So a dear friend (Ken Varga) introduced me to a woman who recently opened a little ice cream place in Astoria, Queens. Her name is Jane. She is sweet.
Like many new business owners who are setting sail, taking the plunge, to pursue their dream, she was afraid. Fearful, afraid and as many new start-ups: near broke (start-up costs, rent, electric, refrigeration, etc…).
What can be done?
The answer is: “many things”.
Should she start with business cards and a website?
Many might answer that question with a resounding, Yes! My answer is “no”, not yet. A good website and business cards are among the necessary things on the “to do” list but in using a Neurochemical approach, she has to have:
- her target audience clearly identified.
- understand their values and attitude.
These points are far more important and using our building metaphor, you do the basement of a business first before you figure out where the walls, windows and doors go. No one starts building from the roof and works their way down.
As far as ice cream goes, she’s a little on the high-end side as far as a price point goes. A scoop is $4.25. It’s actually two full scoops and comes in a decent sized cup.
Let’s call it a handful. It’s more of the size of a softball, not a baseball.
Why so much ($4.25) for two scoops of ice cream?
There’s a few damn good reasons.
- Everything in her store is Fresh and Homemade.
- Her frozen treats are Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Non-GMO*
- Her Italian Ices are very rich and they don’t contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.
[ *Non-GMO means Non Genetically Modified Organisms ]
Here’s her logo:
A logo should just be an identifying mark. This one is definitely cute and clever. It’s also original.
For me, as a pro graphic designer for the last 20 years, I can comment on this logo for hours and barade you all with everything from numerical proportions, font selection right through the psychology of the color. At the end of the day, it is not whether or not you or I like it, it’s about what works for the clientele she is trying to attract.
This logotype is actually fine.
Well, fortunately it’s summertime and hot outside. This is the time of the season to open an ice cream store. It’s a no brainer.
She opened. She had an opening. She gave away some free ice cream. She even had a local politician come down for photos and did the ribbon cutting thing. She got a few local write ups and is on her merry way.
Great, so far.
This all helped and brought in some new people. Now she’ll develop a social media platform and start dealing with responses to Yelp reviews.
Before the business cards and the website? Yes.
I chose to work with her for a few reasons. She’s very passionate about her ice cream—passion is everything.
It’s all homemade, the fudge pops are to die for. They are dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO and only 110 freakin’ calories. One word: Yumma.
Jane needed something that would be highly-effective and affordable to launch her business to the local public. We came up with an easy and quick solution and used The Process.
Then we designed a little flyer highlighting and differentiating her from the competition. Keep in mind that her competition is not only other ice cream places, frozen yogurt outlets, ice cream trucks including; mass marketed desserts found in our grocer’s freezers but all desserts in general.
Then I asked her for two young women to give the hand outs to everyone in Astoria Park last weekend. Here’s one:
The Street Team:
They gave out 500 of the slightly oversized business card/flyers and we sought out “health conscious people” to give them to.
People who really care about what they put in their body. Price doesn’t matter as much as “quality does” to these people. In fact, if the prices were any lower, there would be a problem with incongruity.
Another thing to note here is: People that love and want quality are NOT interested in “Discounts” and “Deals”. They want quality and are happy and willing to pay for it.
People that want “Deals” live and operate from a different lifestyle, display different attitudes and seek certain values. There’s nothing wrong with wanting discounts. It’s just different and is not going to be her core audience, now or in the foreseeable future.
Jane and I discussed this at length already. She gets it and is in full agreement. There is No incongrinuity and she now knows who her main audience is. They are the majority of the new “hip” folks moving into the area.
This little campaign took all of 5-6 hours to execute has taken Jane’s daily gross from $50-100 per day and moved it up to $350+ per day. Saturday was a heavy hitting $750 day. We hit her ROI.
So what did I do?
I trained the girls on some light “push and pull” techniques to softly engage people. Their leading line initially started with a smiley, “Hello…” I knew this wouldn’t work more than 50% of the time. So I waited for them to figure it out for themselves. When they asked what would be better, I said: “A better leading line would be ‘I Scream….'”.
They immediately saw a very different response from people once they started using it. You could hear people yelling back “… You Scream, We all scream for Ice Cream!“.
Many people know the line. It’s from the movie “Down By Law” by Jim Jarmusch. Here’s the scene:
SMILES ABOUND!!! Laughter releases Endorphins and Enkephalins—nature’s all-natural drug. It’s all Neurochemical, this includes you.
Well, that’s all for now. Another happy client.
Soon we’ll prepare for the winter months by doing social outreach to community organizations and restaurants.
I hope you had an excellent 4th of July and are taking a vacation of monumental proportions this summer. 😀