Ben & Jerry's - Brand Preservation


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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

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