When it comes to Instagram, the sweet spot between attainable and aspirational can be tough to crack. As new labels disrupt the ice cream industry, Häagen-Dazs hopes tweaking its once-iconic brand to suit the age of Instagram will keep it from melting under the pressure.
After falling fifty points in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food, it’s clear the brand no longer holds the same level of popularity it once did, primarily due to the evolution of ice cream eaters. This year, health-conscious searches for “vegan,” “low-sugar,” and “low-carb” ballooned by 64%, 36%, and 18%, respectively, with new entrant Halo Top at the helm. Moreover, unbranded search has grown by 10%—twice as fast as branded search across all product categories, indicating the importance of optimizing search for an increasingly brand-agnostic consumer. As such, part of Häagen-Dazs’ fresh new look includes a departure from “bling and overtly branded products” and a larger focus on craftsmanship and experience.
As part of its makeover, Häagen-Dazs plans to refresh its logo, packaging, shop interiors, and communications strategy to keep from appearing outdated. For example, the brand is building on its original Wimbledon partnership with TV, Facebook, and Instagram promotions targeted at millennials as well as an experiential activity that sends ball boys and girls to five different cities. Last year, the company also launched a frozen yogurt and put renewed focus into its Instagram-friendly mini-cup format.
As the brand’s peers outpace it one by one, Häagen-Dazs’ last hope might lie in the grid. While ingredients play a crucial role in the ice cream industry, Häagen-Dazs’ fall from grace points to another, perhaps more pivotal definer of success: presentation is everything.