As soon as the first of September hits, it’s suddenly PSL season, autumn decor and cosy nights in front of the TV. But it’s only in recent years that the UK has been so autumn-obsessed. The team at Distract decided to delve deeper into the rise of the autumn aesthetic and why UK brands should be capitalising on the trend to connect with their consumers.
We found that last year, interest in ‘Aumun Aesthetic’ on TikTok more than doubled from 2021, and data shows that this growth is expected to continue in 2023. Data for 2023 also shows that 76% of people searching for ‘Autumn Aesthetic’ on TikTok are aged between 18 and 24.
Interest in #autumnaesthetic on TikTok. Source: TikTok.
Audience Insights into #autumnaesthetic on TikTok. Source: TikTok.
Google Trends data shows that UK searches relating to ‘pumpkin spice’ have been growing year-on-year since 2015 and are expected to do the same this year. In the UK, the rise in the ‘fall’ topic on Pinterest began as early as July.
Google Search Volume for Pumpkin Spice. Source: Google Trends.
‘Fall’ Topic Interest on Pinterest Over the Last Year. Source: Pinterest.
While the US and Canada are still the leading regions for the fall trend, the UK is now third. When people think of seasonal marketing, they tend to jump straight to Black Friday or Christmas, but this data shows that brands may be overlooking a gap in the market. UK brands can use this data as evidence that consumers are ready to start thinking about autumn sooner than expected. It is clear that consumers are ready to embrace and start thinking about autumn towards the end of summer, and it is at the brands’ discretion to be responsible for fulfilling these desires.
Amelia Hayward, Account Manager at Distract, said: “Consumer behaviour has shifted away from promotional transactions. Multiple promotions can feel impersonal and result in consumers losing trust in a brand’s intentions. Understanding your audience’s pain points and offering solutions that align with the latest trends and aesthetics helps build a solid brand-consumer relationship.”
It wouldn’t make sense to talk about the American fall trend without discussing Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. What started as an American hype quickly made its way to the UK. Since 2003, Starbucks has sold more than 424 million PSLs in the US alone. Starbucks gives members of the Starbucks loyalty app the opportunity to experience their new seasonal drinks a week before they’re made available to the public. This gives the app users a feeling of exclusivity and builds excitement towards the ‘cosy season’. Offering the new drinks to members of the app before anyone else also encourages more people to sign up for the app out of FOMO and want to feel as though they, too, are a part of something special.
Other great examples are Netflix and Disney, creating shareable autumn content across different social media platforms. Netflix created a ‘Netflix and Chills’ list, and Disney created a ‘Hallowstream’ list, letting users know what spooky, seasonal content is available on their platforms.
Peter Watson, Managing Director at Distract, said: “The overseas fall hype is reshaping consumer expectations, and UK marketing managers must adapt their strategies, particularly in B2C industries. The traditional Black Friday frenzy is gradually fading and is being replaced by a demand for experiences beyond discounted products. It’s now the marketer’s job to demonstrate how their product aligns with the latest trends and aesthetics.
“Cultivating a deep understanding of consumer behaviour is at the heart of successful digital marketing. As we witness the undeniable rise of the American fall trend in the UK, brands should not merely observe but actively seize this golden opportunity. Capitalising on this trend offers a profound chance to connect with consumers, building a community where your customers feel your brand understands their needs and wants.”
So, for any brands wondering if you should jump on the fall trend, the answer is yes!