The summer ahead is certainly not the one Maryellis Bunn, CEO and co-founder of the Museum of Ice Cream, envisioned—2020 was supposed to be a growth year where the three-year-old brand explored international expansion and built its empire beyond its two locations in New York and San Francisco. But like many businesses, particularly experiential venues that have built their brands around sensory marketing, the museum has had to rejigger its operations amid the pandemic. It began to see a fallout from consumers early on, as Asian travelers, normally a big component of the brand’s customer base, dwindled during travel lockdowns.
After closing the company’s doors temporarily in March, Bunn took time to pause before pivoting. She surveyed customers to find out what they wanted from the brand.
“Taking the time to learn and understand how to best change and pivot a location-based entertainment company—where our core mission is to bring people together and when you have a pandemic we have to do quite the opposite—how do you build those best practices,” Bunn says on the latest episode of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast.