Ben and Jerry SWOT

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I was somewhat irritated when my then girlfriend requested we partake of some ice cream one 1982 summer Connecticut day. What bothered me was that to consummate her entreat it was necessary to drive fifteen miles in order to obtain her favorite “Cherry Garcia” flavor only offered at a fairly new store called Ben and Jerry’s. This soon to be franchise had only a handful of stores way back then. From their unpretentious beginnings in a Vermont gas station to nearly 600 nationwide sites their logo of cows in a pasture is today widely recognized. Online advertising, street marketing, outdoor advertising, trade shows, county fair exhibits and many other means of got the word out. I can remember working the Energy Exposition in Denver during the late ‘80s where Ben and Jerry’s had a scoop booth. Today you can even find Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in convenience stores and gas stations. Social media continues gets the consumer talking. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream has hundreds of thousands Twitter followers, close to 8 million Facebook likes and many more followers on platforms such as Instagram and YOUTube.

Strength:

It wasn’t their building the “world’s biggest ice cream sundae” (27,102 lbs.) that propelled the “Ben and Jerry’s” reputation. They drew consumer attention with a unique and very cool (pun intended) dessert concept. The crazy 1980’s created a nation of health and fitness zealots. The relatively new ice cream company recognized this and guarantees its supplies are bovine growth hormone free. In an era where dairy products came into health questions, this reassured patrons and planted a strong trust in the product. This trust continues today. Its “all natural” claim swayed both the calorie and calastetic counting consumer. Ben and Jerry products are packed in unbleached cardboard containers. Parents have faith in its purity. People were committed to euphoric healthy concoctions in a country looking for emotional bliss and safe edible highs. Heck, even the one of 50 innovative flavors, “Cherry Garcia” sent a message. It was cool to see the Grateful Dead perform. It was cool to eat “Ben and Jerry’s” too…and healthy! They have successfully imprinted this wholesome ice cream image today.

Marketing action addressing strength:

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Leave founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield out of the literal picture. Photos of these ancient granola hippy-gurus do anything but promote health! Back in 1978 they looked hip. Now they look hefty.

Weakness:

They should stick to ice cream instead of their confusing myriad of desert choices. Ben and Jerry’s has invaded the Greek yogurt market with artery-damaging high saturated fat product. One cup of their “healthy” yogurt has the equivalent fat of a McDonald’s Big Mac! The yogurt is heavy laden with added sugars and it is misleading and damaging to advertise the same wholesomeness as their ice cream.

Marketing action addressing weakness:

“Tell it like it is” concerning the unhealthy contents of this yogurt in order to insure nutrition credibility or take it off the market entirely.

Opportunity:

jimmy-fallon-600x450

Ben and Jerry’s marketing strategy includes the exploitation of Hollywood stars to promote their ice cream. They recently launched a new flavor starring Jimmy Fallon called the “Tonight Dough”.

Marketing action addressing opportunity:

It would be advantageous for Ben and Jerry’s to capitalize on the Hollywood ad angle. More stars with their names as flavors. How does “Angelina Jolie Jubilee” sound?

Ben and Jerry’s threat:

They are in danger of losing their “healthy” reputation with the recent chemically modified additives to their products. The use of corn syrup and other chemically modified ingredients proves this status incorrect.

Marketing action to address threat:

Rather than focusing on the carbohydrate and fat content of ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s should appeal to healthier mindset that appreciates the antioxidants and vitamins found in these foods that fuel the body. Promote the positive and be truthful when confronted with the negative.

Summary:

What a tremendous distance Ben and Jerry’s has traveled. They have gone from a gas station to a global market! You can get “Ben and Jerry’s” onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship or a spaceship. Their product was the first ice cream taken into space aboard the Space Shuttle. That’s exposure! Traditional marketing efforts such as press mentions and advertising mediums sold much ice cream. Although new products within the company can lack in sales, Ben and Jerry’s marketing strategy has ventured in many various advertising areas. They do everything in their power to put new products in front of as many potential consumers as possible. Even with far out advertising campaigns Ben and Jerry’s has stayed “old school” in many ways and it works to successfully promote and preserve the original Vermont gas station ice cream gem.

Works Cited:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_%26_Jerry%27s- origins and ideas

http://www.slideshare.net/connectshivak/ben-n-jerry-gnims- lots of promotion pluses

http://utalkmarketing.com/Pages/Article.aspx?

ArticleID=1315&Title=Ben_and_Jerry%E2%80%99s_success_is_far_from_frozen – ice cream market today

https://www.pritikin.com/your-health/healthy-living/eating-right/1669-ben-and-jerrys-greek-yogurt.html – pros and cons of their yogurt attempt

http://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2015/tonight-dough-jimmy-fallon – Hollywood advertising

http://bcheights.com/2017/01/30/ice-cream-with-a-catch/- successful and stable

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