When you think about it, it’s not like Uber invented the wheel. They made some improvements (big ones certainly) to an existing business model, which turned out to be exactly the changes consumers were looking for. But give credit where credit is due, they certainly did their homework.
They made two primary changes: First, they created an app that is reminiscent of a video game. With this app, it’s almost fun to wait for your car. Second, they made the customer the number one priority. The result is customer loyalty not seen by any company for a long time.
So what is the next industry ripe for revolution?
Ice cream………delivery. Say it with me. Ice cream delivery.
It’s a concept so simple it’s hard to believe it doesn’t already exist. Just like Uber.
For the sake of this article, I’m going to use Baskin-Robbins as my example company, but this idea could apply to almost any ice cream shop. This includes frozen yogurt too. And ice cream for the lactose intolerant too. Deliver the whole ice cream/iced-products family.
“Hey Dave, why do you think this will work?”
Two words. Pizza delivery.
And one more word: Kids.
Imagine the state of pizza in America without delivery. A bunch of chain pizza shops and scattered carry out places waiting for people to call to order a pizza, then hop in their cars to pick it up. That’s an incredibly passive business model.
But that’s exactly what ice cream shops are doing right now. Waiting for you to drop by. Think about it…you’ve just finished dinner, you’re looking at a pile of dirty dishes, but you’re going to drop everything, toss the family in the minivan and drive to the local ice cream shop. Yeah, right. Maybe you’ll pass by on a Saturday and decide to stop in. Maybe.
But if ice cream were delivered? Now that’s a game changer.
I haven’t addressed the kids yet, but I will.
“What would this new “Baskin Robbins Delivers” look like?”
Let’s start with a great mobile app. Create it much like the Uber app. Show the ice cream being prepared at the parlor (yes, I’d go back to naming the ice cream shop a “parlor,” which is the traditional name of an ice cream shop,) then show the driver in route to your house and finally at your doorstep. Very much like the Uber app.
I would establish a rewards program because they are proven marketing tools. Every 10th cup or cone is free. Something like that. Free sprinkles for the kids, all the time. Free marketing angle for the kids.
These next few ideas are open to debate, but I like them. Start with creating a uniform for the drivers (and in-store staff.) The traditional soda jerk uniform complete with apron and hat.
Who doesn’t want to get ice cream from this guy?
You might choose to update these with a more modern look, and I’m okay with that, but the uniform makes the delivery special. It creates a fun feeling and puts the customer in the mood for ice cream. It shows the company cares.
The alternative to the uniform would be whatever the driver throws on for work. A t-shirt and jeans probably. That does not convey the sense of fun that we want to create, nor does it build the brand in any way. The uniform is a benefit to the employee too, because they won’t stain their clothes with ice cream.
Logistics may drive the following considerations, but let’s assume we can work them out. I would prefer that the ice cream is scooped at the customer’s home. I think that smaller containers (quart size maybe) of ice cream could be kept in a cooler along with the toppings, cones, and cups. By the way, I’m entirely open to a new container to replace the cup.
When the delivery person gets to your house, they prepare your order right in front of you. Fresh, not melted.
My original idea was to deliver the ice cream by bike rather than a car, but melting could become an issue. The overriding issue though is employee safety. Without proper bike lanes, which most places do not have, employee safety is a huge issue.
Is your mouth beginning to salivate?
Advertising and Marketing
Media Placement: Television ads that are specially targeted to Moms and kids would run between 4pm and 7pm, Monday through Friday. Drive people to the website and mobile app with the call to action. Customers would have the ability to pre-order for delivery at a particular time later in the day.
Run Facebook ads between 2pm and 7pm.
Creative: Don’t be too cute with the ads. Stress Ice cream delivery. Baskin Robbins delivers the 31 flavors to your door. It sells itself. Here’s a quick taste of a branding spot for BR Delivery (my name for the Basking Robbins Delivery Division)
This would be enhanced, but the key is the little boy and the shots of him enjoying the ice cream.
Still don’t think this will be the next big thing?
Now we’re getting to the kids. Their faces with ice cream will be the creative force behind all the ads. If you don’t think this will be the next big thing…..ask any parent with two or more kids, if they would like there to be home ice cream delivery. Go ahead; I’ll wait.
(I’m singing “Sail on Sailor” by the Beach Boys while you ask. Just thought you would want to know.)
See? Neither parent feels like going out and getting ice cream. Especially after the second kid. Sometimes they will find the energy, sometimes not. But if there were Baskin Robbins delivery, for sure, they would be ice cream every day.
Now imagine the kids being bombarded by ads for ice cream every day. They are going to pester Mom and Dad until there is ice cream delivered to their house every day. Do you think Mom can get away with scooping out some ice cream from an Edy’s container and throwing some jimmies on top? No way. They’re going to insist on the ice cream driver with the uniform who makes funny faces. I forgot to mention that the drivers need to make funny faces. (Kidding, but making the kids laugh will undoubtedly provide a bigger tip.)
You heard it here first – home ice cream delivery is the next Uber.