My Love Affair with Gas Station Gourmet & Everything New

by | Jan 16, 2024 | shitposts | 0 comments

As a middle-aged, somewhat high-functioning adult, I should be eating healthier. Salads. Vegetables. Home-cooked meals. But here’s the thing: nothing gets my culinary heart racing (figuratively and literally) quite like the sight of a ‘NEW’ sticker on snacks at the local gas station. That’s right – I’m a professional connoisseur of convenience store cuisine.

Before you question my taste buds (or sanity), hear me out. There’s something irresistibly alluring about discovering a new flavor of chips that promises the fiery essence of a thousand suns, or soda flavored to emulate maple bacon. It’s weird, new, fresh, and I’m 100% into it.

But why, you might ask, am I publicly declaring my love for gas station grub on LinkedIn? Because, and I’m tricked by it every time, there’s a marketing lesson in every bite.

Embracing the ‘New’ Factor: A Marketing Masterclass from Convenience Stores

The Allure of Novelty: In the world of convenience stores, the ‘new’ tag is a siren call. It’s human nature to be curious about new experiences, and this is precisely what these stores capitalize on. As marketers, we should remember the power of novelty. Whether it’s a product, a campaign, or even a blog post, giving your audience something fresh and unexpected can be a game-changer.

For example, am I the only person that is in love with the roasted turkey flavored Pringles? I think I have a problem, in general, with chips that also taste like meat. Is that a problem? I think it’s fine. Everything is fine.

I have also consumed every, single last flavor of Monster Ultra energy drinks. At some point, the B6 and B12 will grant me superpowers, I am fully confident.

Limited Edition – The FOMO Trigger: Ever noticed how some of these new items are available for a “limited time only?” That’s marketing gold right there. It creates urgency and taps into the fear of missing out (FOMO). In our strategies, creating time-sensitive offers can lead to a surge in engagement and conversions. And occasionally, bodily injury, as was the case with last year’s Paqui One-Chip Challenge – which I definitely participated in on several occassions. My stomach is iron.

Understanding Your Audience: Gas stations know their clientele. It’s me! Also, the late-night crowd, the road trippers, the hurried parents – each finds something that resonates with their needs. In digital marketing, understanding and catering to your audience’s preferences is crucial. It’s not just about selling a product; it’s about providing a solution or an experience that they seek.

For gas station patrons, you’re usually looking for something fast that you can shove down your gullet hole while speeding down the interstate at definitely the legal limit. Cheetos saw this as an opportunity and reimagined their Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from their normal craggily tree branch shape to small spheres, aptly branded as Asteroids, that you could hurl into your mouth at atmosphere re-entry velocity.

Consistent Innovation: The snack aisle at a gas station is a testament to continuous innovation. From wasabi-flavored nuts to keto-friendly jerky, there’s always something new. Similarly, in the digital world, consistently innovating and staying ahead of trends is vital. It’s not about changing your core identity, but about evolving with your audience’s needs.

Kit Kat realized this, so they decided to make thousands of variations to their classic chocolate-covered wafer bar. Peach, raspberry, cookies and cream, matcha, strawberry, white chocolate. The world is your oyster with Kit Kats. My personal favorite: soy sauce flavored. Don’t judge me any more than you already are….

Engagement through Experience: Finally, the gas station snack aisle is more than a place to grab a quick bite; it’s an experience. The bright colors, the variety, the promise of something unique – it’s engaging. I find myself just walking up and down the isle, figuring out if today is a fruity snack day or Reese’s. Those are really the only choices. For us in the digital realm, creating engaging content or user experiences can set us apart in a crowded digital landscape. In that isle, you are forced to sort through hundreds of options, but which one are you most likely to pick up? Why?

As I mentioned before, I like weird, new stuff, so when Mt Dew releases their annual Halloween mystery flavor (called VooDew), I’ll be the first to buy it and try to figure out what they’re going for. This year… blue Airheads flavor…. It was great.

So, the next time you see me at a gas station, excitedly clutching the latest energy drink that promises to taste like a mix of unicorn tears and rainbow sparkles, know that I’m not just indulging my taste buds. I’m on a marketing research expedition – one delicious, quirky item at a time.

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