Back in the 60s, two friends in the ice cream business made a bet on who'd be more successful. Years later, one had a business worth billions of dollars while the other never crossed a few $M in revenue. Let's meet the contestants.
Santo (Sam) Emanuele was heading Mr.Green Tea, a brand specializing in exotic flavors, and Rueben Mattus was working in his family's business Senator Frozen Products. Who do you think tasted success?
Ice cream was an emerging trend back then and was available only at restaurants. Sam doubled down on this observation, focused on selling to restaurants, and saw his business grow from thousands to millions of dollars. He expanded to premium restaurants, and he couldn't be happier.
Meanwhile, Rueben wasn't faring as well. He felt that his company's name was as uninspiring as their ice cream. So he quit his family business armed with the knowledge that consumers were willing to pay extra for something they perceived was gourmet and made with the best ingredients.
Supermarkets were cropping up everywhere, and Rueben saw an opportunity to sell directly to consumers. When he brought the idea to his friend, Sam, who was playing it safe, disagreed. They went their separate ways, each confident enough in their stance to bet on their future.
Reuben started Häagen-Dazs with his wife with just three flavors and a vision to create the most extraordinary ice cream in the world. They picked the name Häagen-Dazs to evoke an aura of old-world craftsmanship and make their product stand out. And it went on to change the ice cream industry forever with over 900 franchises across 50 countries! "Ice cream had become cheaper and cheaper, so I just went the opposite way," said Reuben in an interview. As you build your business strategy, ask yourself this - are you looking to level up your score or change the whole game?