How Branded Podcasts Are Like Pumpkin Spice Lattes

How Branded Podcasts Are Like Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Discover why branded podcasts are the pumpkin spice to your brand. 


By: Laurissa Cebryk

It’s Pumpkin Spice Season. Whether that sentence makes you feel ecstatic or a like mug full of “ugh,” the fact that we can even dub Fall with a secondary, ridiculous name like Pumpkin Spice Season says a lot about the power of marketing. 

Since Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) debuted in 2003, society has slowly moved the drink forward from a mere phase and craze to an actual season, possibly even a feeling, recognized in pop culture and beyond for twenty years and counting. Whether you love this cosy drink and are on standby for when it “re-launches” every season, or are disgusted by its sugary-sweet, scented-candle-esque presence, you have to admit that the PSL has made its mark. 

The lessons we can learn from it aren’t just for the Ashleigh, Ashley, Kayleigh, Kaylee, Kaitee, and Katie’s out there. They’re for all of us in the branding space. 

Branded Podcasts Are Your PSL

Of all the lessons I’ve learned from drinking PSLs over the years (yes, I am one of those — tall, half-sweet, with whip, thank you very much), the biggest one is that every brand should strive to have its podcast be like a pumpkin spice latte. 


Here’s why: 

1. It’s Iconic

There’s no denying that the PSL is the most iconic drink on the Starbucks menu. Sure, their devoted followers also love a Caramel Brulée or Chestnut Praline Latte in their sweater-knit cups come December, but nothing is as anticipated, revered, or recognizable as the PSL. Many customers could care less if JJ Bean or Blenz launches their own; when someone says, “pumpkin spice,” they’re going to think of that little green split-tailed mermaid first. Pumpkin spice is the ultimate ambassador for Starbucks, crossing boundaries normally imposed on mere coffee chains, and connecting Starbucks directly with consumers on an emotional level. 

Your branded podcast can be that for your brand. In fact, one of the biggest ROIs of a branded podcast is brand recognition. When done right, a branded podcast taps into our audio and emotional memories, and adds value to your listeners’ lives. All this equates to two exceptional things: Boosted brand awareness and brand lift

Invest in a good podcast production service, pay attention to serving up what your audience craves, and you’re well on your way to establishing your show as an iconic emblem of your brand. 


2. It’s Consistent

Love it or hate it, every Fall since 2003 — without fail — bears the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and, with it, Pumpkin Spice Season. It is undeniably consistent, and this is part of its charm. Similarly, consistency is the cornerstone of a successful branded podcast. 

You want your show to be as reliable as the PSL, creating expectation each season, and then delivering the content people want – come hell or high water. 


3. It’s Not For Everyone

How many of you visibly shuddered at the first sentence of this post? That’s okay, I can take it. The reality is, your branded podcast — like my tall PSL with whip — won’t be for everyone. That’s why understanding what content you have to offer, and who you want to offer that content to, is crucial. 

Starbucks knows the PSL isn’t going to win everyone over, but within its cult following of Fall Girls, unabashed drinkers, and secret PSL guzzlers, they have found a loyal audience that will keep coming back as soon as the first leaf falls. 

When you find your audience, your branded podcast will have that power, too. Remember: one loyal listener is significantly better than 10 one-off plays that never come back. 


Brewing Up PSL Podcasts… and more!

At JAR Audio, we love to play barista when it comes to branded podcasts. If you want help brewing up an iconic, PSL-fame-worthy show, we can help! From discovering who will become your Fall Girl following, to creating episodes that drop like clockwork, make your brand taste better with every sip, and hold real value for listeners, we’ve got you. That’s because we craft every show with love, just like a PSL with a nice cinnamon swirl on top. 

If you reach out to us today, we’ll happily give you a dollop of advice!! 

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