Counselor Commentary: Capitalize on Pumpkin Spice Fever

Love it or hate it, pumpkin spice-infused products have now become as synonymous with autumn as crunchy leaves and hot cider. So popular has the American love affair with the spice become that it’s popping up in some of the strangest places, including bagels, fragrances and even potato chips.

But all the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in the world won’t help your pumpkin spice-inspired products without the proper marketing. Ten years ago Starbucks created the Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, that today earns at least $80 million in revenue, thanks to its outstanding marketing. Of course, not everyone has the budget of Starbucks, so how does a small business go about capitalizing on a craze of this magnitude?

First, you should have a product or service you can build a pumpkin-spice campaign around. And even if you don’t, there’s nothing wrong with playfully calling a product or service “pumpkin spice.” According to Business 2 Community, marketers know reactions start the conversation. “Label anything pumpkin and wait for your customers to interact.” If it’s funny, chances are it’s also memorable.

Next, build an experience. Starbucks’ PSL is a seasonal drink that many liken to an old friend whose company is fleeting. “Starbucks doesn’t just sell its products,” says ABZ Creative. “It sells an experience that extends way beyond its products and retail locations.” If the PSL has taught us anything, it’s that customer loyalty is good for business. Offer your customers an experience and they’ll be back again.

And finally, go social. Trends like the pumpkin-spice craze have spawned plenty of social media groups, hashtags and forums where business owners can interact with potential prospects. A great product or service is at a serious disadvantage without a social media presence, and since it costs nothing but your time, it’s essentially a free advertising platform for your business.

So, the next time you see an ad for a “pumpkin spiced” anything, think about how you can do this for your business. Hopefully the creative juices will begin to flow and you’ll be on the road to your next successful marketing campaign.