Upon launching the Cereal Killer Café, it appeared that owners twins Alan and Gary Keery had it all figured out. If you’re going to flog cereals imported from all over the world then, Shoreditch is quite possibly the only area in London that has an already existing niche target market.
Word quickly spread about the café and the media soon descended in their droves. This is when one of the twins was confronted by a well-informed, yet assertive news reporter who didn’t take any prisoners when it came to asking why the café charged £3.20 for a bowl of cereal in such an economically deprived part of the capital. Needless to say, this question did not go down well.
Not only did Gary Keery appear to be offended he went on to post an open letter that went viral via social media addressing the incident and defending his position as a small business owner. Political and social arguments aside, most business owners can learn a thing or two from the Cereal Killer Café saga even if these lessons are a hard pill to swallow.
Lesson # 1 – Making Money is Good Just Ensure its Ethical
At the heart of this unfortunate turn of events for the Keery twins is the café’s stance to make a profit. Many of the cereals sold at the café are imported, hence the reason why a bowl of Cornflakes is what some might consider ridiculous. As a business owner, this price is justifiable, but you have to consider your consumer. And this is where the twins have arguably fallen short whether you agree with the pricing or not.
Lesson #2 – Bad Press is Good Press
Despite some of the negative PR that the Cereal Killer Café has attracted there is no doubt that this is the most talked about café of the year. As such the Keery twins have achieved the goal of launching a business. Generating a buzz about the launch of your business should always be at the forefront of your marketing effort, and let’s face it if you can launch your business with this kind of buzz, make the most of it.
Lesson #3 – Keep your Consumers Engaged
In all fairness the uniqueness of the Cereal Killer Café meant the cereal lovers of the capital were already drawn to the café, but even more so when the ill-fated interview was aired. This may not have been the Keery’s intention; however, it did the trick. As a business owner, you should ensure that your consumers have a way of engaging with your brand or product well beyond just the launch of your business.
Lesson #4 – Don’t Imitate, Innovate
Cereal is hardly a groundbreaking commercial consumer product, but it is when you’re able to identify a gap in the market for novelty breakfast foods. This is something that the twins have certainly nailed, and you can do the same by taking a well-known item and tapping into its marketability to appeal to a more unique selling point.
Lesson #5 – Failure is Not an Option
One thing that has to be admired about the owners of the Cereal Killer Café is their willingness to venture into the unknown. By starting up a business that is so far removed from conventional consumer goods that success was their only option. Owning your own business means that you have to take risks and so far it looks like this risk is paying off for these business-savvy brothers.
Have you seen any businesses that are as unique as the cereal killer cafe? Were they as successful? Your thoughts and comments below please...