snack and food types for the ‘sport on TV’ occasion.

CONSUMPTION OCCASIONS Here is where there’s a real opportunity to tap into consumers’ need states. Consumption occasions can range from occasions for self, such as ‘weeknight wind down’, through to various types of entertaining occasions other than barbecues, such as ‘impress your friends at dinner’, ‘dinner party’, ‘dinner out’, and parties of varying sizes and levels of formality. The more formal, the more premium you can go.

SEASONAL Another underutilised opportunity is based around the seasons of the year – summer, autumn, winter and spring. ‘Winter Warmers’ is done occasionally using red wines and spirits such as Scotch and Bundaberg Rum, but dark beers are also an opportunity here as is Bourbon. Summer is an opportunity for clean crisp wine styles – rosé, Moscato, Prosecco etc – as well as white spirits. Diageo did a good job a few years ago with its ‘Summer Drinks’ occasions program that broke down summer drinking occasions into types of consumption and need states – celebratory, low key barbeque, upmarket cocktails etc. It goes without saying that it’s not enough to just activate in-store, these occasions should be promoted through your other marketing mechanisms including catalogue, website and in your customer eDMs etc. Happy occasion calendar building!

National Liquor News May 2018  

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS prides itself on delivering Australia’s liquor industry the most relevant and accurate news across the trade. It includ...

National Liquor News May 2018  

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS prides itself on delivering Australia’s liquor industry the most relevant and accurate news across the trade. It includ...