Sunday, May 13, 2007


This past week Marketplace ran a story concerning when a brand goes national it often loses the uniqueness that made it wonderful in the first place. The story spotlighted, Sprinkles, the cupcake boutique in Beverly Hills that is now in Newport Beach, Dallas, Pheonix and possibly coming to a location near you.

The story asserted Sprinkles success comes from a combination of nostalgia and design. People love to eat the cupcake because it reminds them of their childhood, but they flock to the Sprinkles store and pay $3.25 for a cupcake for the experience. The Beverly Hills store is the winner of the 2006 AIA Los Angeles Restaurant Design Awards: Jury Prize and People's Choice Award. It is not surprising that this well thought out store would win these accolades. Take a look inside at the blond cabinets, concrete floors, the Bertoia bent metal side chairs that match the storefront, and the use of light to create a clean, minimalist display. The cupcakes are identified by color ID tags which are essentially colorful combinations of the pop art icon, the target. On the back wall the colored targets can be deciphered by the eye appealing color ID chart. Once selections are made the cupcakes are presented in little gift boxes to enjoy now or later. It is a truly well thought out design from store down to the smallest details in the cupcake.

Hopefully Sprinkles will take the Marketplace story to heart and not over expand or sell out their design concept to make profits. The story alluded to the Krispy Kreme expansion debacle a few years ago. Sprinkles needs to take their expansion with precision and remain true to the elements that keep people flocking to their stores. It is the experience more than anything that keeps people coming back for more.