6 Rules Pumpkin Spice Can Teach You About Marketing | Social Joey

Fall brings cooler temperatures, sweaters, apples, falling leaves…and pumpkin spice! PSLs are a ubiquitous part of fall these days, and they start popping up earlier each year, it seems.

Whether you enjoy this seasonal beverage or not, you’ve likely seen it everywhere. It’s marketed on TV and in magazines, and it’s also probably found in a hand or two on your Instagram feed.

So, we have a question for you: Have you ever thought about what pumpkin spice can teach you about marketing?

No? Just us? That’s OK, read on as we share the insight!

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

While we’ve mentioned the pumpkin spice latte above, we’re not just talking about the coffee. These days, pumpkin spice is found everywhere.

If you hit up the grocery store, you can find everything from pumpkin spice tea to pumpkin spice ice cream to pumpkin spice hummus. Yes, we said pumpkin spice hummus!

While there are certainly branding and marketing lessons to be learned from the pumpkin spiced drink, we’ve found some lessons imparted by all of these PS items.

Rule 1: Know Your Audience

Odds are, you know a pumpkin spice addict. Or maybe you are the pumpkin spice addict in your circle.

There are those among us who can’t get enough of this flavor profile and will seek it out everywhere. Marketers for all those different pumpkin-y products know this, and they use that audience profile and their tendencies to reach out to them specifically.

By knowing who they’re talking to and how to speak to them, these PS marketers have mastered rule 1 of any good marketing strategy.

Rule 2: Now Engage With That Audience

OK, so you’ve nailed down your audience. What now? Well, now you talk with them.

Notice we said with them, not to them. There’s a distinct difference between the two. What you’re trying to do with your marketing—particularly when it comes to social media marketing—is to engage with your audience, creating a two-way relationship.

Create content that brings them into the picture. Making your posts useful and helpful is a great first step, but you can also engage with your audience by creating user-involved content such as polls, quizzes, or contests.

Asking for your audience’s input and insight can give you valuable information about who they are and what they like. You can then use that information when creating future content and products. That’s a win-win, right?

Rule 3: Keep Up With the Times

You might think that PSL marketing gets old after a while. While it’s ultimately always relaying the message that your favorite drink is available to you, it doesn’t get stale.

That’s because while the basic principles and product remain the same, the messaging stays up-to-date.

You always want to ensure that your marketing content does the same. Make sure you’re choosing content to share that’s seasonally and culturally appropriate, given current times.

Keep your post copy fresh and relevant—this will help ensure your brand does not appear tone deaf to what’s happening in the world, even if you’re talking pumpkin spice.

Rule 4: Message Across Platforms

There’s a good reason why pumpkin spice seems to be everywhere. It’s because it kinda is!

Marketers promoting pumpkin-filled products share their messaging across nearly every platform there is. It’s in print in magazines and newspapers, on TV in ads and on the news, sometimes on billboards, on visible signage in grocery stores, and all across social media.

While we are not telling you to share your message on every single platform there is, we do suggest thoughtfully considering all the places you can communicate with your audience.

That will look different for every audience. When it comes to social media marketing, you’ll want to identify where your audience engages most and use your resources on that platform or platforms. You will likely find that at least parts of your audience can be found on multiple social media networks.

Rule 5: Stay Consistent

If you look at the messaging brands share about their PS products, you may see that it looks and feels slightly different, depending on where they’re sharing.

While that’s true, if you look deeper, you’ll also see that there’s consistency in branding across the board.

This is an important message for any marketer. While your message will be (and should be) a little unique on each platform you share it, your overall message will not change.

Remember our blog about voice and tone? This is where that comes into play! Your brand voice (aka your brand’s character) should stay the same no matter where you’re “speaking,” but your tone will shift a little to make sure it matches well with the platform.

Rule 6: Make Things Feel Exclusive

This might be one of the most powerful marketing messages you can take away from pumpkin spice! Exclusivity matters.

While we know in our minds that pumpkin products can be found year-round, especially if we make them ourselves, there’s something about “pumpkin spice” that feels exclusive to fall. That makes those PS lovers among us want to rush out and grab up all the pumpkin items we can find.

While your product or service may not have that same momentum or ability to engage, building a sense of exclusivity in some way can help encourage your audience to make a buying decision.

Build an air of exclusivity—and urgency—by creating and promoting limited-time deals and contests. Anything that has a time stamp on it will establish at least the illusion that buyers need to act fast to take advantage.

Just be careful and thoughtful, and don’t create those limited-time offers all the time. That removes the exclusivity and can make buyers less likely to take prompt action.

What’s Your Pumpkin Spice?

While we don’t all have pumpkin-related products or services to sell, there’s a “pumpkin spice” angle for every business. What’s yours?

Identifying what sets your business or franchise apart from competitors is your first step. Then we can get to work on creating a marketing strategy that spreads the word!

Ready to put those pumpkin spice marketing lessons to work? Reach out to our Social Joey team today to get started!