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Avocado to Pumpkin and Little Between
By: Tom Roarty
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With the change of each season comes the latest and greatest trend bandwagon that so many companies seem to jump on. A few weeks ago, you couldn't get to far without seeing promotions for something made with avocado. Now, as the weather is getting cooler, pumpkin is the trend. As logical as a trend that this is given the time of year, it doesn't take long for these once-unique treats to become part of an oversaturated sales pitch, not unlike street vendors all hollering, "Hot dogs!" from pretty much every corner of the city. All this does is show that trending products in your business model are there more for keeping up, as opposed to standing out.
There is a definite place for statistics in the advertising industry. Clients tend to want to see proof as to what works and what doesn't in order to make smart choices. There is no shortage of data that can be obtained for statistical advertising purposes, but just because something has worked in the past, does it retain its value as more people implement the same ideology? What made the avocado craze so successful was it was new and many companies quickly pursued it after the leaders started promoting it. Quiznos sold avocado on its  sandwiches years before being copied by Subway. Between these two companies promoting the addition to their menu as a "super food," non-chain outlets took advantage of the message being advertised, and what was once a specialty item, became available pretty much everywhere, making it lose some of its mystique.
If you are one of the first to find such niche marketing, it could be very beneficial because of brand association, but as more competition comes into the marketplace, brand loyalty can become marginalized by cost points. These days, more often than not, loyalty is measured by value. So does this mean straying from a trend is a good idea? Not necessarily. It is important not to be the business left behind by missing out on the opportunities offered by an upward trend but, in order to succeed in such a venture, you would need a way to clearly stand out in order to be successful The practical and beneficial approach is to make mention that your product or service has those same attributes being offered by your competitors.
The payoff comes when adding in extra value points not being offered by your competitors. Sure our product has avocado, but we are also the only company to offer it with "blank." By mentioning the trend but focusing on the unique element, you have now turned a saturated subject into unique one.
So as we gear up for fall and everything is converting to pumpkin from coffee to dinner sides and on to air fresheners, it is a reminder that these waves are not new. They are a constant that has now become expected by consumers. It is also a testament to the fact that people will be trained to search out products over time if they are promoted properly.  Where they will actually obtain those products will depend on convenience, cost and value-added points, all which are equally important when rolling out new and existing promotions.

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