Mardi Gras, King Cakes and Authenticity


Let’s say your business isn’t located in New Orleans, LA or Mobile, AL. It may not even be below the Mason-Dixon line. Location shouldn’t stop you – or your business – from enjoying Mardi Gras, translated from the French as Fat Tuesday. It’s celebration dating back to Medieval Europe for the day before Ash Wednesday.

Mardi Gras is a day of revelry that occurs before many people begin 40 days of sacrifice. Tuesday’s celebration can be fun for you, and it could be a boon to your business.

Consider the Marquette, Michigan bakery, The Huron Mountain Bakery. Located about as north as you can get and still be in the U.S., the bakery yearly celebrates Mardi Gras by serving some of the best paczkis in the state and creating scrumptious king cakes. For an area where most of the citizens have never strolled down Bourbon Street, the bakery gives people a reason to celebrate.

Create a Shared Experience

Here’s something to takeaway – when you give consumers a reason to have fun with a purchase, they will. It doesn’t have to be Mardi Gras. Businesses have been working President’s Day and Valentine’s Day in this way for decades, but, at this point, it feels like a gimmick. So, what does Huron Mountain Bakery do on Mardi Gras that’s different than what every other business does on St. Patrick’s Day?

They make it a shared experience, not a reason to buy something. Across this small city, families come together to eat a piece of brightly-colored cake, hoping it’s the one with the Baby Jesus hiding in it. No one feels like green, purple and gold is being pushed down their throats, forcing them to make a purchase. In fact, if someone hadn’t been jonesing for a loaf of fresh baked bread or a doughnut in February, you might not even know those Mardi Gras treats were there.

On Beyond Fat Tuesday

The way this bakery has celebrated Mardi Gras is fun, and they’ve made it a natural part of their business. It’s unique to this place, but what sells your business doesn’t have to be the same thing as a bakery.

Leverage a fun activity to boost your business – just make sure it matters to you. Don’t fight for Valentine’s Day dollars if you own a clothing store – it will feel inauthentic. And authenticity is the trick to creating a loyal customer base.

Set yourself apart. A pizza restaurant may want to celebrate Floral Design Day by making pizza toppings in the shape of favorite flowers. What matters isn’t what a business does, but that they care about it. When they create an experience, people will pay to be a part of it.

Businesses that marry some shared authentic experience with their product or service will organically create a better experience for their customers. And a better experience means more traffic. No one wants to patronize a company, but they do like to patronize people. When you share something that matters to you, it personalizes your businesses and becomes a place where people want to go.

Let the good times roll, and embrace what makes your business unique.


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