Monday, April 9

Peeps - Can It Extend?



It's the day after Easter ... does that mean that Peeps is over for the year?  It is so associated with the happiness that comes from Easter and Spring, that can the brand extend?

The brand certainly wants you to think so, but the question remains:  Can a brand that is SO associated with one holiday/season, go beyond it?

Theoretically, yes.  If the brand is well defined and based on a core consumer insight, then for sure that brand can move beyond one season ... with more ways to connect with their consumers.

But the truth is, in this case, it's really really hard.  There's not necessarily an insight that is core to the Peeps brand.  It's more about sheer nostalgia, memories, and fun.  Memories of Easter baskets and dying Easter eggs ... and eating Peeps in all sorts of fun ways.

Now the brand has tried to extend beyond the season.  If you check out the website, there are lots of brand extensions into flavors, dippings, cookies, and apparel.  There's even other shapes and attempts at other holidays ... like Election Day?  Election Day!

At it's core, though, the brand is Springtime and Easter and I'm afraid it always will be.  The brand expansion is more likely to come from multiple ways to use Peeps during the season of Easter, like in a cocktail or a baked dessert.  I even tried grilling them once, and they were amaaaazzzzing.  I've even enjoyed the ones from Pastry Chef Jacques Torres that are dipped in chocolate!  At the end of the day, it's all about "building your best basket ever," as the brand says.

So while the holiday is over, we can still enjoy Peeps for the rest of the Spring season, but then I'm afraid, for me, the brand will have to wait until next year.  Although in my book, there's nothing wrong with a brand owning a season.  And Peeps certainly owns Easter.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

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