Halo Top Ice Cream & Behavioral Economics

How our less rational mind influences consumers’ decisions



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Language: English
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Case Study

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How do you go about making difficult decisions and what are the key psychological shortcuts and biases that may impair your rationality? This case uses the real-life example of the successful launch of Halo Top’s ice cream brand in the United States as the basis to construct a psychological review of the decision-making process of the company founder, advisers and consumers, helping to identify and illustrate some of the most common principles, heuristics and biases of Behavioral Economics. To do so, the case puts students in young entrepreneur Justin Woolverton’s shoes when he has to decide whether to launch the brand or keep his job as a lawyer, and then goes beyond to review the marketing process and consumer insights that are normally present in product introductions and promotions.

Should Justin quit his highly lucrative day job as a lawyer and pursue his ice-cream making dreams? And, if he were to decide to launch his brand, what are the psychological biases and mind-traps that he would have to avoid (when making his decisions) or factor in (when considering those of his potential consumers)?

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