This past weekend, Google hosted a pop-up donut shop in downtown Indianapolis. The idea of this marketing ploy was based on the fact that the new Google Home Mini is approximately the size of a donut. Thus, an idea was born! This magic donut shop was located in a small building, with the limited space taken up by a long line. If you were patient enough to wait in line you took home either two donuts or one donut and a Google Home Mini. When I heard about the event, I was certainly drawn in by the thought of winning the more monetarily significant prize, but a friend of mine was truly just interested in accompanying me for the prospect of free donuts. My girlfriend felt indifferent about the prizes themselves, but she is so competitive that she really just wanted to win.

Let me just say that I would never have purposefully purchased anything like a Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or whatever other variations on this idea there may be.  That’s ok, Google was smart enough to appeal to a wide range of tastes (literally) with this promotion.  I, a rather tech-savvy millennial, was drawn in by the opportunity of trying a new gadget. My girlfriend, another millennial, was drawn in by the opportunity of winning something. My friend, the final millennial in our group, was drawn in by the opportunity of having some tasty donuts – shoutout to Taylor’s Bakery! – for the ride home.

As a former Resident Assistant, I know nothing draws college kids to an event like the appeal of some tasty snack, be it sweet, savory, or somewhere in between. If the students were interested in sticking around for the rest of the event, they would. If they weren’t, they’d get their food and leave. It was a win-win for me and my residents; they got food and I got higher attendance numbers. The hope, though, was that if the resident came to one event, found that it wasn’t quite so boring or unwelcoming, and had some food, they would be more apt to return to another event.

Donut Give Up

While a raffle or giveaway certainly isn’t always the answer to getting more customers, it certainly can be successful because everyone loves the opportunity that it brings. And if you’re just lucky enough, you’ll end up walking away with something pretty great. Having a worthwhile reason to get people in the door is not something to shake a stick at. Having just a taste is often enough to motivate people to return once again.

All in all, the outcome of us waiting in line for over an hour happened to be a win-win for Google and myself. I got a cool new gadget that honestly is a nicer addition to my home than I could have ever imagined, and the time I spent in line – over an hour in total – was entirely forgotten. Google got a new, future customer who is more likely to make a purchase of another Google Home or some variation of that product. I now have a higher chance of purchasing that product from Google then one of their competitors; in fact, I am already adding this to the list of potential holiday gifts that I purchase this season.

Ultimately, my group walked away with five donuts to share amongst the three of us, and I won a Google Home Mini. It was indeed a day well spent, and I now have the ability to ask Google to tell me a joke whenever my heart desires.

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