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The PSL is known as a Fall staple. But what can you learn from Starbucks’ strategy to implement into your own business. Let’s dive into this fall favorite below.

When I first saw ‘PSL’ online I thought it was a new drug. No lie, but then I noticed the picture next to the headline and quickly reverted to ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte.’ As Fall is quickly approaching and the days are getting shorter or longer, I can never remember; it made me think.

The PSL is such a popular item this time of the year. People post about it, talk about it and most of all, drink it. But it wasn’t always that way. After reading Pour Your Heart Into It by Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz, I realized that this monster of a company started exactly where you are now, as a small business.

Starbucks has created this brand of the PSL and even dedicated an acronym for it, the PSL. What did they do that you can do too? That’s what we’re going to analyze today. How can we take the Forever Fall favorite, the PSL and integrate their methods into our business?

Be On Trend

Starbucks made this a trendy item, but not only the PSL, but their entire brand is also a trendy item. Think about it, if you see someone carrying a Starbucks cup v. a McDonald’s cup, what do you think? Some people don’t care, but Starbucks screams business, independent and trendy. McDonald’s just doesn’t portray the same image.

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To do this with your business, show others with your product. You can implement a ‘yours only’ hashtag by simply using it within your posts on Instagram or Twitter. We do this for our brand, #SSCo. If you click on that hashtag, all of our posts (and some others who use the same one) will pop up.

Show yourself having fun and enjoying your time with the product or service. If you spot someone on the street using your product, ask them to snap a quick picture of it. If you’re a service-based company, snap a picture of you at a client meeting, maybe even with a PSL! Or snap yourself with your team working on something as a ‘behind the scenes sneak peek.’

Be Consistent

When you see the PSL or any of Starbucks’ brand image, they’re all the same. The PSL is in a see-through cup, or their coffee is in a cream colored cup, and they all have the same green straw with the green circular logo in the middle. You’ve never seen a Starbucks cup that doesn’t have the logo or having the logo in another color. They do this on purpose. Think about it, when you see a green straw that someone left behind on your walk to work, you immediately associate it with Starbucks. A straw. It’s so simple, yet it carries a powerful message. As you can see here, when I searched the PSL online, the same thing comes up… the green logo.


Do this with your business too. You need to be consistent with your branding. You need to find and stick to a color scheme and place it on all of your marketing or product mediums. If you have a business card, website, and promotional piece, they should all have the same color scheme and feel.

Be Good

Let’s face it; the PSL is good. I almost feel even though some people may not prefer pumpkin, but it’s almost needed to grab a PSL when Fall comes around the corner. The flavors that mix with it the aroma it gives off is just an indication of times of joy and the upcoming holidays which evoke happy thoughts and thoughts with the family. There was even an article here about how you can get one before they’re out.

What the PSL Can Teach You About Branding and Marketing

For your business, make sure that if you do something, it’s good. Here we’ve tailored our services and programs to match what we specialize in best, small businesses. We want the results to speak for themselves and want our clients to be happy and to refer other clients. With your business specialize in one thing you know you can do well. Then, once you’ve mastered that, move onto the next thing.

As you can see above, people are raving about the PSL. Their lives are now complete! Take that enthusiasm and ask your clients for online reviews. Online reviews are thought to be as reliable as a personal reference from a friend. Here’s a blog we just wrote about the importance of it.

Be Social

If you haven’t noticed, the PSL is all over the news. They even have a Twitter page dedicated to it with the handle as @TheRealPSL. If that doesn’t tie in brand style, I don’t know what will! Starbucks is all over the place with the PSL, and they’re showing others with one in their hands too. This is how it has been able to gain popularity. If people think it’s popular then, they’ll want to be on trend… as mentioned above.  

What the PSL Can Teach You About Branding and Marketing

For your business, use social media to your advantage. Take pictures of your product or service and keep mentioning them. Take interactive videos of people using them and ask people to tweet and mention you in their posts.

Think Outside The Box

When I say this, I know you’re thinking, “Yeah, everyone always says that.” But, it’s true. You need to think differently. Take this photo from the PSL Twitter page.

What the PSL Can Teach You About Branding and Marketing

Who would have ever thought to picture the PSL as a person? Let alone a person ‘coming in hot’ to the Fall season equipped with a parachute and fall leaves floating around. That, my friends, is thinking outside of the box.

For your business, think of different things you can do to engage with people on social media. For people to interact with something the headline of what you’re posting needs to be a couple of things:

  • Uncommon
  • Emotional
  • Powerful

I just found this new headline analyzer tool that I use now. With this headline analyzer tool, you’ll be able to plug in your headline to see what it says about the probability of someone clicking on it. It will rank it for you, shows you what you can improve upon, and it will help you come up with different ideas for your headline. Here’s a recent blog we did based on this… we even changed our headline based on its results.

As you can see the PSL is a beverage associated with the Fall season and it’s not going anywhere. Keep an eye on what Starbucks is doing and maybe you can glean a couple of tips from their site to implement your strategies.

*Images from Google Search

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