By: Kylee Reinert (@kyleereinert)
From changing leaves and cozy-but-not-too-cold weather to pumpkin patches with donuts and cider, fall is arguably the best season. It may have felt short this year is West Michigan, and we know its coming to a close as today is Halloween. Between the candy, costume parties, decorations, and haunted houses, people of all ages love this holiday. Americans spent $9 billion on Halloween-related purchases (yes, BILLION). This factor is great for some stores, as many release Halloween products in addition to their existing products, only bringing in more profits. But for stores specifically offering Halloween themed things, the fact that the season is so short can be… dare I say… spooky. Staying profitable and relevant when the majority, if not all of your inventory is only in demand for a few months each year is tricky. After doing a bit of research myself, here are the top things I discovered about the Halloween industry.
There isn’t really an offseason
Just because you cannot walk into a Spirit Halloween or go through a haunted house in April doesn’t mean they’re not working. Workers at Spirit will be starting to look for locations for the 2020 season practically tomorrow, finding the best places for the pop-up store. By late spring they will begin looking for seasonal employees, so when doors open in August they will be fully staffed. There’s always something to be doing with a company of this size. There’s lots of behind the scene work, even when we don’t realize it.
Keep your name in people’s minds
For experience-based festivities, this is equally important. Practically everyone knows what Spirit is, but for things like haunted houses and pumpkin patches, this can be trickier. These are often locally owned, so spreading the word in the community is key. Having actors or workers attend other local events dressed in costume or spreading information about the upcoming season is a great way to build relationships both with the community and other businesses. Having a solid local network is important for any business, especially one that only really creates revenue for one season each year.
Keep your content fresh
Whatever it is- from costumes to scenes in a haunted house, to candy- make sure it’s relevant. It’s important to always stay up to date with trends, as consumers are always looking for the next best thing. Sure Halloween has some classics like vampire costumes and spider decorations, and it’s important to offer things like that, but knowing when and how to switch things up is important. This could be anything from creating a costume from a viral meme to basing your haunted house off the IT movies. People are willing to buy into the latest and trendiest things. Keeping your content relevant keeps customers interested, and more willing to return the next spooky season.
With such a short time frame and a large customer base, selling Halloween themed products and services is a job that is tough to perfect. Knowing the market, knowing what customers want, working year-round, and working on spreading your reputation are some of the best ways to brands keep themselves from getting scared during this frightening holiday.
Kylee is a junior studying Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Psychology. This is her second year involved in PRSSA, and her first year as an Account Associate for GrandPR. Kylee hopes to use all her knowledge about Advertising to one day be a copywriter for an agency. In her free time, Kylee enjoys exploring Grand Rapids and its many coffee shops, relaxing with friends and family, and listening to music.