Crumbl, a cookie and ice cream chain, recently opened in our town. The response has been crazy, with people waiting in lines outside the building to pay almost $5 per cookie. At first, I couldn’t understand it, but I succumbed and tried one and can now understand much of the buzz.
Some lessons I learned from my visit (besides the fact that their cookies are de-licious):
- Quality matters. People are willing to pay more if they feel the product or service has value. Even though the cookies are expensive, they are also huge. The cookies also come heated or chilled as appropriate — a real bonus.
- Presentation matters. The cookies come in a signature pink box, making them feel more special than eating them from a generic box or paper bag.
- Focus matters. Each week, the store sells a collection of six cookie flavors and six flavored pints of ice cream. That’s it. They concentrate on what they do and do it well. They aren’t trying to be a bakery or even dessert capital — just cookies and cream.
- Uniqueness matters. The standard chocolate chip version is the only staple on their menu. The other five flavors rotate weekly with flavors such as passion fruit, New York cheesecake, key lime pie, Kentucky butter cake, and piña colada. This isn’t “just another cookie,” but rather something you can’t get most places.
Crumbl is carry-out only so they aren’t trying to cultivate a “third place” as Starbucks did but they have followed much of the same business model as the beverage giant. Instead of trying to cut corners or make the cheapest product around, maybe you’d be one smart cookie to pursue the premium route instead.