Haagen-Dazs: Repositioning a Cult Brand

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG145
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1990-2006
Organization : Haagen-Dazs
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Worldwide
Industry : FMCG

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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"We take the positioning and identity of the Haagen-Dazs brand very seriously, and all new product introductions must be commensurate with our pledge to deliver a superior tasting ice cream experience."1

-Craig Whitney, director of marketing for foodservice, Haagen-Dazs Co. Inc., May, 2005.

"It is a pillar of our brand identity that we don't put anything artificial in our ice cream."2

-Gulbin Hoebrechts, senior marketing manager, Haagen-Dazs Co. Inc., May, 2005.

Introduction

In May 2006, Haagen-Dazs Co. Inc. (HCI), a manufacturer and marketer of super-premium3 ice creams and a subsidiary of General Mills Inc (GM)4 , launched limited edition "ice cream flavored" postage stamps in association with the Austrian postal service to promote the Haagen-Dazs brand (See Exhibit I for photographs of the stamps). While customers could use these stamps to send their mail, they could also lick and taste Haagen-Dazs flavors like Cookies & Cream, Macadamia Nut5 Brittle, Strawberry Cheesecake, etc., on the stamps. This was a part of the company's 'Let your tongue travel' campaign. It was precisely marketing campaigns such as these that contributed to the near iconic status that the Haagen-Dazs brand enjoyed in the markets where it was present.

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Incorporated in 1961, HCI came to be owned by several conglomerates at different points in time. Initially, the company depended solely on word-of-mouth publicity to promote Haagen-Dazs. But even then, the company took an integrated approach to the marketing of the brand, ensuring that the product, packaging, pricing, and distribution channels conveyed a premium image. The image of luxury was strengthened at the Haagen-Dazs Shops, the company's exclusive ice cream stores.

The first advertisement for Haagen-Dazs was launched in 1981. Subsequent campaigns brought out through the 1980s and 1990s, suggested indulgence, sophistication, and sensuousness. In the early 2000s, with competition intensifying, ecided to reposition the Haagen-Dazs brand in such a way that it shed some of its exclusivity. The 2004 ad campaign, which emphasized attributes such as purity and 'all-natural' ingredients, was an attempt to expand the target market of the brand.

Around the same time, low fat products were also launched to attract health-conscious people.

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1] Lori Dahm, "Ice cream dream: Light tastes right thanks to innovative technology from Haagen-Dazs," www.allbusiness.com, May 2005.

2] Lori Dahm, "Ice cream dream: Light tastes right thanks to innovative technology from Haagen-Dazs," www.allbusiness.com, May 2005.

3] In a "super-premium" ice cream, the butterfat content is 14% and above.

4] General Mills Inc. is a major US-based foods conglomerate. GM was incorporated in 1928 by merging a number of milling companies in Minneapolis, US. As of 2006, the company operated the international business of the Haagen-Dazs brand, excluding the US.

5] Macadamia nuts are the fruits of macadamia trees, which generally grow in rain forests. Out of eight known species, only two -the smooth shelled nuts from M. integrifolia and the hard shelled nuts from M. tetraphylla -are edible and commercially exploited. The species is native to Eastern Australia.

 

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