How would you sell more cookies?

31 replies
A cafe isn't selling many cookies.

Nothing special about them or the place.

Nothing bad either.

How would you increase sales of them?

There's no money available for advertising.

This should get your creative brain into gear!

Best,
Ewen
#cookies #sell
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    I would put a sign out that says "Free cookies", and give one away...ask how they taste...and sell them by the bag.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I would put a sign out that says "Free cookies", and give one away...ask how they taste...and sell them by the bag.
      Yup.

      As soon as I saw Ewen's question, I immediately thought of one of the first individuals I spoke with here on WF: Glenn Osborn, NLP copywriter.

      A couple times, I saw an example of his in emails about selling more cheese in a shop. Keep in mind it's been two years since I last saw this. With a little googling, I found:

      Ryze business networking

      > #2 - We adopted the idea for a Health Food Store. Put big Green Foot prints with toes from front door over to the addictive FREE snack table. Boosted his sales by $2300 a month
      > #3 - 43% More sales for Kentucky Pharmacy - Ran an ad in his local paper: "FREE Drawing for $2000 Stereo System - when you bring in this ad..."
      > 500 pounds of cheese sold in ONE day with this sign, "FREE Cheese SAmples-Best I've tasted."
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    rebrand them.
    Try out Grandmas Peanut Butter Cookies
    Auntie Ems Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

    A nice story behind the characters wouldn't hurt either.
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  • Profile picture of the author Climb Online
    Give out free samples to passers by, dressed up as grandma or auntie. Also raise the price to reflect how special they are.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jen R
      To anyone who ordered coffee I'd ask, "Would you like one cookie or two?"
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      • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
        Originally Posted by Jen R View Post

        To anyone who ordered coffee I'd ask, "Would you like one cookie or two?"
        Jen nailed it! Suggestive sell!! My mom paid my way to Washington DC when I was in the eight grade by suggestive selling my candy at her restaurant. Giggity!
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      • Profile picture of the author MagneticKopy
        Originally Posted by Jen R View Post

        To anyone who ordered coffee I'd ask, "Would you like one cookie or two?"
        This would most likely do it... It worked for McDonlads "Super-Size?"
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    If you wanna get strangers to eat your cookies it helps to look like her.

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  • Profile picture of the author V12
    Start a rumour that the cookies contain a hint of marijuana.
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    • Profile picture of the author sandys2100
      Run a Sunday special between 11am and 2 pm, two free cookies when you show them your church bulletin.

      Two free cookies for every A on a report card.

      A weekly drawing of receipts customers put in jar for a half dozen cookies

      Have a cookie recipe contest.

      Go to your local radio station to see if they would let you come on the air for free and advertise
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    • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
      Well, I'd look at the history of Oreos.

      You can find some smart marketing strategies from the early 1900s.

      1) Advertisers created controversy and disputes about "the best way to eat an oreo". Should you dunk them? Split them? Which side first? etc etc.

      2) Seasonal repackaging. They put them in a cool little cage with a string hanging from it so people could hang them from x-mas trees. During Halloween they introduced orange colored cookies.

      3) They started offering more flavors like fudge, etc.

      4) The nature of the cookies design, all by itself was brilliant. The Oreo was no normal "cookie". It was a "cookie sandwich" packed with cream in the middle.

      On top of a unique product and intelligent marketing, they also had a lot of money. Nabisco wasn't just 1 company but the result of several companies merging together. This increased their funds and gave them the ability to gain market share.

      But you didn't ask how to sell more Oreos. You asked how to sell more cookies. And I really can't answer that. I think first you would need a damn good cookie. A cookie like no cookie before it. And on top of that you'd need a brilliant story or something to make people talk about it. The cookies would need to be unique. Maybe going the natural calorie free route might work. If someone can make an awesome cookie using stevia or something, and they tasted phenomenal .... then consumers could sell them for you.

      -RS
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    All the above and I'd place them near the cash register where every one pays.
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  • Profile picture of the author JCorp
    Always offer it as an "upsell" to whatever they're selling... so let's say the cafe is selling sandwiches.. someone buys a tuna sandwich... then immediately ask them if they'd like some of their special cookies to go with that order... "other people that purchased this sandwich also purchased these fresh, delicious cookies along with their order, would you like to add this, we have a special price if you get the combo?"
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    Since your cookies aren't something that merits attention on their own, why not find someone local that makes killer cookies with a story. Showcase their cookies in your cafe for a cut of the proceeds, which will likely be more profits than from boring cookies that nobody wants. Have the cookie person shout your cafe out to their audience, and benefit from all sides as you sell more cookies to more people and the other items in your cafe will likely pick up in sales too.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    Set up some JV's.
    Partner with small businesses. They can provide complimentary cookies to customers.
    Then, hold a contest inside of the small business. Like the cookies? Enter to win a year supply compliments of ABC Small Business..... Bam! Now you have a prospect list too!
    Partner with charities like the blood banks that give cookies away for blood sugar reasons.
    You could even do what the Girl Scouts did and partner with marijuana shops.
    A Savvy Girl Scout Is Selling Cookies at a Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Step 1: Burn building to the ground.

    Step 2: Get with all the local media talk about the travesty, shed that iconic single tear
    and pledge that you will not allow such a thing to keep you down.

    Step 3: Move to a better location

    Step 4: Get with the local media and have them talk about how you weren't
    beat down, your bigger and better then ever ... and have them mention
    your grand re opening date everyone who attends will get a special thank you
    prize for supporting you.

    Step 5: Collect the names, addresses and emails of everyone who attends

    Step 6: You no longer sell cookies, you sell gourmet cookies ....

    Super size them, give them fancy names and exotic sounding ingredients
    "fire cookies" ... "relief cookies" ... "better bed time cookies" ...

    Sex sells, nutrition aware sells ... Name some of your gourmet delights along those lines
    make sure you raise the prices on those.

    Step 7: Get with the local media ... brag about what a success it was ...
    Thank everyone profusely. Tell them you appreciate it so much you want to
    raise money for others who need help. Make a few very public donations.
    Then tell every one for the next few months a percentage of each cookie
    sold will go to your favorite charity ... church .. whatever ...

    Put a big thermometer money goal in your front window.
    Make a Facebook page ... put it there too.

    Have any internet media offer coupons and insane discounts ...
    after they post about there experience with you and give you there
    email ( for future insane discounts )

    Any known clubs in the area automatically get discounts.
    ( share that as loud and as often as you can )

    such as boy scouts, girl scouts, social clubs ( think elders )
    ... this is to get your local people to help spread the word.

    Step 8: if all this fails. Burn the building to the ground.

    Call the local media, shed another tear, blame the mafia. Collect the insurance.
    Start a new business in a new niche.


    ( for you guys and gals who don't know me ... burn it to the ground is just a joke )
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    • Profile picture of the author benjamenjuan
      One of the best posts i've ever read here, I literally took notes.

      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post


      Step 1: Burn building to the ground.

      Step 2: Get with all the local media talk about the travesty, shed that iconic single tear
      and pledge that you will not allow such a thing to keep you down.

      Step 3: Move to a better location

      Step 4: Get with the local media and have them talk about how you weren't
      beat down, your bigger and better then ever ... and have them mention
      your grand re opening date everyone who attends will get a special thank you
      prize for supporting you.

      Step 5: Collect the names, addresses and emails of everyone who attends

      Step 6: You no longer sell cookies, you sell gourmet cookies ....

      Super size them, give them fancy names and exotic sounding ingredients
      "fire cookies" ... "relief cookies" ... "better bed time cookies" ...

      Sex sells, nutrition aware sells ... Name some of your gourmet delights along those lines
      make sure you raise the prices on those.

      Step 7: Get with the local media ... brag about what a success it was ...
      Thank everyone profusely. Tell them you appreciate it so much you want to
      raise money for others who need help. Make a few very public donations.
      Then tell every one for the next few months a percentage of each cookie
      sold will go to your favorite charity ... church .. whatever ...

      Put a big thermometer money goal in your front window.
      Make a Facebook page ... put it there too.

      Have any internet media offer coupons and insane discounts ...
      after they post about there experience with you and give you there
      email ( for future insane discounts )

      Any known clubs in the area automatically get discounts.
      ( share that as loud and as often as you can )

      such as boy scouts, girl scouts, social clubs ( think elders )
      ... this is to get your local people to help spread the word.

      Step 8: if all this fails. Burn the building to the ground.

      Call the local media, shed another tear, blame the mafia. Collect the insurance.
      Start a new business in a new niche.


      ( for you guys and gals who don't know me ... burn it to the ground is just a joke )
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        I'd rebrand, as mentioned.

        I'd repackage (re-arrange the display, what are they displayed next to, where in the shop)

        I'd add a couple of new ones. And get a contest going between new arrivals and old ones... Ask customers to tell you if the new ones are keepers... Give free one (or part of one) to anyone who comes in and ask... Have a story as to why you're bringing a new one and tell it on Facebook and people in the store (maybe a poster).

        I'd try different prices... Or have the display be price-arranged...
        cookie 1 cost 0.5 and to it's right is cookie 2 (0.75) and to its right is cookie 3 ($1.75).

        Help the local food drive (or some other organization) raise money (donate) and make sure local sites / publications get wind of the news.

        Cross promote with some other nearby business (they get to give away free cookies to anyone who spends $x extra. The cookies have an invitation to come buy some cookies at 12.37% off next week.

        On a yellow sheet of paper, in red letters, make a bunch of little squares on which you write: No matter what you're purchasing next time you come in, you get 1 free cookie or 16% off something. Give that to everyone who comes into the store.

        The ones who come back, get another square that says, Thanks for coming back. We've reserved another Free x cookie for you for next week. Do it several times (doesn't have to be a free cookie, it has to be whatever you can afford, but the more they feel they get for nothing, the better it feels). If they come a half a dozen times in a short period of time, a bunch of them they'll drop by on their own now and again.

        Make them little coupons to give to friends... Make it fun... a place for the friend to write the name of the giver and... Can't think of fun things right now...

        Find meetup events happening nearby, write them a note... Have your event here. Every member of your group gets a free cup of coffee with the purchase of a cookie.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    @kenmichaels - I was expecting to read the name of the company that did this at the end of your post. lol

    I'd get with a baker and tweak the recipes to make them special.
    It should not take much - a little bit of sour cream in chocolate is good.
    Just a little touch. Little or no extra cost.
    A place by me has flourless chocolate cake. Maybe go gluten free.
    Then do some or all of the suggestions above with the "new" cookies.
    Also, give instructions with how they taste best - example: microwaved for 4 seconds...
    I especially like the ideas for free samples or suggestive selling.

    Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      One word was added to the cafe signs...
      see what it was here...The Power of Words « I Love Marketing

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        One word was added to the cafe signs...
        see what it was here...The Power of Words « I Love Marketing

        Best,
        Ewen
        Now that was brilliant. Calling them breakfast cookies is pure genius or as close to it as possible. Look what it taps into. Almost all of us would rather have a breakfast cookie than oatmeal, eggs or cereal but we've been trained that's a no-no. This breaks the mold.

        Oh wait, the concept was already laid out for us with breakfast bars. Not giving publicity to the big name boys who pioneered that thought but "borrowing" their concept, well, that's alright and that's what genius.

        This was a timely post as I wanted to sell cookies for our non-profit and was struggling with a presentation. Breakfast cookies is it!

        When we sell them in the afternoon they will be called nooners. I'll let you interpret that anyway you so desire.

        Great job Dr V.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    id find out why they aren't selling, could be the wrong flavours for my customers, the wrong presentation, etc etc ask the customers I have (presuming I have some as the OP didn't say) why they aren't buying them , then fix it .
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Somehow I feel completely duped by you Ewan! lol
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    At least there was a picture of Debbie Fields.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

    One word was added to the cafe signs...
    And Stella D'oro did that years ago.
    Where are they now?

    Hey, not for nothing, but Mrs. Fields built a veritable empire. CNBC stated her 2011 net worth was $450 million (http://money.ca.msn.com/small-busine...7623689&page=5)

    She started her business by using the time tested free sample approach.

    Case closed.
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    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    I'd just put them in two jars and get people to vote which tasted best.

    Better still if there is a photo of Grandma on one jar and a photo of .... on the other.
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  • Profile picture of the author christina21maria
    look how many impression hops you got to see whether your audience at least browse the site or close it right away.
    If you get impressions, and no sales, the price might be too high.
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