Marketers and retailers have long capitalized on holidays and special events to tie into their promotions.  You have seen the “Special Black Friday Sale” or “Back to School Savings” in addition to ads for the actual holidays.

It seems now that we have moved beyond just events as companies try to capitalize on flavors and scents.  The latest trend: pumpkin. 

Starbucks was a leader in this craze.  Their Pumpkin Spice Latte has been the subject of over 29,000 tweets with #pumpkinspice and over 200 million PSL drinks sold to date.  

Americans spent $308 million on pumpkin-flavored products last year (up 14% from 2012), so others are now trying to cash in on the mania.  Among other things, you can buy cream cheese, M&Ms, marshmallows, Pop-tarts, Jello pudding and Extra gum in the pumpkin spice flavor.  

What does this mean for you?  Most likely you aren’t going to start selling a pumpkin-flavored item, but can you acknowledge that the flavor is attractive to people?  Have a pumpkin-scented candle in your waiting room.  Do your promotion in orange and feature pumpkins as part of the graphics.  Decorate your office for Fall.  Serve pumpkin-flavored treats or have flavored cream cheese on the bagels at your meeting or serve pumpkin spice cake as the dessert at a meal.  Buy flavored coffee or creamer for the office. 

You don’t have to go overboard, but don’t be oblivious to the trends around you either.  See if you can’t spice up your organization by paying attention to what is popular.

— beth triplett

Roundup: Spice up your life in Time, September 29, 2014, p. 58

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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