This month, media outlets across the nation are all abuzz about consumer spending for Halloween. It’s $7.4 billion price tag and 62% ten-year growth rate makes it the holiday with the fastest growth rate for consumer purchasing and lands it in second place when it comes to spending for all holidays in the U.S.
Here’s why, and here’s how you can increase your share of consumer spending with small Halloween marketing strategies.
TEEEM #Halloween: Why Consumers are Set to Spend $7.5 Billion on Halloween this Year
While discussing the popularity of Halloween with U.S. consumers with someone in the media, I was asked whether I thought there were other holidays that might spark the same level of enthusiasm and – thus – generate sales revenues for small businesses. My answer? I don’t think so.
Why TEEEM Halloween is #Winning
There are many reasons being suggested as to why Halloween is so popular with US consumers, and why its growth rate is so steep when compared to spending on other holidays as well as the retail economy as a whole. I came up with three characteristics unique to Halloween that will make it difficult to replicate in terms of triggering consumer spending – whether it’s another holiday or another brand that is looking to find Halloween’s magic formula.
Halloween Marketing: What is TEEEM Halloween – and Why is it #Winning?
My misspell of “team” is intentional. It comes down to three “E” words that Halloween has successfully put to work in order to win as the U.S. consumer’s most popular holiday.
Thinking about Halloween triggers all kinds of emotions, including a trip back to childhood when the hardest thing you might have to do in the month of October was figure out what you were going to wear for Halloween. It provides the opportunity to connect emotionally with family members as you decide what to dress your kids – or your pets – up for Halloween. And it provides happiness by facilitating the opportunity for you to socialize or party with neighbors, co-workers and friends.
Not to mention the fact that Halloween leverages our most irresistible citizens, our children, as its defacto marketing force – talk about emotional appeal!
Halloween is generating big sales, but it’s not about the products, it’s about the experience. From haunted houses to corn mazes to pumpkin patches to dressing up in a fantasy costume and playing the role, Halloween provides experience after experience which can be enjoyed by individuals, families, friends, neighborhoods and groups in sizes small to large.
- 33 million people will go to a haunted house in 2014
- 54 million people will attend – or throw – a Halloween party in 2014
- 23 million people will dress up their pets
Whole groups of office staff will come up with a theme and dress accordingly. In fact, more adults than ever before are choosing to experience Halloween themselves, rather than just leaving it to the kids to celebrate. And most celebrate it in the same way that they did as kids, by dressing up, hanging out with friends and indulging in sweets that they might try to deny themselves at other times during the year.
To add to all of that, this experience will be socially validated for most as photos of their pets, kids or themselves dressed in costume get shared across social networks.
Emblems, most of which must be replaced annually, mean big wins for retailers that specialize in Halloween inventory or successfully create a niche market for themselves in decorations, costumes, candy or some other Halloween staple item. Some of the emblems of Halloween which are helping to boost retail sales this month include:
- $2.8 billion on Halloween costumes – and only 6% will wear something they’ve worn before
- $1.1 billion on kids costumes
- $2.2 billion on candy
- $350 million on greeting cards
- $2 billion on Halloween decorations for the yard, home, office, etc.
Elizabeth Kraus is the marketing manager for business cash advance and receivables factoring company DB Squared Inc. and the author of From Beginning to End: 2014 Small Business Marketing Calendar, available on amazon.com.