It was a typical spring day in 2017. People were going about their lives when all of a sudden fluorescent pink and blue creamy drinks started appearing all across the Internet. The innocuous frappuccino had arrived en masse, bringing forth closeted, fantasy lovers and an increase in sugar-induced highs. No where was safe from the sight of these mystical drinks, nor the starry-eyed gaze of consumers smitten with unicorn love.
GIF by Strudelle
Thought just as quickly as it arrived, Unicorn Frappuccinos faded into existence (mostly due to the limited availability of ingredients to make the colorful drinks), the mythos continued with many Starbucks branches and other retailers creating their own unique take on the drink. From unicorn elotes to Dragon Frappuccinos, the explosion of the Unicorn Frappuccino can teach a lot about developing fun products.
One of the reasons why Unicorn Frappuccinos exploded in popularity was that it tapped into something woven into the very fabric of popular culture.
Who doesn’t remember bright Lisa Frank stationary with unicorn and other colorful creatures emblazoned everywhere? Ever heard about centaurs, unicorns, and pegasus when it comes to businesses? Just more terms to showcase the valuation of companies.
Unicorns have become so much a part of society that they’re referenced in some of the most popular works of fiction today including My Little Pony and Ke$ha.
Most foods and drinks, in particular, are not that interesting when it comes to taste and look. All else equal, it was relatively easy for the Unicorn Frappuccino to stand out amongst all of the other presently available popular options because of its unique apeal.
It wasn’t another coffee drink. It wasn’t tea. It wasn’t a smoothie even.
It was, in many ways, a category onto itself even though it borrowed some of its fame from one of Starbucks signature offerings—the Frappuccino.
Speaking of looks, the way which the drink was designed made it perfect for some of the most popular social networks today—bright blues accented by neon pink and a healthy dollop of whipped cream. People generally share things on social platforms when they can solicit an emotion from their audience.
Who doesn’t appreciate even a couple of likes on their post?
Intrigue, envy, FOMO, etc. There’s a litany of feelings that posting about a drink like this can and did produce. Anyone on the Unicorn Frappuccino train was an insider, a member of a secret club—while most everyone else was just left wanting to learn more.
No doubt there will be other products like this one that will fuel society with excitement, imagination, and desire. Will it be your product? ?
What are your thoughts on the Unicorn Frappuccino?