As 2015’s brutal snowstorms and record low temperatures continue to hamper the northeast and midwest, this season’s snowmaggedon jokes are getting old. But know what hasn’t? Antifreeze. Demand for the product increased nearly 30% between January and February.
Take one look at Americans’ online activity in the past two months and it’s clear: most Americans were severely unprepared for this winter.
Reviewing search engine data over the last two months reveals that demand for cold weather garb has grown as winter has progressed, indicating that we were not ready when the winter season that hit us.
You might expect consumer demand for winter clothes to decline as spring approaches. However, this winter we saw demand for coats and gloves increase 15% and boots increase 13%.
While it seems that some people are continuing to weather the storm, it’s clear that Americans are trying to get away from the cold. Americans fed up with the eternal winter are seeking the perfect getaway. Searches for bikinis and Sandals Vacation Resorts increased 5% and 50% respectively in February alone!
Cashing In On The Cold
So which winter wear companies are winning the race to warmth? Some brands are doing a great job of squeezing a dime out of this bitter situation while others are falling behind. Owler’s Competitive Intelligence data shows how major outerwear brands are using social media to boost brand engagement amongst consumers.
Of the biggest brands — Under Armour (UA), L.L. Bean, Patagonia, Columbia (COLM), The North Face, and Eastern Mountain Sports — four have capitalized off the winter weather. L.L. Bean and Under Armour have done the best job engaging Americans on social media, driving engagement rates up 107% and 163% respectively this month. Meanwhile, Patagonia seems to have been hit the hardest by the winter blues; its engagement rate on Twitter declined by 36%.
Surprisingly, some other brands selling you an escape from the cold are just as, if not more, convincing. JetBlue (JBLU) and Tommy Bahama have tailored their messaging around saving customers from this bone-chilling season with their sunny offerings. As a result, they’ve seen an astonishing 321% and 34% increase in Twitter engagement rates.
Deal or ditch?
Moral of the story? When the rough months roll in, it’s clear that instead of dealing with the cold Americans prefer to altogether ditch it. And the silver-lining for businesses? Drum up attention by catching consumers that are “california dreaming” and win big this unfortunately long winter season.