Word-of-Mouth Advertising Can Sell More Than Doughnuts

Article excerpt

Byline: Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos

OK, I admit it.

I'm addicted to Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

And while I'm confessing, I better add that I'm not in recovery. Fact is, I don't anticipate joining a 12-step program.

If you haven't yet visited the new factory of hole-y food on Route 53 in Woodridge, you definitely are in the minority. Every time I drive by (or drive through) the Krispy Kreme shop, the number of people feasting on yeast is incredible. From what I can tell, my addiction is shared by many.

Though the company has been contributing to expanding waistlines for almost 70 years, until recently I'd never heard of Krispy Kreme. Those of us from the left coast grew up eating Winchell's donuts. BORING! When we moved to Illinois, we got a taste of Dunkin' Donuts and realized how deprived we'd been.

On a business trip to North Carolina three years ago, I met a corporate attorney who worked for Krispy Kreme. He gave me a handful of coupons good for free doughnuts. I had no idea what a valuable gift I'd been given. The next day I found a convenience store boasting the now-familiar red, green and white logo and exchanged one of my coupons for a foretaste of heaven. (Well, it was out of this world!)

I couldn't wait to tell my wife and kids. But, as is the case with so much in life, they couldn't appreciate my enthusiasm. A donut? What could be so indescribable?

A few months later while we were driving to Florida, I saw a sign advertising Krispy Kremes at a truck stop. One bite and the family was convinced that my enthusiastic endorsement of the doughy discs was not unwarranted.

On subsequent family trips east or south, we planned our breaks around stores that sold Krispy Kremes. "Why don't they bring these delicacies to Illinois?" we whined. Our frustration only grew when we happened upon a Krispy Kreme outlet in the shadow of Disneyland while visiting grandparents in California last summer.

And then, just before Christmas, we saw the neon orange "Now Hot" sign against the skyline of green and red holiday lights along Route 53.

Our doughnut dreams came true. Joy to the world!

But I can't get over the way people flock to our new Krispy Kreme. In less than two months, our local shop has sold more than half a million doughnuts. …