The Cupcake Premium

Every once in a while, Craigslist delivers a sign of our times. Today, it does so in the form of an ad for office space on Potomac Street in Georgetown, headlined “$650 Escape Downtown -- Enjoy Georgetown Cupcake (Potomac & Prospect Streets)”.

Nevermind that the it’s just next to Georgetown Cupcake’s office, not its retail store. Or that Quick Pita across the street is really a much more desirable neighbor. The Craigslister is a government relations consultant, he understands marketing. And Georgetown Cupcake is marketing gold.

Which reminds me of a remark from Alex Brown, owner of Riccardi’s, the departing Italian suit store on M Street Ivisited last month. He said that with business lagging, his landlord’s agent had told him he should learn from the cupcake shop, which consistently has lines around the block.

“We don’t sell cupcakes,” Brown protested, in his Iranian accent. “If I sell cupcake, everybody sell cupcake, then who’s going to sell designer clothing?”

The Cupcake Premium was originally published by Washington City Paper on Aug 24, 2010

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