Friday, February 23, 2007

Post #8: Why HÄAGEN-DAZS is more shrewd than the people of the Light.

SCROLL DOWN and read all the posts leading up to this one. But make sure you read the TEXT.

Häagen-Dazs ice-cream (with its dubiously placed Umlaut): Do you know where it started? Scandinavia, right?


The Bronx.

Please -- do yourself a favor -- go the website and read the history. It looks like they are manufacturing hope down there.

Reuben Mattus had a "vision" for ice-cream. So he had a few flavors, called it something that sound Danish and traditional sounding. The two words are meaningless in any Scandinavian language. He marked the price as double his competitor. Your heard it – he doubled it. (Very smart) He got some fancy restaurants to name the ice-cream on the actual menu. This is not "Apple Pie and Ice-cream", its "Apple pie and Häagen-Dazs".

To this day, there is not a single Häagen-Dazs in Denmark or anywhere near Denmark.

Brilliant. Shrewd.

On a Wiki entry, I noticed that they went quickly to students. They realized that if you get the students eating Häagen-Dazs, you have a future eating Häagen-Dazs, and then you have the planet eating Häagen-Dazs.

So she specially opened up Häagen-Dazs restaurants in the Greenwich Village.

You get the students...You have a future...And then you have the planet.

The students!!
… the people of the world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the people of the light.

(To Australian readers, one of our areas at Christ Church NYC is to reach students).

Another example, soon.


Craig Tubman said...

The Lord works through you brother Justin. I have been reading each post with anticipation.
I love you as a brother and as a man who continues to use his amazing gifts for our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

michael jensen said...

What about Starbucks?

The genius of Starbucks is that they are happy that each outlet sells LESS coffee if that means that the chain sells more coffee overall.

Hey, you know you could write a great book on the basis of this sermon... on worldly shrewdnesses that the church could learn from ...

Justin said...

I might do an extra at the end of fun business stories like this one.

THIS site says this:

"Mattus was a Polish immigrant trying to make his way on the tough streets of the Bronx by selling ice cream. In 1959, close to bankruptcy because of weak sales, Mattus came up with a brilliant idea. He took his slow-selling ice cream and gave it an invented name that suggested something foreign and exotic: Haagen-Dazs. What Mattus discovered is that when the same ice cream was given this Scandinavian-sounding name, people could not have enough. It actually enhanced their eating experience. To this day, most people believe that Haagen- Dazs is made somewhere in Denmark by some ancient guild of ice cream makers.

Gav Perkins said...

I listening J MOFF. Love it.

John P. said...

been reading along...great series.

was thinking about this "shrewdness." It seems that some christians have tried their hand, and failed miserably at times (eg the big black signs with white lettering along the interstate that are messages "from God" or the 30 ft high cross which cost the little church on the corner 25K).

Perhaps a caveat would be, the church needs to be shrewd...but it must also be more creative than the culture. Often, when I see a ministry or church adopting worldly shrewdness it tends to look a little gimmicky.

But, your point is well taken. Tim Keller, a fellow NYC pastor, has suggested that christian cultural renewal must begin where culture happens: in the city. Borrowing from Jim Boice's book "Two Cities Two Loves" he suggests that christians who are uncomfortable with city living will be uncomfortable with the "new Jerusalem."

All this rambling is to say, the creativity of Christian culture is at an all time low...which perhaps corresponds to the lack of shrewdness...which in turn correlates to the church's retreat into suburbia.

maybe this is just my conspiracy theory...just a thought.

Justin said...

John -- you are right. OF course.

My posts are, of course, all principle, no actual plan.

Being shrewd is difficult to pin down. But I'd say that some things that Christians do in the name of shrewdness simply isn't shrewd.

But that takes it to another level that I'm not competent to talk about. You see, I'm not particularly shrewd myself.