Episode 183- Lemonade and the Law

So it’s really interesting to see entrepreneurship becoming such a hot trend for the young and the older. Entrepreneurship, when I was growing up, it was not even part of a conversation. There was nowhere to learn it, there was nobody teaching it and there were so many hurdles and hoops to jump through to get started. So so many of us did the traditional route of getting a job because it’s, we were taught to do. You go to college, you get a job and you settle for doing what somebody else tells you to do. And the script has flipped tremendously now, but the rise of the internet, computers, cell phones, and just mobility to do work from anywhere. But when you think about a first entrepreneurial venture, the first thing that you see kids doing is the good old fashioned lemonade stand. Now, with all the ventures that I’ve had in this field, I don’t think I ever did a lemonade stand.

It just was not appealing to me to put a tad at thable in front of my house and to make lemonade, just to wait for somebody to show up to buy a cup for 25 cents for my active ADHD brain, which wasn’t even diagnosed at that point. I needed something with a little bit more life, but it is the first start often for kids to realize how to sell, how to talk to people, and that if you do good, there’s no limit really to the amount of money you can make. But something interesting happened in 2018- all of a sudden kids lemonade stands started getting shut down for operating without a business license. If you can believe that, if that’s not a sign of the legality of this country going too far, I’m not sure what is, but what happened was a brilliant move and a brilliant marketing technique by Country Time Lemonade. 

Now essentially, if a kid has a lemonade stand, there’s a good chance that they’re using Country time as their product. So that summer, country time lemonade had a mission and it was this-helping young entrepreneurs who get tangled in red tape by overzealous local governments and grinches. How’s that for a catchy title.  country Time saw all these new stories about kids getting busted for their lemonade stands and they brilliantly came up with a title legal aid spelled ADE like lemonade. And Leo Burnett helped create this. And what they did was they invited parents to apply for reimbursement to cover the cost of permits and find up to $300 and they even did a video summarizing the highlights of how absurd this whole thing was around the country. They said, kids are getting busted for running lemonade stands, entrepreneurship, good work habits, good old fashioned fun, shut down because of old, but very real laws.  And the videos were cute- it shows these little victims and they’re fictional legal sharks fighting for their rights to be able to sell lemonade on the street. But it was such a brilliant marketing technique. And even though they have a big marketing budget, unlike most freelancers and entrepreneurs, it shows what can be done if you really pay attention to what’s going on to begin with. It was a real time marketing campaign. It wasn’t something that worked up over years that didn’t relate to the public. Around the time that they launched this three brothers aged two to six with their mother had to shut down their lemonade stand because other permitted vendors at the park complained because the boys were undercutting their prices. That’s what they told the police. Oh, on top of it, the kids were raising money for charity. So country time did this so well, not only their, their fingers on the pulse of what the people who buy their product were dealing with or paying attention to, but they were able to do it in a way that showed that they had heart of  compassion and a sense of humor, really humanizing a big corporation, and on top of it, the entire campaign did nothing but call direct attention to their number one product, which is their lemonade.

And even by doing so, they didn’t have to commit very much money at all. So in a day and age where so many of these corporations are so out of touch, but the public where it’s about bottom line and market share, country time position itself as a very human company who are for the people and show that they’re paying attention to what’s going on in their world. And even the statement they made in one of their ads shows their humor. Life doesn’t always give you lemons, but when it does, you should be able to make and share lemonade with the neighborhood without legal implications. This is what legal aid said on their website. That’s why we’re here to take a stand for the lemonade stands across the nation. And it just made me think about small business and the businesses that we’re all running and how we can use that and the examples around us to do creative marketing like they did and how you can use the news and pop culture and things that are happening in the moment that are relevant to your business and your product and how you can use that via social media or traditional advertising or even within your own content of writing or blogs or podcasts to take something that’s relevant in your world and put a human and real spin on it.

Because I think it’s fun seeing stories like this with country time and other brands lately within social media that are quick on their feet and they’re paying attention and they’re not just going with some stodgy campaign that was pre-packaged and pre-planned. And this is why companies like country time stay ahead of their competition because after doing so and standing up for these kids and their families, a big business has found a way to create raving fans. There’ll be with them for a long time and would not think about switching products after that company made a campaign about them. So I hope this makes you think a little bit, cause it has for me and I just love that story and I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

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