Product Differentiating Pumpkins

by Sandy L on October 18, 2010

Pardon the crappy cell phone photo, but when I was at our local pumpkin patch this weekend, I was inspired to write a post about the experience.

You see, every fall for the month of October, a few of our local farms go all out and turn picking out a pumpkin into a rootin, tootin party.

One of the places we like to go is Whitney’s Farm. During the holidays..just about any holiday, the place has an incredible vibe about it.  This weekend was no exception. There was a DJ playing Halloween themed music. In between songs, he had trivia, giveaways, dance contests, musical pumpkins (a take on musical chairs). Plus there are all these other things to do too:

  • Free Hay Ride
  • Face Painting
  • Pony Rides
  • Petting Zoo
  • Giant Slide (my son’s favorite)
  • Balloon Pumpkin
  • Photo sitting on a giant pumpkin
  • Playground
  • Ice Cream, Cider Donuts, and other Junk Food
  • Corn Maze
  • Oh, and of course, the Pumpkin Patch

Some people may think the price of the pumpkins there are high, but I find that this is the perfect example of product differentiation. I am happy to pay extra for a pumpkin when the folks at Whitney’s make it an annual event to remember. They also have a HUGE selection to choose from. I’m guessing they have thousands all over the property.  Similarly at Christmas time, they have hot cocoa, sleigh rides, and a great selection of trees, wreaths and garland.  It’s places like these that make living in the Berkshires very fun. Sometimes I feel like one of the Gilmore Girls in Star’s Hollow. There is always some street festival or thing going on here, there and everywhere.

These are the types of places I like to spend money at, because:

  1. I’m supporting a local business.
  2. I like going there, so I want to make sure I help keep them in business.
  3. They are truly providing an added value that I’m willing to pay a premium for.

In contrast, before there was a Home Depot in the area, one of the hardware stores was routinely rude, overpriced, and very much reminded me of the classic only game in town business.  Supporting the little guy just because he’s little isn’t enough for me.  The company has to provide a differentiated product or service.

I’m convinced that any product could and should be differentiated. If you have a business of your own, what are your differentiators? If you think of your favorite places, what is it about them that makes them so good?

I’d love to hear your stories.

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