Swot Analysis

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Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream:
SWOT Analysis and Strategies for Progression

BMGT301W, Section 2
Professor Baker
November 20, 2011

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream:
SWOT Analysis and Strategies for Progression
A SWOT analysis is a useful technique to understanding your strengths and weaknesses and for identifying both the opportunities open to you and the threats you face. Used in a business context, a SWOT Analysis helps you carve a sustainable niche in your market. What makes SWOT particularly powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you are well placed to exploit. By understanding the weaknesses of your business, you can manage and eliminate threats that would otherwise be unknown. Strengths

When assessing the strengths of Ben & Jerry’s, the high quality of the product is certainly a crucial factor for success. Using natural ingredients and upholding a sustainable corporate concept leave a good impression on customers. Since higher quality ice cream generally costs more, Ben & Jerry’s has incorporated product differentiation in its general corporate strategy in order to command a higher price. The use of all natural, high quality ingredients and the innovative flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream illustrate the strategic use of product differentiation to gain a competitive advantage in the ice cream market. Since inception the company has sold its ice cream, ice-cream novelties, and frozen yogurt under distinctive names such as Chunky Monkey, Phish Food and Cherry Garcia. By keeping in touch with customer preferences, Ben & Jerry’s continues to add to their wide variety of flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt. Furthermore, there are currently over 750 Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops worldwide, showing that business is good and strong. Ben & Jerry’s strengths include having a well-established brand, being socially responsible and promoting environmental and social activism. The founders beliefs in social responsibility have not only earned them brand loyalty, it also has saved the company a lot of money by providing free marketing through media coverage of social events. This is another strategic move to strengthen competitive advantage. Ben & Jerry’s has made substantial efforts to gain a favorable reputation and image with buyers through its frequent promotional campaigns, donations to social causes, and the use of eco-friendly products. For example, they have a good environmental conservation strategy, which they integrate well with their corporate strategies giving them a competitive advantage. Ben & Jerry’s environmental goals as a company are to minimize its negative impacts on the environment; promote sustainable farming and safe methods of food production that reduce environmental degradation; and use its business as a medium for environmental and social change. There is an ever-present culture within Ben & Jerry’s environmental awareness and interest in “going green”. In implementing its strategy, Ben & Jerry’s has worked to ensure that every employee is involved and that values are shared throughout the company. Efforts are made to make sure that the Board of Directors and CEO are fully informed about pertinent environmental issues and are fully responsible for environmental policy. For example, in 2007 Ben and Jerry’s co-founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were asked to join Lance Armstrong in speaking about alternative energy and clean technology at the Ernst and Young national entrepreneur of the year awards. Although, Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by Unilever in 2000, the company keeps Cohen and Greenfield closely involved with product development. In 2009, Ben and Jerry’s announced plans to roll out the country’s first HFC-free freezers that do not emit harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Ben & Jerry’s focus on employee satisfaction is another strength for the company. The company’s devotion to employee...
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