What the Pumpkin Spice Latte Has Taught Us About Marketing


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Is it really #PSL season again?! Any company that can create a season and a frequently used hashtag around a simple coffee with flavored syrup, must know a thing or two about marketing, right?

But what’s the secret of this social media giant and the millions that buy into the craze (us included)? While a fall beverage is a bit different from commercial real estate, the concepts are always transferrable. So, what can the pumpkin spice latte teach commercial real estate professionals about marketing?

Use Social Media to Tell a Story

When a company creates an entire social media following (the PSL has its own Twitter account for starters) around just one of their many products, then you know they can generate a buzz around their services.

How can you implement this in your own CRE business strategy? First, you need to understand your target market. Secondly, you must identify what kind of story this target group would relate best to. Then, develop a marketing campaign around it. It’s about humanizing your brand by making it relatable.


Take the Road Less Traveled

Let’s be honest. The PSL was a bit of a risk for the Seattle coffee giant. It didn’t even top the list when they were deciding on new flavors to introduce. Prior to the introduction of the PSL, how often did you dream of sipping a warm pumpkin pie on a cold day? Think about it.

It’s important to take risks with your social media marketing. Nothing ever went viral for being exactly like what everyone else was doing! Think about your company’s unique perspective on the market and figure out a way to share that with your audience in a less-than-normal way.

Tie Your Marketing to the “Warm and Fuzzies”

Is the PSL really about the flavor of the syrup dumped into the cup or is it about the experience? If you ask most loyal PSL drinkers, it’s probably more about the change of seasons than it is about the drink. The timely release of the PSL signifies sweater weather, holidays, fall leaves, cooler weather and well, Ugg boots and leggings (a PSL drinker’s staples).

What warm and fuzzy experience can you emulate through your branding? Is it the entrepreneurial spirit of your clients? Is it their love for serving the community? Find something that gives your clients the “warm and fuzzies” and generate that feeling for them through the offering of a service. That kind of feeling generated through doing business with you is exactly what keeps clients coming back for more just like the lines at every Starbucks across the world on September 1.

So, while your Commercial Real Estate business is nothing like the favorite beverage of the fall season, we can all learn a little something from the media giant that is Starbucks. It’s really simple. Killing it with social media is all about identifying your ideal audience and providing them with scenarios that excite and inspire them – regardless of the type of business you’re in!




Lindsey Imperatore2 Comments