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Ben & Jerry's - Brand Preservation

Ben & Jerry's - Brand Preservation



MBA 6106 - Marketing

MBA 6106 - Marketing
Ben & Jerry's Case Presentation
February 10, 2010



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  • As we all know that Ben and Jerry’s is a well known premium ice-cream maker, which was founded by two friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Ben and Jerry’s is not only famous for their high quality ice-cream, but also known for their socially consciousness. They claim that their mission is more than just maximize its shareholders’ profit, they also want to operate a company which can improve the quality of human lives. The company founded Ben and Jerry’s foundation which aim to make the world a better place by eliminating the underlying causes of environmental and social problems. It also helped establish the nonprofit initiative “1% for peace” with a stated goal to redirect 1% of the national defense budget to fund peace-promoting projects and activities.Internally, Ben and Jerry are very generous to their employees. The company’s benefit package including an onsite day-care center, and no-layoff policy. Ben and Jerry also claimed that in the company the salary of the highest-paid employee would be pegged at no higher than five times the salary of the lowest-paid employee.Overall, Ben and Jerry’s image in people’s minds is cartoony, fun and also socially responsible.
  • Here is a little bit history about Ben and Jerry’s:In 1963,Ben and Jerry first met each other in New York when they were in 7th grade, and since then they came long-life friends.Both of them moved to Vermont and completed a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State university in 1977, and in the next year, with $12,000 investment, they opened their first Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream scoop shop in a gas station.Theycelebrated their one-year anniversary in 1979 by holding the first-ever Free Cone Day. On that day, they offer free scoop of ice-cream all day long. Right now the “Free Cone Day” is an annual celebration at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops nationwide.1984 in a very important year for Ben and Jerry, in that year Ben and Jerry established a Vermont-only public stock offering to raise money for a new manufacturing facility to expand their business.Two years later, they introduced very first Cowmobile, which is a modified mobile home used to distribute free scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in a “marketing drive” and it was driven and served by Ben and Jerry themselves.
  • During later 1980s and 1990s, Ben and Jerry’s was growing very rapidly, the total sale in 1984 is $4m, 15 years later, in 1999, the company’s total sale is close to $240M, with a 35% avg growth rate

Ben & Jerry's - Brand Preservation Ben & Jerry's - Brand Preservation Presentation Transcript

  • Preserving Mission and Brand Within Unilever
  • Agenda
    Situation – Chris
    Ben & Jerry’s Background – Kai
    Unilever Background – JC
    Problem: Low Employee Morale – Listya
    Problem: Social and Environmental – Joanna
    Action Plan – Chris
  • Statement of the Problem
    In September 2000, Ben & Jerry’s transitioned from an independent-minded premium ice cream maker to a division within a multinational corporation
    2004 – head of Social Mission compiled data for Social and Environmental Assessment report
    Candid look at Ben & Jerry’s operation
    Three-part mission “linked prosperity”
  • The Stakeholders
    Ben & Jerry’s
    State of Vermont
  • The Big Questions
    How to get back on progressive footing?
    Being an “edge-dweller”
    How to remain competitive in your business practices while remaining true to your company’s mission statement?
  • Ben & Jerry’s Company Background
    Premium ice-cream maker
    Socially conscious
    Ben and Jerry’s Foundation
    1% For Peace
    Generous employee treatment
    Onsite day-care center
    No-layoff policy
    “No higher than five times”
    Cartoony, fun, and responsible
  • History
    1978: First homemade ice cream scoop shop
    1979: First-ever Free Cone Day
    1984: Public stock offering
    1986: “Cowmobile”
  • History (cont.)
    2000: Announced acquisition by Unilever
  • About Unilever
    Headquartered in the United Kingdom
    Owns many well-known brands
    Calvin Klein
    246,000 employees in 1999
    Business in over 150 countries
  • About Unilever cont.
    One stated priority is “environmental responsibility”
    Conducts environmental audits at 90% of factories
    Screened its fishery suppliers for sustainability
  • About Unilever cont.
    Another stated responsibility is “responsible corporate behavior”
    Established a Company Code of Business Principles
    Spent £26 million on community involvement in 1999
  • Acquisition of Ben & Jerry’s by Unilever
    Pre-deal commitments
    Ben & Jerry’s would retain brand name
    All employees would be retained for two years
    Unilever would contribute $5 million to the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
    Created a “external board” to assist the new CEO with managing the brand
    The board could file lawsuits if they felt Unilever was not living up to the agreement
  • The Acquisition cont.
    After the merger
    Replaced the 7.5% of pretax profits to a percentage of sales with a minimum of $1.1 million for ten years.
    Updated computer systems and supply chain
    Kept the local suppliers of all-natural milk
  • Problem: Low Employee Morale
    Layoffs due to restructuring efforts
    Unilever’s tighter code of conduct
    Uncertainty in changing from a small business to a multinational corporation
  • Possible Solutions: Low Employee Morale
    Unilever to provide “Old Town Hall Meeting” situations
    Gives employees voice
    Give Ben&Jerry’s leeway on action within political/social forum
    More passive
    Matching employee donations to charity
  • Possible Solutions: Low Employee Morale
    Continue with generous severance package
    Assist with job placement upon layoffs
    Internal communications campaigns
    Boost employee morale from within
    External board
    Represents Ben & Jerry’s employees
  • Problem: Losing Brand Loyalty
    Ben & Jerry’s was a child of the 70’s, an icon in progressive politics and social issues
    Employees no longer free to drive the Ben &Jerry’s van out for rallies
    Unilever’s Code of Business Principles stating “No support for political parties or promotion of any parties’ interests” (i.e. Iraq war)
  • Possible Solutions: Losing Brand Loyalty
    • Change from employee freedom to agreed upon causes or organizations to support
    • Publicize the Company’s Annual Social & Environmental Assessment Report
  • Problem: Declining Support to The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
    Unilever set a floor of how much money would be donated to the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
    Decline in corporate giving, employee matching gifts, community action teams
    Declining revenue because of “uncertainty of identity”
  • Possible Solutions: Declining Support to The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
    Set protocols to allow employees to donate time for community volunteerism
    Partnerships between franchises and particular causes
    Establishing a Ben & Jerry’s-branded flavor for a cause (i.e. Rainforest Crunch)
  • Problem: Artificial Sweetener Conflict
    Market demand for low-carbohydrate products
    Contrary to mission statement
    Threat to pride in “process-chlorine-free” packaging
  • Possible Solutions: Artificial Sweetener Conflict
    Use low-fat yogurt
    Chlorine no longer an issue in packaging
    Maintain “all natural” values
  • Action Plan – Unilever
    Survey Ben & Jerry’s employees
    Focus on improving employee morale
    Formal guidelines on political involvement
    Approved list of organizations and causes
    Encourage employee action plans for reasons to support causes
    Research environmentally friendly alternatives to meet market demands
  • Action Plan – Ben & Jerry’s
    Internal PR campaign focused on employees
    Promote what Unilever has done for company
    Shift focus away from the negative
    Get back to grass roots Ben & Jerry’s mentality
    Promotions for website
    Social and environmental causes
    Passive support for political agendas
  • Questions?