The Psychology of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s not the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks that is irresistible; it’s the psychology behind it and that’s something you can put to use.

We love to celebrate rituals. Sure, we could start with how far in advance we think about Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, but the same holds true for coffee and even for McRibs! (“Yippee…they’re back!”)

So, could you start a ritual? Something that clients, former clients, suppliers, and influencers would actually look forward to? Would go out of their way to attend?

Absolutely, and you should! I’ve worked with designers who turned their best event into an annual event. This includes ideas like:

  • Turning a highly successful axe-throwing party into an annual, beer-drinking festival;
  • A sailing regatta
  • Golf tournaments, of course
  • A summer design camp to teach school age children how interior design works
  • A wild, over-the top (and very adult) Halloween party which caused people to beg for invitations!
  • Annual sales for those with small or large retail fronts
  • Clearance sales for those accessories you’re keeping in your garage
  • Special baked cookie recipes
  • Design sightseeing trips to Europe
  • A friendly skiing competition

The beauty of the “cycle” is that you get to start promoting it 3-4 months in advance and follow up on it for another month or two, meaning that the promotion can cover almost half the year. Done right, you may not need to any other promotion throughout the entire year.

There used to be a television ad that ran in Texas saying, “If you don’t have an oil well…git one!” I think I could say the same for your annual Spice Pumpkin Latte equivalent.

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