Are We Promoting Selfishness?

My husband is sick of cupcakes.

Not only does he think that trend has passed (and he’s ardent about making pie catch on), he said the other day that the mere fact of the cupcake (i.e. individual decadent portion) promotes arrogance, selfishness and the ME-ME-ME culture we have so long been mired in in this country.

He’s got a point.

Personally, I’m a fan of the cupcake. It’s a contained single portion so I can rationalize that I’m not consuming as many calories as, say, a hefty piece of cake. Plus, the mini-cupcake trend enables me to taste several different flavors in one sitting, thus eliminating the need to make a decision about which flavor I favor.

Oops. That sounds awfully indulgent and self-gratifying.

In a great article on sales and marketing, Inc. writer Shivani Vora wrote about the introduction of bacon and beer cupcakes, a novel idea designed to attract attention for the very fact of its kitsch factor. However, the advice is sage: the media storm will eventually disappear, so you’d better have more than an out-there cupcake behind your business model.

Trends are not scalable. They rise fast and die equally quickly. Here’s the advice from Inc., that I take to heart:

1. Focus on quality. Consistency counts.

2. Launch a viral campaign. Advertising, blogging, cool-kid edgy strategies, consider it all. [Your People LLC advice: Do not strand yourself in the Web 2.0 world only – you’ve got to balance YouTube, Facebook, and real-time campaigns.]

3.  Do research. If you don’t know your competition, you’re a step behind from the get-go.

4. Play up the details. The brilliance of bacon and beer cupcakes is the uniqueness of the ingredients. Play up what makes you or your product unique. Always.

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