I was talking to a fellow teacher from NYU last night about the demise of the brand Crumbs, as in Crumbs Bake Shop.
If you are not familiar with it, Crumbs quickly became a New York institution with the advent of what was at the time the best cupcakes in the city. And it was that which may have been the ultimate end of Crumbs.
Note the word "quickly."
The brand expanded too quickly, on many levels. They opened way too many locations way too fast, and it appears that they couldn't keep up. Some say going public was the worst part, putting a different level of expectations on the business. Quality fell down, consistency suffered, and the deliciousness that was once their cupcakes faded. What was once a destination was no longer worth the trip.
That's not good for a brand. The "neighborhood bakery" became too over exposed and too over rated, at least in our opinion.
The brand also moved beyond cupcakes, which in hindsight I think was a mistake. Partnerships with Starbucks for coffee and David Burke for gourmet sandwiches/salads took the brand off of its game.
They lost their focus; they lost their cupcake mojo.
Does this mean the end of cupcakes too? Not by a long shot.
Just because one business doesn't succeed doesn't mean that an entire category can't move forward. Quite the contrary, I think if the brand had stuck to their knitting and grew more strategically and organically, then it might still be alive.
I for one was a big fan, so I'm sad to see them go.
What's your experience? JIM.