What Happened: When I was growing up, my grandpa would call me the night before the start of every new school year and sing, “The party’s overrrr.” Although the end of summer and the first day of school may signify the end of the party for students and teachers, the party is just beginning for brands. This year, in an effort to capitalize on the event, companies wasted no time flocking to Twitter and employing the hashtag #FirstDayofSchool. According to social analytics firm Topsy, #FirstDayofSchool has been tweeted more than 7,000 times over the past few weeks, with many of the tweets coming from brands across a wide range of industries.
What This Means for Brands: The first day of school is an event that pretty much any brand can identify with, which can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides a timely opportunity to increase loyalty and revenue for your brand. If strategy is not executed correctly, however, it can be very easy to get lost in the back-to-school marketing frenzy. One way to avoid the latter is to focus on audience. As with any kind of marketing, it is vital to know your target audience – whether it be teachers, parents or students. According to a recent Eyeview survey, about half (48%) of parents say their children make or influence final back to school purchase decisions. As a result, brands that focus on resonating with students in their #FirstDayofSchool tweets can expect a certain level of success. Technology brands such as Outlook often choose to focus on how their products can help students be successful during the upcoming school year. If your product is Puffs tissues, however, it makes more sense to bypass students and appeal to parents and the rollercoaster of emotions associated with sending your kids back to school.