Do YOUR customers line up across the street to give you dough for your dough ?

So, I’m wandering around New York City having fun with my daughter, Paloma, and I see a huge line up across the street.

Line ups interest me.

FOMO? Maybe.

Line ups create buzz.

So I asked someone, what’s the line up for? I’m thinking some celeb is performing or speaking (it’s the middle of the day), who knows, but I gotta. Know.

So the guy says, their lining up for his shop. A tiny little shop on my left. (He doesn’t own it, but the black T shirt radiates cool.)

They’re lining up across several lanes on the OTHER side of the street–not close. Huh?

Apparently they’re lining up for DO (can’t produce the accent on top of the O that makes it look exotic). Cookie dough by the scoop in a small (think gelato) paper container.

Seriously, I ask him? Why are they lining up across the street?

“‘Cause we don’t want to disturb the other stores on this side.” Double huh?

So, I cross the street and start interviewing people. Could this possibly be true? “Why are you lined up?” ”

“For the DO store across the street.”

“How did you hear about it?”

“On TV.”

Apparently there was a Buzz Feed segment.

If you ever doubted the power of publicity, doubt no more.

I cross back and ask the DO doorman how does it work? You can’t just walk in the store. How do they get from across the street to the entrance without newcomers mixing in?

So, he tells me. There’s another guy across the street handing out round DO coasters as tickets for entry to the shop and escorting them across the street. (He interrupts his answer to stop a few interlopers from inadvertently crashing the party, trying to enter unaware of the DO protocol.)

I ask him for a business card so I can write about them.

He doesn’t have one.

So I ask for one of his round yellow DO coaster entrance tickets (write VOID on the back–I’m not going to burst into the store and buy out all the DO). Nope, he can’t do that.

Can he write down the name? He hasn’t got a pen.

What he has is a whole big bunch of attitude, a line up across the street and a store full of cookie dough.

Is there a website? He doesn’t know. I remind him that it’s publicity that got him the lineup across the street and that my writing about is more publicity so he reluctantly goes in and comes back with a brown napkin, uses my pen and writes down the word DO.

Still wondering WHY they have their potential customers line up across the street.
Not disturbing the other shops?

Maybe that’s the reason.

Or maybe they’re just BRILLIANT marketers.

Maybe they know that lineups sell stuff.

That’s why people sometimes hire people to stand in lineups at movie premieres (a client once confided in me that he did that at a film festival to attract attention).

Is this DO stuff amazing? Is it delicious? Inquiring minds want to know…

So my enterprising daughter, Paloma, another marketing enthusiast like me, offered a few recent customers a dollar for a dime sized dollop of DO. They refuse payment and offer us a taste which we share. Paloma didn’t agree with me but I thought it was cra…(rhymes with scrap).

Didn’t verify with the shop, but one woman told me she paid almost $10 bucks for the 3 scoops of DO (remember this is cookie dough).

Apparently, I’m not the only one that thought the confection was overrated hype in a bowl, ’cause as we left we saw a NYC garbage can adorned with what can only be described as Protest DO.

If they really just wanted to flush throw it out, they would have landed it inside, instead of on TOP of the garbage container. A warning to others passing by to save their dough?

Actually on second look, it’s a Recycling container?

Were they leaving some for others to try? Maybe so they didn’t have to line up across the street to spend 10 bucks on curiosity?

For me and my daughter, there were valuable lessons that we’ll be sharing with our peeps for years, about price elasticity, about publicity, about hype, about scarcity, about social proof (lineups) and so much more.

If you think you can’t do this with whatever you’re selling, you may want to reconsider. Yes, it takes chutzpah. Oren Klaff (Pitch Anything) style chutzpah. $200 for a Disney blow up beach ball style chutzpah (Dan Kennedy tells a great story about that). How can you apply the DO techniques to YOUR business?

Thanks to our photographer, aka guy passing by with phone, Dan P. for the brilliant shot. 🙂

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