How Brands Use the Fresh Start Effect to Get You Shopping

Special occasions like birthdays and the New Year’s season are the perfect opportunity for most people to reflect on their mistakes and make resolutions for a fresh start. But have you realized that brands use this tendency to their advantage? Let’s see how brands take advantage of the “fresh start effect” on special occasions to meet their marketing targets and boost their sales.

What is the Fresh Start Effect?

There are times where we want to start things fresh. And, special occasions like birthdays and the New Year’s Day are the perfect times to find some motivation to get rid of negative habits, take up a new hobby, start exercising, eating healthily, etc. 

On such occasions, we tend to look at our lives from a wider perspective and have a more critical approach towards our lives, which motivates us for a fresh start. So, it is not a coincidence that we feel in the mood for change on special days like our birthday, for instance. On other days, we don’t feel the that motivated for new beginnings. The reason we feel differently on our birthday or with a new year in the horizon is that we feel like we are offered a clean page. And, we feel hopeful that we have the power to fill it with beautiful things that we normally shy away from doing. In order words, we use temporal landmarks as an excuse to find the motivation to make a change in our lives. 

Fresh Start Effect in Online Shopping

The fresh start effect born out of a special occasion or a temporal landmark is also a marketing tool that brands often use to encourage customers for shopping. Online stores know how motivated customers get during such periods, and they know that this motivation can be translated into needing or buying new things to “start afresh”. We are all familiar with marketing campaigns like “New Year, New You” as well as personalized marketing content and coupon codes on birthdays. Let’s have a look at some of the marketing strategies that online stores use to benefit from the fresh start effect on special occasions:

  • Highlighting popular product categories for a fresh start

Wellness, fitness, DIY, organizing the home and healthy living are popular themes around the New Year’s season. So, brands generally highlight product categories that are related to these hot topics. To take advantage of the fresh start effect on their marketing strategy, they analyze the popular themes and trends so that they can create marketing content revolving around these product categories. Since most customers are likely to be interested in those themes around the New Year’s for instance, their marketing content gets instant reaction, which translates into a boost in sales.

For instance, as the New Year approaches, we all reflect on what we might like to change in our lives, whether it be giving up a bad habit or taking up a new hobby. New year resolutions like exercising more or eating more healthily, for example, can be regarded as common goals that most people share. So, brands take these common resolutions into account and highlight related product categories to take advantage of the fresh start effect.

  • Extra content on personal development

In addition to highlighting “fresh start” themed product categories, brands also focus on creating content revolving around personal development. Their content may not target a specific product and simply focus on personal development, healthy living, exercising, wellness, etc. They create this topic-specific content to attract some of the customer traffic to their platforms as most customers are likely to do more research on these topics around the New Years.

  • Personalized content

We know that the New Year season is the prime time of online stores to target customers who are looking to make a fresh start, but it is not the only time where we tend to be more motivated to look for new beginnings. Birthdays are also important dates for us to be bolder in our decisions, so brands focus on personalized content and coupon codes to encourage their customers to shop online on their birthday. They use e-mail marketing, coupon codes and motivating content to benefit from the fresh start effect of birthdays.


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