Wait, Ranch flavored ice cream!
Hidden Valley Ranch Ice Cream is one of Van Leeuwen’s seven new spring flavors. Most flavor combinations seem logical, such as Sweet Maple Corn Bread, Blood Orange Chocolate Chip, Carrot Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Honey Graham Cracker, and Limoncello Cake. Most of us could fit in a cone of any of those flavors.
But Ranch? That makes sense, according to Rachel Garrison, associate director of Hidden Valley Ranch.
“Top your spoons with crushed pretzels or potato chips for the perfect salty crunch,” Garrison advised.
Unlikely alliances that worked
For centuries, apple pie has been served in England with melted cheddar cheese. A favorite snack in Italy is a piece of prosciutto wrapped around a melon.
Maybe it’s time for a slice of warm apple pie topped with melted cheddar cheese and two scoops of Ranch Ice Cream.
With unlikely alliances, you never know until you try. For example, pineapple on pizza. Who knew?
Small business owners and unlikely alliances
Small business owners have two ways to create incredible alliances.
- As Van Leeuwen did, they can take an existing product and change it. Think of all the things that turn into pumpkin spice in the fall.
- They may partner with another small business owner. For example, what would a specialty craft store owner have in common with a candy maker? Nothing, on the surface. But have a candy maker provide snacks for a knitting or quilting class, and the customer experience improves for everyone.
Why do that?
There are reasons to go outside the box and either update the product or partner with another business.
- It can attract attention. As Van Leeuwen and Hidden Valley Ranch did, they made a statement. Major media outlets seized on the story. It was picked up as a breaking news story in broadcast media and circulated on social media. On their own, the other six special Spring flavors probably wouldn’t garner as much interest, but the other new flavors are leaning on Ranch Ice Cream’s coattails.
- It can help two or more unrelated businesses tap into each other’s customer base. They can cooperate for one event or form a long-term cooperation. For example, in Farmington, Maine, a local businessman bought a grocery store when it went out of business. Now the space is occupied by about a dozen entrepreneurs who rent space to sell their handmade items. They take turns stocking the store and processing transactions. On their own, the entrepreneurs could hardly afford their presence in downtown storefronts.
- Small business owners can always use the network. As one business collaborates with another, ideas and knowledge are exchanged.
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Image: Hidden Valley