Modernizing Cold Stone:
W E B S I T E
I would recommend that Cold Stone gives its website a fresh re-design. It would be more image-focused with a higher-quality level of food photography that showcased what Cold Stone does best: delivering signature creations. Instead of having the black stone as the backdrop to their content as it currently is, I would have the navigation bar shaped and colored to look like a slate of black stone to incorporate their signature process into the website while keeping the overall look clean and bright with a white background and accents of their own classic red.
S O C I A L
Cold Stone should reinvigorate their social media accounts with content created by their own Cold Stone fans, as well as look into working with some creative social media influencers to gain interaction, hype, and a new modern take on the brand. Posts should not be an obvious sales pitch and should incorporate the casual, yet unique experience of Cold Stone and its consumers sharing a treat together in their day-to-day lives. Photography should be a mix of professional and iPhone quality to incorporate the realness of consumer creations, yet always maintaining a sense of excellence, fitting the same standard of their freshly made ice cream.
R E T A I L
While I understand the large cost of updating the interior feel of franchises, I do believe Cold Stone would benefit in the long-run from an in-store makeover.
m e n u : I would feature their 16 famous creations in a 4x4 canvas collage giving each flavor its own square canvas to fit in the larger 4x4 display. These famous creations are Cold Stone's most recognized pieces of ice cream art and deserve the mediums of actual displayed art. Additionally, I would get rid of the dark black backgrounds and instead display a fresh, simple, easy-to-navigate menu.
l o g o : Without drastically altering the classic look Cold Stone has had for 29 years, it would be a great opportunity for Cold Stone to refresh its look and feel for its 30th birthday coming up. The current swirly ice cream cone is fun, but it feels a little clunky and dated. I would recommend a cleanup to the cone, eliminating a lot of the frills, and simplifying the extra patterns on the backdrops. This would give Cold Stone the fresh, clean and modern look it needs without making any extreme changes.
a c c e n t s : To bring the extra flair and "Instagram-worthiness" to Cold Stone, I would want to include some fun components to the retail stores. Whether that is ice cream cone light fixtures, ice cream cone shaped chairs, or a neon light with their 10-Minute Vacation slogan, I believe some pop of fun should be included as a type of "sightseer aspect" to the franchise locations. These will drive traffic, and also encourage interaction with the consumers and the brand, who will then organically share their creative content made at Cold Stone on their own social media accounts.
Overall, Cold Stone is a brand whose immense value is being overshadowed by new and upcoming retailers. In order to stay relevant and competitive, Cold Stone needs to be modernized to fit the excellent standard of its high-quality products. I believe that by making these changes, Cold Stone Creamery would see some pretty sweet results.
by Marin Haugen