The end of the financial year (EOFY) is renowned for being one of the buzziest retail sales periods of the year. As retailers pull out all the stops with enticing discounts and special offers, this year’s EOFY sales period feels a little different. 

Both businesses and consumers are feeling the squeeze as inflation remains stubbornly high. Research from Getty Images and iStock’s creative insights platform, VisualGPS, has found that 65 per cent of consumers’ top economic concern is the rising cost of living. 

For brands and marketers, the current economic climate can be a tricky thing to navigate. With 63% of Aussies acting more emotionally when making purchasing decisions, understanding the psychographic factors will be important when planning their EOFY marketing campaigns. This means being more empathetic and evaluating how to deliver value beyond just cost. 

How consumers define value

This EOFY sales season, purchase decisions are going to be driven by value, quality, and necessity. According to VisualGPS consumer survey data, these were important drivers. Savvy shoppers will be on the hunt for deals that demonstrate a clear understanding of their financial realities, prioritising products that offer a long-term benefit at a price they can comfortably afford. With value transcending discounts, brands need to be more responsive to consumers’ needs and clearly communicate the value that products and services can bring to their lives. 

To appeal to more price-sensitive buyers, there are several ways that brands and marketers can place value at the heart of their EOFY marketing campaigns. 

Three keys to successful EOFY marketing 

  1. Rethink your visual strategy 

With VisualGPS data finding three in five consumers base their purchasing decisions on the visuals they see, brands and marketers must consider how they use visuals to demonstrate value.  Instead of using visuals that depict people actively shopping or saving, brands can opt for visuals that capture the joys of life and celebrate the small moments that bring happiness.

2. Tap into emotion 

73 per cent of consumers are looking for brands to show more empathy in their communications by understanding the realities people are facing. To demonstrate value beyond a discounted price, tap into different emotions that consumers want to see. Imagine you are curating a campaign for workout gear. Rather than focusing on discounted prices, you can instead highlight the emotional value the workout gear adds to the customer in helping them achieve a healthier and more active lifestyle. By doing so, brands can connect with their aspirations and everyday struggles, leaning into the emotional appeal which can be a more compelling motivator than just price tags.

3. Be authentic 

Authenticity still matters for Aussies. Visuals showing real people and real life, with relatable settings, continue to drive purchasing decisions. VisualGPS research found that 73 per cent of people want to see more authentic content, which for Aussies is defined as something that is genuine, expressing one’s true thoughts, feelings, and experiences. 

Consumers want to see people like me and my life. This means marketers should prioritise visual messaging that is honest, transparent, and real about what the brand is and what it stands for. 

When selecting visuals, it is still important to authentically represent your audience, showcasing unique and different stories of people from all walks of life, backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, and communities, to be more inclusive and truly resonate. 

Brands that prioritise authentically demonstrating their value proposition and audience this EOFY, rather than solely relying on discounts, will be the ones that resonate for the long haul. Visual storytelling is an essential tool in the value communication toolbox.

By employing these tactics, brands can forge deeper connections with their audience, speaking directly to their evolving needs and desires. The focus on value builds trust and long-term brand loyalty, fostering success that will transcend beyond the EOFY sales season.   

Kate Rourke is director of creative for APAC at Getty Images.