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Which ice cream should we choose?

The other day we were walking in a park. It was an unusually warm day and we noticed lots of people eating ice creams. We soon came across the café that sold the ice creams. It was decision time. Should we join the queue and select from a dozen or more ice cream flavours or should we pick up a Magnum or Cornetto from the freezer cabinet. We queued up for an ice cream.

It got us thinking. How did we weigh up the options? What went through our minds when we considered choosing the “milkmaid” and her tubs of ice cream flavours rather than a faster purchase by diving into the freezer cabinet? We decided it was customer experience.

Arguably it would have been simpler to buy a Cornetto. The ice cream in the Cornetto would be securely held in the wafer. It would have been hygienically wrapped in the factory where it was made and temperature controlled ever since. It would not have dripped down our hands as we attempted to devour it in the warm sunshine. On the other hand, we would have missed out on a celebration of the warm weather which demands a carefully crafted ice cream in our hands. If we had chosen the Cornetto we wouldn’t have been served by the milkmaid and enjoyed the feeling that summer has arrived. Or maybe it was simply the fact that everybody else was eating ice creams in cones that influenced our decision. It is human nature to see what other people are doing and follow them.

Here’s the point. Sometimes customer experiences are subtle. We are not quite certain why we choose one thing over another. It is why when we are assembling our product offer we shouldn’t discount the small things, especially the human things that might separate us from an alternative. We do like choice and we do like to be served and there is nothing on a warm summer’s day quite like ice cream served by someone who looks like they have made it.


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