Tuesday, April 15, 2014
A failing cupcake chain is trying to get its products into supermarkets. Cupcakes were a fad not that long ago, and there were cupcake wars on reality TV cooking shows. Now, pffft. The chain went public at the height of the fad and today is closing stores. It is hard enough to run a business. Hopping on a flash trend and trying to ride it is worse. One must be ready to cut and run instantly when consumers turn their attention elsewhere. The problem with fads is recognizing they are just that. There are no guidelines to tell one that 14 to 24 months hence, consumers will be on to something new. It is easy to do publicity while a fad rages. It is nearly impossible once it passes. It's yesterday's news like pet rocks, wall crawlers and other gizmos that have come and gone. PR practitioners would do well to avoid momentary trends, but they don't always have a choice. However, they should be wary enough to treat fads for what they are -- momentary crowd behavior -- and not enduring changes in culture.
I disagree. A PR practitioner should not avoid momentary trends but instead realize what they are and use them in that scope. Telling a PR practitioner to avoid momentary trends would be like telling them not to use the superbowl or world cup excitement and use that to help promote their brand. Momentary trends have a place in PR, it's in the moment, and nothing more.