Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Apparently the cupcake fad is over. The bakery that was riding the wave has shut down all of its stores and laid off employees. As with many fads, it was hard to understand why so many people decided to eat cupcakes at the same time, but they did. Then, they didn't. Was the company aware that it was riding a swiftly vanishing wave of sentiment? Probably not. There is a tendency to believe that trends will last. Every industry has gone through growth spurts that insiders have maintained will continue into infinity. Of course, they never do. In that regard, cyclical businesses have an advantage. They know that a sine wave describes their economic activity, and they try during healthy periods to prepare for the next downturn. With a fad, once the growth is over, it stops altogether. The plunge is a free-fall to the bottom. There is little that a company can say or do with marketing and PR to reignite interest. Those who ride fads should keep their resumes up to date.