from their Website & Wikipedia.com 9/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Shaming the Competition. In 1984, Häagen-Dazs wanted to limit distribution of Ben & Jerry’s in Boston, prompting Ben & Jerry’s to file suit against their parent company, Pillsbury, in its now famous “What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of?” campaign. In 1987, Häagen-Dazs again tried to enforce exclusive distribution, and Ben & Jerry’s filed its second lawsuit against the Pillsbury Company.
Giving Back. In 1985, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation was established at the end of the year with a gift from Ben & Jerry’s to fund Community-oriented projects; it was then provided with 7.5% of the company’s annual pre-tax Profits.
Keeping close to Customers. In 1986, Ben & Jerry’s launched its “Cowmobile”, a modified mobile home used to distribute free scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in a unique, cross-country “marketing drive”—driven & served by Ben & Jerry themselves. They are always open to new ideas for flavors from customers. The ones that don’t make it go into the Flavour Graveyard behind their HQ.
Recognition & Contribution. In 1988, the pair won the title of U.S. Small Business Persons Of The Year – awarded by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Also that year, the first brownies were ordered from Greyston Bakery, which led to the development of the popular Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor. In 1992, Ben & Jerry’s joined in a co-operative campaign with the national non-profit Children’s Defense Fund; the campaign goal was to bring children’s basic needs to the top of the national agenda. Over 70,000 postcards were sent to Congress concerning kids & other national issues.
Treat your Employees well. Ben & Jerry’s 700 employees enjoy on-site Daycare, a Health Club, and a generous Profit-Sharing plan. Management is encouraged to dress as casual as plant employees. On one occasion, a slowdown dictated a 3month hiatus for one shift at the plant; instead of laying off the workers, Ben & Jerry’s kept them on the payroll to do odd jobs, as well as Community Service ventures such as painting the town’s fire hydrants and winterizing the homes of senior citizens. It is also policy to allow employees paid time off to do Volunteer work, and perhaps best of all, each is allowed to take home 3 free pints a day of the company product. [Would you like to work there? be a Taster? Wiz4biz]
Exit Strategy. In April 2000, Ben & Jerry’s sold the company to Anglo-Dutch multi-national food giant Unilever – who said it hopes to carry on the tradition of engaging “in these critical, global economic & social missions”. Ben & Jerry now devote much of their time to an organization called “Businesses for Social Responsibility”, of which Ben is a founding member.
Bio Book. In 1994, Ben & Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop, written by Fred “Chico” Lager, former CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, was published. This book tracks the history of how Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream got started. The book focuses on “How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience & a Sense of Humor.”
Comments: Arent you impressed that Ben & Jerry’s can keep coming out with “fun” products & do a lot of good in their community too?