A brand claims to be number one but…

According to the press release “surpassing industry leaders, Halo Top becomes the No. 1 best-selling pint of ice cream in US grocery stores and in the hearts of millions of Americans”. How can a brand that I never heard of, along with a lot of my friends, become number one?

I consider myself an ice cream connoisseur, but I also understand that when it comes to ice cream you can’t get half pregnant.  I know dieticians and nutritionists tell us that ice cream is bad for us because of the high content of fat and sugar, but I treat myself once in awhile because there is nothing as good as a bowl on a hot evening.

I was there for very interested in a story on Business Insider that said that, a brand I had never heard of was now the best selling brand in the US. The article also said that they achieved the number one position through the use of social media, particularly Instagram.

“We started off really focused on digital and social, with more than 90% of our efforts on Facebook and Instagram,” Lenny Chase, Halo Top’s VP of marketing, told Business Insider. “We’re 100% a digitally native brand.”

According to data crunched by social media analytics company Socialbakers, Halo Top’s social media following has grown from over 27,000 to over 603,000 followers on Facebook, and from over 339,000 to 488,000 followers on Instagram in the past one year.

My first reaction was “this is a great success story” but as I talked to a lot of my friends they had never heard of the brand. I was puzzled.  So on my next trip to my local market I picked up three pints of Halo Top.  That was a huge waste of money.

Their products are horrible.  It doesn’t taste like ice cream and has the texture of cotton. How could a brand that was number one have so many followers and fans I wondered?

The promise that a pint of ice cream may only have 320 calories may appeal to people who want their ice cream without feeling guilty, but I also understand that a lot of consumers are willing to walk on the dark side when it comes to their culinary choices.  Sure, we all try and eat healthy, but once in a while there is still nothing as good as a cheeseburger and fries.

The other aspect of this story is that Business Insider is a content mill .  The people who write their stories are often right out of school and most don’t have any real experience working on a consumer product brand.  If they had, they probably would have done a little bit more research on this story/brand.  It would be interesting, for example, to see how many people are repeat customers and how many have tried the brand, due to the social media buzz, and abandoned it because of poor taste.

Before sending out press releases about being number one in sales Halo Top may want to do some in depth research on trial and the number of repeat customers.   As for me, I am sticking with my favorite brand Haagen Dazs because there is no substitute for a perfect brand promise.

 

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