The Success of Ben & Jerry's

Essay by zmantimwUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2004

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Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream was founded on the corporate concept of linked prosperity, interrelating a three-part mission statement to focus their company's growth. Their mission statement, which covers their product, economic and social goals, focuses both the leadership and the workforce on their key values. These values include staying in touch with the customer base, using quality ingredients, maintaining profitability and maintaining social awareness and accountability.

Throughout the history of the company, its owners, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, have interacted with their customers, gaining knowledge on what people like and dislike about their ice cream. Opening their store in Burlington, Vermont in 1978, they immediately began interfacing with the local populace by hosting a free summer movie festival, projecting movies on the wall of their renovated gas station. In 1985, they introduced New York Super Fudge Chunk®, a flavor suggested by a writer from New York City. Throughout the years, they have continued to introduce new flavors either suggested or inspired by either regular individuals or well-known celebrities.

Ben and Jerry launched their "Cowmobile", a modified mobile home used to distribute free scoops of ice cream in a unique cross-country marketing drive. Unfortunately, the vehicle burned to the ground outside Cleveland, but everyone escaped unharmed. Ben said it looked like "the world's largest baked Alaska." Undaunted they resurrected the idea the following year with "Cow II", once again going cross country giving away free scoops.

That same year, at the suggestion of two "DeadHeads' from Portland Maine, Ben and Jerry introduced the first ice cream named for a rock legend, Cherry Garcia. In 1988 they introduced Chunky Monkey at the request of a college student in New Hampshire.

Staying in touch with their customers would not enable Ben and Jerry to be as successful as they have...