AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerIt’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Time at Starbucks

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It’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Time at Starbucks

If you have not paid attention to social media, TV advertising or to your friends, you may not know that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks.  20150919_081747

This is the 10th year of PSL, as it is affectionately known, and Starbucks sells more than $80 million in revenue from this one drink.  For most, it is a rite-of-passage experience and initiation to fall. To others, it is a comfort drink that takes people back to childhood memories. The drink is good, there is no question, but what I think makes it so popular is the limited availability of the product. In this 24-hour, home delivery, online world, it is nice to know that there is something special that only comes once a year. It’s a Christmas moment.

It’s hard to stay fresh and new in this business environment. For Starbucks, the limited availability gives the company the perfect opportunity to say, “Here’s what’s new, PSL is back for a limited time.” Is there anything at your business or organization you can memorialize into a rite-of-passage experience? The Annual Big Boom sale is not what I’m talking about.

PSL is Starbucks most popular seasonal drink. The product is incredible. But the social media and advertising power around it is even more amazing. Soon it will be available in the a holiday red cup, another rite of passage, marketing miracle.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.