Last Week, Krispy Kreme Was a Villain. Now, It’s a Hero–Thanks to 1 Very Smart Marketing Decision

Last Week, Krispy Kreme Was a Villain. Now, It’s a Hero–Thanks to 1 Very Smart Marketing Decision

It was last month's entrepreneurial feel-good story: a student driving hundreds of miles weekly to buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Iowa so he could res

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It was last month’s entrepreneurial feel-good story: a student driving hundreds of miles weekly to buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Iowa so he could resell them to his poor, doughnut-less cohorts in Minnesota and pay for his college education.

Don’t worry. It’s a feel-good story again. This week, in the wake of backlash, the doughnut company told 21-year-old Metropolitan State University student Jayson Gonzalez to get back on the road. What’s more, Krispy Kreme is donating 500 dozen doughnuts to Gonzalez’s cause, according to a company statement published on Twitter.

Before Krispy Kreme asked him to halt operations, Gonzalez had built a veritable mini-empire out of his 250-plus mile drives. He made 19 runs between Iowa and Minnesota in his Ford Focus, selling 100 $9.49 boxes per run for $17 to 20 each, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Now, it appears he’s ramping up operations with a Gofundme page requesting funds for a vehicle upgrade. “I would ideally be looking to use the funds to get a used Sprinter Van, Large SUV, or Truck to increase that capacity to 200-300 dozens,” the page reads. “I know a lot more people in Minnesota are going to want in on the weekly runs.”

As of Thursday evening, Gonzalez’s fundraiser had received $6,181 from more than 240 different donors. His entrepreneurial spirit is undeniable–and apparently a family trait, the Pioneer Press noted last month.

In the span of about two weeks, Krispy Kreme went from anti-entrepreneurial villain to veritable corporate hero. The decision the company made was smart on a number of levels: In exchange for 500 boxes of doughnuts, Krispy Kreme just turned around a sticky situation, gained a potentially valuable market research partner (the company left Minnesota in 2008–potentially due to growing “too big too fast,” the Pioneer Press wrote), and earned itself some goodwill in the local community.

The lesson here: Spontaneous, effortless marketing opportunities don’t come along very frequently. Learn to recognize them when they do.

This article is from Inc.com

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