Increasing Sales With a Paper Bag

I read this post on the Word of Mouth blog and had to share it. If you don’t read it you should. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs. What I love about what Amy’s Ice Cream is doing is how creative they are. I’ve talked about creativity a lot on A Sales Guy. Creativity is THE success differentiator.

Notice how Amy’s Ice Cream uses creativity to improve sales.


Amy’s Ice Creams in Austin, Texas, is beloved for two things: the ice cream and the floor show. They are the ice cream equivalent of Seattle’s “flying fish.” Ice cream scoops are thrown from one worker to another and caught in cups balanced on their chins . . . while standing on one foot . . . hopping. You’ll see ice cream slingers sliding across the counters on their knees and bellies. It’s a carnival ride in there.

Finding people who are fearless and creative enough to come up with stunts like flinging ice cream balls across a room just can’t happen in the normal interview process. How exactly do you ask, “Are you a little bit nuts?” You can’t. So, at Amy’s applicants receive a white paper bag. It must be brought back within a week turned into a creation that tells Amy’s about who they are. From this white paper bag, Amy’s finds the personalities to fill their shops.

Without the right people, this is just great ice cream

By using a plain white paper bag as its job application, Amy’s gets to know the creative soul lurking within the teenaged candidate standing before them. This idea began with an applicant who was given the bag instead of the boilerplate job application because Amy’s had run out of the forms. The applicant floated the bag back into the store with helium balloons; inside the bag were items about her life. She got the job. Now for all applicants, this is how Amy’s fills their shops with people who make getting an ice cream like going to the circus.

You can can read the entire post here.

Are you this creative?

Why not?