New kid on the block does direct marketers proud

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Sweet! Another New York City cupcake shop is on the scene, adding to the over-crowded but popular cupcake trend that has given Gotham a sugar rush in the last few years. Frankly, it’s debatable whether the city – and my waistline -- really needs another cupcake joint. But the bigger question is: how does the new kid on the block compete with much-lauded fan favorites around town such as Crumbs, Magnolia Bakery, and the original Manhattan cupcake joint, Cupcake Café?

Cupcakestop.com is a moveable feast. Literally. The mini-cake purveyor is touted as “NYC’s First Mobile Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe.” The cupcake truck parks in various locations around the city, selling a variety of cupcakes through the side window. Kinda like the ice cream man, except you don’t have to chase him down the street.

But the coolest part of this to me, as a follower of marketing trends, is how they get the word out. These savvy direct marketers are using online elements and social media to talk to customers. Log on to CupcakeStop.com for the menu and the schedule of parking stops. You can also follow the truck on Twitter -- @CupcakeStop -- along with 4,878 New Yorkers to get the truck’s location day-to-day as well as updates on availability of flavors such as Red Velvet and Coconut Cream.

I stopped at the truck parked on 23rd St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues last night – a girl’s got to do research – and purchased a cookies ‘n cream cupcake. It was yummy. As I paid the $2.25 tab, the salesperson handed me a business card-sized coupon for “1 FREE mini cupcake,” with an expiration date and a tagline of “while supplies last.” Compelling call to action. Well done, cupcake dudes.
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