Häagen-Dazs is closing shop in the Philippines. They used to have a branch here in Alabang Town Center. I may have bought once or twice, but I can't really remember when. I can't deny though, it's always a treat when your friends bring Haagen Dazs to parties. (Mas masarap 'pag libre!)

After 12 years of operation, Häagen-Dazs probably decided to cut their losses. They found Manila to be a "challenging business environment", according to a company statement.

Too pricey? Maybe. Or maybe it's not really about the price. For the same amount of money, you'll see people copiously buy a Frappuccino in Starbucks or a Smoothie in Jamba Juice; and these businesses are doing remarkably well! (Sometimes, the competition is not necessarily the same product)

Recently, RFM launched Magnum, a premium ice cream. It was interesting enough to create a buzz, an impression, or to get the early adopters curious. Even though it's twice the price of (my favorite) Cornetto Java, that didn't stop Magnum from becoming a bestseller. 

What do people really want? 

Yes, they want something new, but they want more than that... they want something interesting. Interesting enough to tweet. Interesting enough for your friends to debate on Facebook. Interesting enough for them to 'forget the price' and to give it a try. 

With Magnum, RFM has increased its profits by 40% (240M) for the first 5 months of 2012.  [source]

The Sorbetero Ice Cream is a novelty. It has become a part of our culture. The mere sound of the Mamang Sortbero's bell brings back childhood memories. It compels you to tell your side of the story. 

For 'The Novelty', it's not so much about the commercial success or how big the business is. It's about making that meaningful connection. (Side note: Remember Hap Chan in Malate when it was still a novelty?)

The Takeaway: For your business, pick one or two ...
1. Keep it fresh.
2. Keep it interesting.
3. Keep it a novelty.

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