Baskin-Robbins' in Marketing

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG074
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Baskin Robbins
Industry : FMCG
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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America's Favorite Sweets Chain Contd...

In the early years, it was manufactured and sold by local sellers and there were no major brands in the industry. By the early 1950s, ice cream had become a commodity. There was little advertising and no differentiation between the various local vendors. The selection was also limited as sellers did not go beyond the traditional flavors.

Baskin-Robbins was the pioneer in ice cream marketing. It created a unique positioning for its brand by introducing exotic new flavors. The company was the first to create the 'ice cream experience' by making it fun to visit Baskin-Robbins stores.

The fun theme was supplemented by the ambience in the stores and the friendliness of the staff, who allowed customers to sample as many flavors as they wanted before making their final choice. A survey conducted at the beginning of the 21st century revealed that the Baskin-Robbins brand name was recognized by approximately 97 percent of the population in America.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Other surveys also indicated that the brand was rated favorably against its near competitors on a number of counts. (Refer Exhibit-II) The company was voted 'America's Favorite Sweets Chain' by the Restaurants and Institutions magazine 12 times from the mid-1980s to 2000.


Baskin-Robbins was set up in 1945 by Irv Robbins (Robbins) and Burt Baskin (Baskin), who were brothers-in-law.

Robbins was the son of the owner of a dairy business in Tacoma, Washington. The dairy included an ice cream store and, as a teenager, Robbins spent his time managing the store.

Bored with serving traditional flavors like vanilla and chocolate, he tried to liven up the taste by concocting new flavors of ice cream by combining traditional flavors with fruits and candy.

During the Second World War (1939-1945), he joined the US army, where he continued experimenting with new ice cream flavors from the army supplies. The ice cream, which was garnished with native tropical fruits and exotic nuts, was a great favorite with the soldiers. After returning from the war, he invested $6000 to set up his own ice cream shop in Glendale, California, in December 1945. The new store, called Snowbird, featured 21 exotic ice cream flavors. Baskin was in the same business and owned an ice cream store called Burtons...

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