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Does your business need a Cronut?


28 January 2014

Every now and then a trend hits the market, and shortly after copycats emerge and attempt to replicate the success of the original inventor. A few years back we saw the cupcake craze hit our shores and thighs, and in no short time competition was popping up everywhere. However the phase of cupcakes soon came to an end, as did the excessive number of cupcake businesses.

Then along came a man named Dominique Ansel who invented the Cronut, a croissant and doughnut hybrid that has made headlines around the world. There is no doubt this wonderful innovative bakery item has realized profitable returns. Prior to opening his own bakery in November 2011, Dominique had proven his talents within the food community of New York City. Still it is the Cronut, which has won him his most adoring fans.

As I was recently in New York, I decided to rise early one morning and make my own assessment. On arrival I was surprised to see a security guard and I couldn’t help wonder if he ever thought that he would one day be working to protect a fancy doughnut. Yet as I stood in line for a total 93 minutes to acquire the precious item I started to think about my own business and why it needs a Cronut. Incase you haven’t figured it out; a Cronut represents the X Factor in a business.

In my opinion Dominique Ansel has built a compelling value proposition. His success isn’t an accident because he devotes time into inventing recipes that become his investments. He created a product that no one else offered and in doing so he established a niche of his own. Further he manages daily production to ensure the Cronut always sells out. Strictly based out of one location, means customer visits are likely planned and rarely by chance. Then a swift move to trademark his creation preventing anyone from ever using the name, has cemented him a brand with an exclusivity that no one can rival.

His pastry is the first to have ever been so high in demand. This was proven when Heidi Klum chartered a private jet from LA to get her fix and it can sell up to 20x its retail price on the black market. Well….Wall Street as confirmed by the security guard, but don’t start getting ideas, because you can only buy 2 at a time.

So as I waited in queue I found myself caught up in the momentum with my fellow Cronut fans. From being instructed on how to eat and store the prized possession, I was having fun. My customer experience was memorable, evident by the fact I am sharing it with you! Finally when you get inside the bakery, you’re placed in a special Cronut line that clearly is designed to increase sales, as numerous memorabilia is on display.

Considering Cronuts were only introduced in May 2013, time will tell if the novelty wears off. Yet something tells me that while copycats are desperately trying to crack his recipe and brand it as their own, Dominique is already in his kitchen whipping up another masterpiece.