Case 3 Ben and Jerry's

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In this case we are introduced to an ice cream company named Ben & Jerry’s. Founded in 1978 in Vermont, this once small time ice cream shop has developed into one of the world’s largest ice cream producers with sales in excess of $237 million as of 2000. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield’s unique relationship has proved successful for the past 30 years in part because of their social consciousness and their down-to-earth attitudes. This article is divided mainly into two parts; first the author summarizes the social consciousness of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade and how it has led to their success in their industry. Secondly the author goes into detail about the offers that have been made for the ice cream giant by numerous companies and investment firms that were in the running to buy out Ben & Jerry’s Homemade. We begin by discussing the social responsibility that Ben & Jerry’s has been known for over 30 years now. Their three-part mission statement focuses on their product as well as the economic and social impact of their company, not only locally but also nationally and internationally. It becomes apparent that founders Cohen and Greenfield worry about more than just their bottom line. In an interview Cohen was quoted as being indifferent about the company’s stock prices and how the market had treated Ben & Jerry’s as a whole: “I think the stock market goes up and down, unrelated to how a company is doing” (Bruner 43). This laid back attitude describes Cohen and Greenfield’s philosophy in a nutshell. It seems that they believe if you run a business efficiently and ethically, profits and success will soon follow. This has certainly been the case in spite of all the money the company donates and gives back to the respective communities in which the businesses thrive. They use cause-related marketing to show consumers that what they are doing during the production of their product is helping reduce their impact on the environment. It is one thing to “greenwash” and...
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