Sriracha Marketing And How You Can Avoid This Spicy Mistake

Have you ever eaten a hot dog & cheese stuffed-crust pizza?

In the next few days, Pizza Hut will unveil radically new branding across the entire company. They’re changing the pies, the company logo, and the waitstaff’s attire.

Pizza Hut is in a slump, and they’re out to attract a new generation of customers.

They believe that by adding ingredients like Sriracha, pretzels, and ginger to their pizzas that they’ll be better able to compete. More importantly, they’ll be better able to attract a type of customer who up until this point has been nowhere to be found.

The problem with their approach is they’re trying to do it through what I’m calling Sriracha Marketing.

The problem with Sriracha marketing is that it’s nothing but a marketing hack designed to resonate with the cool kids. After all, today’s coolest millennials carry Sriracha on their keychains and drink double-chocolate oatmeal stouts like it’s a nectar from the gods.

Many brands change. They develop over time. They adjust and adapt to a changing world, and they should.

But such a dramatic shift in an attempt to attract new customers doesn’t represent clever marketing.

Instead, it represents a brand that got too comfortable with serving up pans of ridiculous while the world changed around them.

Now the effort just feels phoney.

What if your company is in a rut…

What if your company is experiencing month after month of sagging sales decline…

Is it time to jump ship?

Is it time to radically transform the brand you took so long to build?

In my book Evergreen, I introduce the Three Cs of Evergreen companies.

The first C is Character – Character is about defining who you are and why you do what you do.

What is the first thing the customer thinks of when they think of your brand?

The second C is Community – Companies that create and allow communities to form will have a significant advantage over their competitors. How are you bringing your customers closer together? How are you facilitating growth through referrals and testimonials, and client success stories?

The final C is Content – Content is WHAT you do and HOW you do it.

Pizza Hut believes changing the content can save their business.

Here’s the thing:

The narrative of your company CAN be rewritten and recreated.

You CAN find ways to appeal to a new group of customers, but you can’t do it by starting with what and hoping to hack your way to the top.

They’re starting with WHAT instead of first figuring out how to change they WHY.