Häagen-Dazs is based on the same dedication to excellence that Reuben Mattus had when he founded the brand in 1960.
“Our philosophy is unchanged: Use the finest, all-natural ingredients, and craft them into the perfect balance of flavor and texture,” says Dawn Uremovich, president of U.S. Häagen-Dazs shops.
Test your knowledge of the brand’s 50-year history:
ANSWER KEY: 1. False: Store customers got a free scoop of ice cream on May 18. 2. C: Vanilla Swiss Almond was introduced later, and Raspberry Cheesecake doesn’t exist. 3. F: The line was created with the adult palate in mind. 4. A: Reuben’s daughter Doris opened the first store there. 5. False: It’s the number of ingredients in the ice cream.
In the mid ’90s, an E. coli outbreak threatened to do irreparable damage to the Jack in the Box brand.
“It needed a new identity,” says Dick Sittig, founder and creative director of Secret Weapon Marketing, the brand’s creative agency.
Enter Jack, a fictional CEO based on the drive-thru speaker clown the quick serve blew up in a 1980 commercial.
“He came back as this exec that was taking charge of the company and the brand and being a true advocate for consumers,” says Terri Graham, chief marketing officer of Jack in the Box.
In his first TV spot, Jack came back to the brand’s headquarters and blew up the boardroom to get revenge.
“It didn’t mention the E. coli incident, but it didn’t have to,” Sittig says. “The underlying message was reform.”
Fast-forward 15 years: Not only has the chain’s reputation recovered completely, but the concept has also experienced significant sales increases and nearly doubled in size. And the Jack’s Back campaign has picked up 10 Effie Awards for excellence in advertising.
“Jack is an integral part of our brand identity, and our guests absolutely love him,” says Linda Lang, the brand’s “other” CEO. “I couldn’t imagine sharing my job with anyone else.”
Q: Is it harder to find innovation in a company the size of Yum?
A: Our mission is to constantly listen to the voice of our customers, connect with them, and always reach for new innovations and excellence in everything we do. We have leading brands that are loved by customers around the world in 100 countries, but we’ve found ways to make a big company feel small.
Q: Does your marketing background help you be more innovative?
A: My marketing mantra for the organization is: “What consumer perception, habit, or belief do you have to either change, build, or reinforce in order to grow the business?” I think that when you truly listen to the voice of the customer and answer that question, you’ll have a home run.
Q: How much innovation are you seeing in the restaurant industry these days?
A: There can never be enough. … Innovation isn’t just the responsibility of marketing. Innovation is the responsibility of everyone in the organization. You have to look at every customer touch point.
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