Last night I caught the founders of Cereality, David Roth and Rick Bacher, on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Now this truly is a remarkable concept – a bar/cafe that serves cereal. Not high-end, gourmet cereal. Just plain ‘ol Apple Jacks, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, etc. But you – the customer – gets complete control of the experience. You can lay down a bed of delicious Golden Grahams, top them off with a few Cocoa Puffs, and add toppings like bananas to boot.
And the innovation doesn’t stop at the door. They’ve invented a user-friendly (and environmentally friendly) container with a clever spoon that has a flue in it for sucking the sweet, cereal-flavored milk (left). This is a perfect example of taking an activity that users love and building an experience around it. And you don’t sit at a table either. You stand at kitchen-island like counters.
Roth and Bacher came up with a winning concept. All of the parts already existed. All they had to do was connect the dots. Oh, and the pisser? They peddled this idea around to all of the cereal companies to solicit partnership opportunities and all they got was “good luck.” All except Quaker Oats, who was an early supporter and gave these innovators some start up cash. (There should be an award for companies that serve as “business angels” and support ideas like this but because there’s not I’ll lay off complaining about the oat smell in Cedar Rapids.)
The Point? It’s real “in” right now to talk about how companies like YouTube are changing the landscape of business and culture but this kind of shift can happen offline as well. Companies like Cereality are taking what’s successful about YouTube – an experience custom-sculpted around the user – and applying it successfully offline.