Founded in the US in 1945, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice-cream specialty stores, boasting 7,500 retail shops in nearly 50 countries. Known worldwide for the variety of its flavour range (hence its famous ‘31 Flavours’ tagline), Baskin-Robbins creates and markets premium hard scoop ice-cream, custom ice-cream cakes and beverages; the ice cream itself is manufactured in Massachusetts, USA, and exported to franchisors around the world.
Despite the brand being a global industry leader with over 70 years’ heritage, Baskin-Robbins Australia has enjoyed mixed fortunes over its almost 30 year history. In 2010, the Australian Master Franchisor entered into receivership, and within two years, over 30% of the store network closed down. By mid-2013, Dunkin Brands International (DBI) entered into a joint venture agreement with Galadari Brothers Ltd and formed the master franchisor in Australia Palm Oasis Ventures Pty Ltd (POV).
A major overhaul then took place to transform the entire business model, and by the end of 2014 there had been a significant stabilisation and consolidation of the brand, so much so that DBI Middle East described 2014 as the “best year in the history of Baskin-Robbins Australia.” Today, POV has over 83 stores across the nation, together with 800+ stores in the Middle East under the Galadari Brothers Group umbrella.
The development of an innovative new product range, Creature Creations, aimed primarily at families but also possessing broader appeal, featured a series of stylised magical character cup designs (Unicorn, Yeti, Mermaid and Monster) embellished by custom-made edible toppings and available across sugar cone, waffle cone, shakes and ice cream cakes.
Creature Creations was inspired by extensive product research into emerging global food trends across boutique ice cream and dessert brands overseas, home-baking and dessert influencers and international food stylists. This research identified the popularity of the unicorn and mermaid motifs along with a dreamy pastel colour scheme of pinks, purples and blues. To ensure the range had unisex appeal, yeti and monster were also added into the mix.
Creature Creations was designed to not only deliver an engaging customer experience and invite guests to perceive Baskin-Robbins as a more playful, imaginative brand, but to also deliver a financial goal by encouraging higher basket spend once in store.
Creature Creations was placed front and centre of Baskin Robbin’s all-important summer campaign, making it the hero of all marketing activity and messaging for the core campaign period. Marketing developed a digitally-led, mobile-first marketing strategy with a heavy emphasis on social media and innovative, interactive digital experiences that would increase awareness of and engagement with the Creature Creations range across their target audiences.
Creature Creations has been Baskin-Robbins Australia’s most successful new product launch in a decade, enjoying unprecedented unit sales for a new product range.