Talk about being able to create an experience: the out-of-town donut shop brought its “Emergency Donut Vehicle” to our city today. It’s a retrofitted ambulance, so we were greeted with sirens and lights when it turned into the parking lot – and they were greeted by 121 people in line before it opened.

The outside of the vehicle added to the festivity with their spaces for long john storage, emergency jelly pump, sprinkle storage bins and icing bandages. Overall it made for an out-of-the-ordinary noon hour for dozens of people in line as well as the dozens back at home or in the office who were able to partake in the dozens of donuts being distributed out of the “ambulance.”

I did not stay until the end, but the clerk said that last time they were in town, the packed-full vehicle was sold out in a half hour. What a way to generate business.

I doubt that if they had a bakery in town that it would have created this much buzz on this particular day. While they may have steady sales, people would not wait an hour in line and buy multiple dozen donuts at noon on a regular basis. Today’s levity succeeded because of the novelty and scarcity.

Think about how your organization can make something you provide less accessible. Is there a way for you to create demand because of the difficulty in obtaining a product or service? Should you shrink an element of your distribution in order to ultimately expand it? Would something be more popular if it was limited?

Maybe a manufactured emergency is just what the donut doctor ordered for you.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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