Today is the first day of summer! Go outside and take a moment to celebrate. When you’ve sufficiently reveled in the arrival of this glorious season, I’ll be here.
Ready? Ok, so as we’ve established, today is the first day of summer. You know what this means–hot dogs, fireworks, no school, beach vacations, and lemonade stands.
Business-minded children in neighborhoods across America will setup countless lemonade stands over the next three months, so I thought it only appropriate to devote a blog post to, arguably, the fist foray any of us make into entrepreneurship.
What marketing lessons can we learn from this most basic of business models?
Recognize your customers’ needs and pain points
It’s hot out. You’re riding your bike, mowing your lawn, or out for a neighborhood stroll. Like a mirage in the desert, bubble letters appear in the distance: “Lemonade 50¢.” (Admittedly, this is a guess as to price. I have not kept up with the rate of inflation for lemonade stands over the past 15 years.)
The point is, it’s not likely you’ll see a lemonade stand on a rainy day. Kids understand that when it’s hot out, they’ll sell more lemonade because sweaty, parched people like you are thirsty. Like those kids, as marketers, we need to be acutely aware of what it is our customers want and how those wants change under different circumstances, so that we can best deliver our products and services to them.
Which brings me to lesson #2…
Reach your customers in their in their natural habitat
When you see a lemonade stand, you know you’re moments away from that refreshing, ice-cold, liquid refreshment. What if, when you got to the stand, two quarters in hand, you found out you had to walk another two miles to actually get the lemonade? Would it still be worth it? Chances are no, it wouldn’t.
The success of the lemonade stand hinges on the immediate gratification provided. While we can’t always deliver that degree of instantaneous gratification to our customers, it is important to make the buying process as seamless and easy as possible.
For digital marketers, social media has become the “natural habitat” of our customers. Make sure you have a presence on the networks where your customers are most active and make it easy for them to learn about and interact with your business on those channels.
Lastly, lesson #3…
Communicate your value proposition clearly and concisely
There is nothing unclear about the following statement: “Ice-cold Lemonade 50¢.” You know exactly what you’re getting for what you’re paying. And usually, the stacks of paper cups flanking the stand clearly communicate just how much lemonade you’re getting for 50¢.
Being clear, concise, and transparent in your value proposition is key to establishing, growing, and maintaining credibility and trust with customers. Consumers are inundated with advertisements and marketing messages all day, every day, so establishing your brand as trustworthy and easy to do business with is what will make your message stand out.
There you go! What other lessons can marketers learn from the iconic lemonade stand? Let us know your thoughts below.