Build your own… everything.
This idea is for a Foursquare or Yelp style recommendations mobile app.
In advertising we often talk about how today’s world of unlimited options actually hurts the consumer in making a purchase decision. When we see a shelf in 7/11 covered with 20 different flavors of Gatorade, there’s a far more likely chance that our final purchase will be disappointing. The opportunity cost for that one Gatorade is 19 other flavors.This is why Apple only really sells one version of everything, in small, medium and large variations.
As a result we look for social and crowd sourced recommendations on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. These recommendations stand to limit the chances that we will feel buyers remorse.
The app itself is for restaurants and fast food joints that give their customers the option to build their own sandwich, burrito, whatever. Effectively through the app a user gets their chance to create their own menu items and share them with their friends. (in the app or additional social networks) You simply open the app, and put together a list of offered meals and toppings. The focus here is on the power of the endorsement from one friend to another. As a first time customer, I could see a list of the customized burritos that my friends created at Chipotle. If none of my friends have been to a certain restaurant, I can see a list of most popular menu creations as voted on by all users.
The business owner doesn’t need to have any involvement whatsoever. But they can use an app like this to test new items and leverage trends to get people through the door. For example, when Jeremy Lin starting making it rain in Madison Square Garden a Philly burger truck created the “Linsanity Burger”. An app like this provides a platform to share these novelty food items and capitalize on recent memes in popular culture. As an additional benefit, establishment owners would have new information of the most popular creations by their loyal customers, and potentially could turn these into permanent menu items.
Finally this service has some potential in promotional celebrity endorsements. When I walk into Subway I should be able to see how some of my favorite personalities like their sandwiches. What does Rick Ross order when he really want’s a sub.
The question is, are users interested in sharing this information with their friends? A voting system could potentially show the most popular items among friends. Is this the kind of validation that users are looking for? Could we expect to see tweets and facebook shares that link back to the app?
Is this a product or a potential feature for Yelp and Foursquare?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.