It Is the Season to Be Jolly


There is nothing like the approach of Christmas to remind us of the seasons. After all, “it is the season to be jolly”. This has got us thinking about seasons and marketing, particularly business to business marketing.

It is surprising how little is written on the subject of seasons when it comes to marketing. There is an assumption that seasons just happen and marketing carries on willy-nilly. This is surely not the case.

For a start, we know that sales vary hugely across the seasons. For many companies (including our own) the final quarter of the year can be the best one for revenue. People have budgets which they want to spend before it expires and there can be a rush of orders in November and December. Tidying up financial accounts can mean that accounting firms are busy in December.

Of course, some businesses are seasonal because of the weather. Energy companies sell more in winter, the demand for farm equipment is highest in the spring and the summer, construction products fly off the shelves when the longer and warmer days come around. We take all this for granted and we have told you nothing new.

What if we told you that the seasons affect advocacy – the likelihood to recommend a company? We’ve examined 815 projects in which we asked people the likelihood of recommending brands (and here we mean business to business brands). It is the results of this question that gives us the Net Promoter Score. We found that if you ask people how likely they are to recommend a brand in winter it will be a higher score than if you ask the same question in the fall/autumn.

Average Net Promoter Score
Fall / Autumn
Total number of brands assessed

What is it about the fall/autumn that makes us more grumpy? Is it the thought of those long dark days that are waiting around the corner? And when we do get around the corner and we are in winter, what makes us more generous with our scores? Is it the prospect of those spring days that await us? Is it the season of goodwill that makes us so generous? These are things to think about as you toast your feet in front of the fire and drink your mulled wine.

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