Lemonade Stands - A Sales and Marketing Metaphor

By Warren Shiver on Aug 18, 2012

1 Minute Estimated Read Time

With another school year starting up, I was reminded of the time that I took up the typical parental duty of going into the 1st grade classroom and explaining what I do as a “grown-up”. Since I provide a nebulous service and not a product readily identifiable or relatable by 6 and 7 yr-olds, I decided to talk about sales and marketing in the context of a lemonade stand (no points for originality here), to cover the basics of location, advertising, pricing, quality, supply chain, staffing, etc. While the kids politely paid attention, they were really pleased when I brought out the lemonade, lemonheads candy, and other treats.


It was amusing to ask the kids what they want to be when they grow up to which they responded with many of the standards: pro athlete, doctor, lawyer, president (a couple aiming to be the first female to fill this role), and baker/chef. My most recent favorite was a “donut store owner”. Maybe gourmet donuts will be the next trend to follow burgers, yogurt, etc.


On a related note, check out this site: http://www.alexslemonade.org/. After Alex Scott, a four year old raised $2,000 in one day with the help of her older brother, she continued to raise money to fight childhood cancer (she was fighting it as well) and inspired others to do so through their own stands. By the time she passed away at only eight years old, her stand and others had raised more than $1million. Her parents launched a foundation in 2005, and according to the foundations site, “Since Alex set up her first lemonade stand in 2000—truly exemplifying the saying ‘When life hands you lemons, make lemonade’—we have raised more than $55 million” that has helped fund more than 250 research projects.


Now that’s one inspiring lemonade stand.

Warren Shiver

Written by Warren Shiver

Warren Shiver is the founder and managing partner of Symmetrics Group, a management consultancy focused on end to end improvement in sales force effectiveness. Through Warren’s leadership, Symmetrics Group has helped numerous organizations build high-performing sales teams focused on the right go-to-market strategy, disciplined sales process and well-designed enabling tools. Clients and consultants appreciate Warren’s uncompromising focus on quality and measureable impact and how he embodies the firm’s core values.

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