The Impact of Marketing in Society

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Chapter 20: Marketing and Society: Social Responsibility and Marketing Ethics What's Ahead

Social Criticisms of Marketing

Marketing's Impact on Individual Consumers

Marketing's Impact on Society as a Whole

Marketing's Impact on Other Businesses

Citizen and Public Actions to Regulate Marketing

Consumerism

Environmentalism

Public Actions to Regulate Marketing

Business Actions Toward Socially Responsible Marketing

Enlightened Marketing

Marketing Ethics

Chapter Wrap-Up

Review of Concept Connections

Key Terms

Issues for Discussion

Marketing Applications

Company Case

Comprehensive case

What's Ahead
When Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield first met in the seventh grade, they were, by their own admission, the "two slowest kids round the track." However, in 1978, after staring a life of mediocrity full in the face, the two friends decided to try something different. They took a $5 correspondence course on making ice cream, borrowed $12,000, and started their own scoop shop—Ben & Jerry's Handmade—in an abandoned gas station in Burlington, Vermont. The rest, as they say, is history. Two decades later, despite many growing pains, Ben & Jerry's has become the nation's number-two superpremium ice cream brand, with a 39 percent market share that trails only Häagen-Dazs's 43 percent share. Last year, Ben & Jerry's sold more than $209 million worth of ice cream and frozen yogurt products through supermarkets, convenience stores, and 150 Ben & Jerry's scoop shops around the country. Why the strong appeal? For one thing, Ben & Jerry's is a master at creating innovative flavors such as Rainforest Crunch, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Phish Food, Chunky Monkey, and Chubby Hubby. Moreover, the company has taken on the appealing, laid-back personality of its founders. "If you passed [Ben and Jerry] in the street," notes one industry observer, "with their sloppy T-shirts and portly figures. . . , you'd probably think they were a couple of Grateful Dead roadies. [Under their leadership, Ben & Jerry's] markets its products with a combination of down-home hippie folksiness and 'right-on' credibility." But behind the creative flavors and folksy image, Ben & Jerry's is a company that cares deeply about its social responsibilities. The company's mission statement challenges all employees, from top management to ice cream scoopers in each store, to include concern for individual and community welfare in their day-to-day decisions. It reads as follows: Ben & Jerry's is dedicated to the creation and demonstration of a new corporate concept of linked prosperity. Our mission consists of three interrelated parts: Product: To make, distribute and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream and related products in a variety of innovative flavors made from Vermont dairy products. Economic: To operate the company on a sound financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for shareholders, and creating career opportunities and financial rewards for our employees. Social: To operate the company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in the structure of society by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life of the broad community—local, national, and international. Underlying the mission of Ben & Jerry's is the determination to seek new and creative ways of addressing all three parts, while holding a deep respect for the individuals, inside and outside the company, and for the communities of which they are a part. The notion of linked prosperity—also called values-led business or caring capitalism—forms the heart and soul of the company. Ben & Jerry's aims to do well while also doing good. Ben & Jerry's does more than just pay lip service to social and environmental concerns—the mission also translates into specific company policies and actions. For example, whereas the average U.S. corporation earmarks less than 2 percent of pretax...
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