Or better yet … three marketing lessons to (pumpkin) spice up your business!
I am a huge fan of pumpkin spice. This time of year, I enjoy as many pumpkin spice treats as I can; especially, pumpkin beer. Yum.
Every year around the end of August, pumpkin spice products start to pop up everywhere. This year, I’ve already seen pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice yogurt, pumpkin spice ice cream, pumpkin spice chewing gum, pumpkin spice body wash… pumpkin spice everything! One year I even found Pumpkin Spice Eggo Waffles! Oh my goodness gracious!!!
I believe it all really took off with Starbucks and their Pumpkin Spice Latte. Did you know this iconic drink has its own Verified Twitter account? @TheRealPSL. I’m not kidding.
I can’t help but wonder, how a flavor can become such an enormous and far-reaching trend? Pumpkin spice is absolute gold for marketing in the packaged goods industry, but I think there are lessons that all of us business owners can take away from the PSL explosion that occurs every year, regardless of industry we’re in.
Here are three that come to the top of my head…
IT IS EXCLUSIVE. The first thing we can learn from the pumpkin spice phenomenon is that it only happens once a year. Pumpkin spice is almost a season of its own. We rush out to get our lattes and beers because they’re only around for a limited time—we don’t want to miss out! When consumers think there’s only a brief window in which to buy something or get a special exclusive offer, they’re more likely to jump on the opportunity. This is really taking advantage of consumers’ FOMO (fear of missing out). Keep this in mind when you’re putting together campaigns and product specials. Assign a special early bird price, or a limited time offer of some sort and see if you get more uptake.
IT TUGS ON OUR EMOTIONS. Whenever we see advertisements for pumpkin spice products, especially the Pumpkin Spice Latte, we have visions of autumn leaves and cozy scarves and evenings by the fireplace. This pumpkin spice marketing is playing on our human emotions. We aren’t going out and buying pumpkin everything just for the taste. It’s the smell of the spices that make us think of our childhood. It’s the memories we have of trick or treating and Thanksgiving pumpkin pie as children. We really are buying the story… a connection to that warm cozy fall feeling. Always remember in marketing, you are selling to human emotions, 100% of the time. Whether you’re selling pumpkin spice cough drops or a new keynote address. Never forget your biggest job is to find the connection to whatever human emotion you want to tug. That’s what you’re selling to.What does pumpkin spice have to do with marketing?
IT IS ENGAGING. Back to the point I mentioned earlier, you can follow the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte on Instagram and Twitter. Starbucks has created a beloved product that has a huge following, and they continue to capitalize on it by creating a fun social media persona around it. It might be time for you to consider including a level of engagement to your marketing strategy. Is there something you could do that would make your business stand out from the sea of others?
Can you think of any other business lessons we can take away from the pumpkin spice craze? I’d love to hear them, so please share!
Now if you’ll excuse me … I’m off to have just one more cup of that yummy pumpkin spice coffee I told you about!
In business since 1991, Terry Green is the founder/CEO/President of BizEase Support Solutions, an American-based, online marketing support company comprised of a team of talented professionals from around North America. BizEase excels at providing speakers and business coaches worldwide with seamless online marketing solutions, from setting up shopping carts and editing video, to writing blog posts and managing Social Media and PR campaigns. BizEase clients (who span five continents) take great joy in allowing the BizEase team to take care of the details so they can get back to doing what they do best! Click here to get our weekly tips ezine delivered to your inbox every other Friday, with tips on plugins, apps, and tools to make you more productive today!