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Haagen Dazs shows how it’s done (again)

Haagen Dazs Five vanilla ice cream package
Need a great product idea? Dress up the old product and call it a day.

For those of us thinking about new product ideas, Haagen Dazs provides yet another case study in astonishingly brilliant and equally astonishingly simplistic product development and marketing genius: Haagen Dazs Five. Haagen Dazs, like other premium product manufacturers, has found life a bit difficult in a recession as consumer’s wallets have thinned, making a Haagen Dazs purchase a bit harder to swing, let alone justify.

So targetting the increasing consumer wariness of bizarre and unpronounceable ingredients, Haagen Dazs has released a new line of ice cream where the ingredients are simple and easily identifiable, thus finding a whole new crew of consumers willing to pay a premium for their ice cream.

And here’s where the genius comes in: there’s really no difference between Haagen Dazs ice cream and Haagen Dazs Five ice cream. All Haagen Dazs ice cream is made with a simple list of ingredients (and, in fact, both the vanilla and the coffee versions of Haagen Dazs Five are exactly the same product as the regular Haagen Dazs versions of those ice creams!) Only a marketing genius of the highest order could package products they already make into a brand new set of products and find a whole new market for them. You should have your marketing notebooks out and be taking notes!

Here’s the ingredients list for Haagen Dazs Five Vanilla ice cream:

  • Skim Milk
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla

    But, since they’re making a virtue of something they already do, they feature the ingredients list right on the front of their package in beautiful bold type:

    Haagen Dazs Five Vanilla flavor ice cream

    Now, here’s the list of ingredients for the regular, everyday, in-your-grocery-aisle vanilla ice cream that they’ve been selling for centuries:

  • Cream
  • Skim Milk
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Natural vanilla

    Now, granted, the Haagen Dazs Five ice cream can’t give us yummy flavors like Mint Chip or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but you really have to admire a company that introduces a hot new product by dressing up the old product to go after a whole new set of customers.

    And this, my friends, is how you do it. (Of course, Al Ries has been bouncing off the walls in impotent anger about this “brand extension” these past few days, but, after my lengthy review of his book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, we all know there’s huge amounts of money to be made by ignoring everything Mr. Ries has to say.)

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    1. [...] from those insights. The same insight is behind products such as our infamous raw water and Haagen Dazs’ new product line, Five, which, you may remember, I praised to the [...]


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