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This is a self-funded case study using our Innovation Testing solution.
Picture combining your morning breakfast with an ice-cream sandwich; sound like a step too far? Well, not for Maxibon. The brand’s latest launch combines these two together into one sugary, sweet, ice-cream waffle treat. Priding themselves on bigger flavors and bolder tastes, Maxibon is known for pushing the boundaries — with ‘Waffle On’ replacing the brand’s classic cookie ends for the first time ever.
With the age-old debate of which side to eat first, the launch of ‘Waffle On’ is set to kick off a new war: cookie or waffle? To see whether the waffle concept would be received warmly or frostily, we measured its potential using our 3Cs methodology:
The concept’s main talking point was Maxibon’s departure from a cookie sandwich to waffle end — something which was received favorably, eliciting feelings of excitement and happiness. This unique twist on the brand’s classic ice-cream sandwich left people curious about how it’d taste — specifically the caramel flavoring and waffle texture.
Historically, Maxibon has positioned itself in quite a fun, edgy, and provocative way, with the new waffle ice-cream sandwich very much aligned with the type of thing people expect from the brand. While ‘Waffle On’s composition does represent a departure from the classic cookie-end Maxibon is best known for, the iconic split of a half chocolate half sandwich treat is still something that is unmistakably for the brand.
The waffle end offered something completely new and unlike what anyone else in the ice-cream sandwich space has offered before. And while it wasn’t widely considered a suitable breakfast option, ‘Waffle On’ was still perceived to be a tasty treat that could be enjoyed at pretty much any other time of the day. Two-thirds subsequently claimed it’d be an additional purchase to their current Maxibon repertoire.
Claims by Maxibon that this was targeted at breakfast consumption were most likely made in jest — people certainly didn’t consider ‘Waffle On’ appropriate for early morning meal occasions. However, it’s the quirkiness of the claim and positioning that matters most for a brand which aims to ‘challenge category norms’.
Being different is part of Maxibon’s identity, proudly proclaiming to not ‘adhere to the rules’ nor be your ‘average ice-cream’. The challenge for a brand that plays in this space is that any success can be easily mimicked by competitors — quickly eroding this point of difference with copycat offerings. To stay ahead requires an unrelenting focus on innovation — and more than just simple flavor additions. Maxibon has consistently risen to this challenge, as evidenced by provocative campaigns like Man Chew — which deliberately set out to alienate category (and brand!) buyers.
As the latest addition, ‘Waffle On’ crucially pushes the boundaries without pushing over the edge.