La’Verne R. Tisdale
Ben & Jerry’s Marketing Audit
Marketing and Stakeholder Relations MKT/553
January 17, 2006
1 Executive Summary
According to the American Marketing Association, “marketing is an organizational function and a set of process for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders” (Kerin, 2005, p.6). I have completed a marketing audit of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. in the following categories: Market and Distribution Channels, Manufacturing, Markets and Customers, Competition, Marketing, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics, the 4P’s (product, pricing, promotion, and place), and sales. Based on my findings, there are several factors that will play a key role in Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream becoming number one in the ice cream industry, instead of being ranked, as number 2. They are as follows: Streamlining the variety and names of the ice cream flavors Increase sales in the non target markets
Sell premium ice cream in half gallon sizes
Improve brand image
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream currently offers consumers Super-premium ice cream flavors that are both unique and quirky. Furthermore, some of the wackiest flavors were suggested by adults. For example, some of the flavors include, Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Chubby Hubby (www.benjerry.com). As a result of some of the outlandish names, it becomes difficult for consumers have to figure out why an ice cream would be called chunky monkey, and secondly, what does the flavor consist of. After all, Ben & Jerry’s target customers are at the high end of the consumer spending spectrum. Haagen-Daazs’ most popular ice cream flavor is simply, vanilla. Therefore, perception becomes a vital marketing concept to attain the number one status. Although Ben & Jerry’s has been acquired by Unilever, one of the leading food companies in the world, Haagen Dazs, which has been acquired by Dreyer’s has still been able to penetrate 42% of the super-premium ice cream market, while Ben & Jerry’s penetrated 38%. However, Ben & Jerry’s have been able to have 100% profitability over the last nine years, while decreasing the cost of sales. Penetrating the 20% non-target market would allow revenue to continue to climb upward by becoming more visible. Advertising can be done through supermarket circulars, television commercials, and radio announcements, and offering the super-premium ice promotions such as buy one, get one free or coupons. Thus, customers and profit margins increase. Currently, Ben & Jerry’s super-premium ice cream is sold in pint size quantities. Gallon size quantities were only sold to warehouse club stores. Selling the product to the general public in gallon sizes would allow them to infiltrate the family segment of the ice cream industry. Understanding the consumer is a vital tool in successful marketing and sales. However, careful research and planning are necessary. Thus, a recommendation is being made for Ben & Jerry’s to enter the market of “micro-branding”; a trend that is becoming more successful in the ice cream industry. “Micro-branding would allow Ben & Jerry’s to partner with a compatible and recognized national brand to develop an ice cream formulation that delivers a taste experience that is related to the national brand’s product (www.qffintl.com). Some of the companies that currently co-brand are Cool Brands International/General Mills = Yoplait Frozen Breakfast Bars, Reese’s candies and Friendly’s Restaurants. Furthermore, prior to launching this new venture, Ben & Jerry’s can conduct a survey among loyal customers. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is the best illustration of the 80/20 rule. They achieve 80% of the revenues in the target market and 20% in non target markets; however, to increase sales and become...
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