1) Assume Kimmel decides to conduct a study to address the marketing research problem, describe what research
should be adopted? RELATE the different phases of the research design to specific aspects of the marketing
2) Define what kind of secondary and syndicated data would be helpful in addressing the issue of changing the
brand logo. What is the role played by such data?
3) Discuss the criteria to evaluate the usefulness of applying the secondary data to addressing the market
Baskin-Robbins: Can It Bask in the Good ?Ole Days?
It was early December 2008, and Baskin-Robbins Brand Officer Ken Kimmel had just returned from lunch. To his
surprise, his walk from the parking lot to the Randolph, Massachusetts, headquarters building had quickly
turned into a sprint. Kimmel was trying to avoid the chilly effects of a Nor?easter that was whipping most of
New England with arctic winds.
Like the nasty weather that Kimmel had just escaped, the frozen-food retailing industry had become more
hostile to Baskin-Robbins (www.baskinrobbins.com) in recent years. New entrants, such as Cold Stone Creamery
founded in 1988, and others had popularized the in-store experience, with customers watching their ice cream
creations being made before their eyes on cold stone slabs. For years, Baskin-Robbins had turned their back
to Cold Stone Creamery?s gains, in a similar way the Baskin-Robbins counter staff turned their back on
customers to make a banana split. Cold Stone Creamery?s sales were now almost 75 percent of Baskin-Robbins?
In response, the Baskin-Robbins executive group along with Kimmel had recently moved to redesign stores, but
it was not easy convincing the thousands of franchisees who ran the Baskin-Robbins stores to change. A store
redesign could run up to $50,000 and was funded mostly by the franchisees. One aspect of the redesign
resulted in lowering the ice cream cases to make it easier for children to look down into the ice cream bins.
Another change being considered was changing the Baskin-Robbins logo to coincide with the redesign of store
interiors. The logo appears on napkins, cone wrappers, spoons, cups, uniforms, and signs at each
Baskin-Robbins store. The estimated cost for making such a change was $5 million for Baskin-Robbins
headquarters. Individual franchisees would have to invest about $10,000 for the logo change to be made inside
Later that afternoon, Kimmel?s brand group was deep in discussion about whether to change the brand symbol of
Baskin-Robbins at the same time stores would be redesigned. ?The context has changed since the mid-1980s,?
visit- ing retailing consultant Zack Wheatly said. ?Customers are more demanding about the hospitality
experience. They earn more money and they can buy comparable ice creams to Baskin-Robbins in grocery stores
Kimmel sensed it was time to mention recent strategy decisions by the Baskin-Robbins executive group.
?While our competitors are pushing this mix-in experience?a higher-priced theater experience?Baskin-Robbins
has decided to focus on delivering a great value for our consumers in an accessible kind of environment,?
Kimmel responded. ?The executive group has decided that we are going to focus on our new products as opposed
to the theater of the business. As part of this new emphasis, we have recently begun highlighting innovations
such as our own frozen coffee beverage?the Cappuccino Blast?and a fruit-based beverage?Bold Breezes. Carrying
frozen custard is also on the horizon.?
Baskin-Robbins: Can It Bask in the Good ?Ole Days? continued
Marsha Davis, Kimmel?s research director, took her turn in the conversation. ?Is Baskin-Robbins such an
established brand that the logo for Baskin-Robbins should not be overhauled?? Davis asked.
?I know what you are suggesting,? Wheatly replied. ?Conventional wisdom in this industry would say that one
shouldn?t tinker with an established brand.?
?We have discussed this among ourselves here at headquarters with the CEO and other senior executives, and we
have also invested in hearing from consultants in retailing communications,? Kimmel said. ?They think the
decision to change the logo should be taken only after extensive deliberation and direct research with
?Right,? Wheatly said. ?Analysts in the quick-service restaurant industry have reported in the trade journals
that the new entrants have continued to grow faster than Baskin-Robbins especially in the key metric of
same-store sales compared to the previous year. What did the qualitative research say about the proposed new
Davis paused, dug in her briefcase, and removed the glossy printed versions of the old logo and the leading
candidate among the proposed new logo. She put them both on the table facing the others.