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What we can all learn from Ben & Jerry’s – “If it’s not fun, why do it!”

Ben & Jerry have a slightly different business model to most; They believe that business could (& should) be about more than making money, which on it’s own differentiates their brand from the competition. Instead they have built their ice cream empire on heartfelt values which have obviously worked out for them! Here are a few of their values that we can all learn chunks from...

Written By:
Trudy Collins
Category:
Business
  • 12/07/2013
  • 10 Mins to Read
  • By: Trudy Collins
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“It’s what’s inside that counts”

“Change is about action, not talk”

“Cows and farmers have feelings too”

“Great ideas only come to life with courage”

“If it’s not fun, why do it!”

Ben & Jerry’s began in 1978 when childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfields, armed with a $5 qualification in ice cream making decided to chase their dreams. They chipped together (pun intended..) and renovated an old petrol station to their first ever quirkly little scoop shop in Vermont, and using old fashioned ice cream freezers they began to churn all the fun & creamy ice cream flavors they’d been dreaming up! They always served their customers with a great big smile, keeping in mind their one very simple aim; to make the best possible ice cream in the nicest possible way.

Over the years Ben & Jerry have continued to recognise the role business plays in society by initiating innovative ways to give back to the environment, communities and to improve people’s quality of life the world over. These values and missions they continue to hold so tightly has moulded Ben & Jerry’s into the famous brand we know and love!

Written By:
Trudy Collins
Designer
Ben & Jerry

Ben & Jerry

Only the best ingredients

Back in the days of Vermont, Ben & Jerry invited members of the community of downtown Burlington to watch movies on a projected wall once a week turning their parking lot into a mini drive in. This became an anticipated event for the local community. As they have evolved they continue to create various large scale community projects helping to to fix, clean, build, and restore things that improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods and communities, all the while bringing people and communities together – how lovely!

Business has a responsibility to give back to the Community

“It’s what’s inside that counts”

Fundamentally, if your product or service isn’t up to scratch, your business simply won’t work. Since the very beginning, Ben and Jerry have sourced only the best chunks, swirls and ingredients they can find for their famous ice creams. It’s the outstanding quality of their ice creams that got the Burlington locals talking and promoting their brand which is what created the strong foundations that allowed the business to evolve into the ice cream empire that stands today.

“Change is about action, not talk”

Ben & Jerry are committed to implementing Peace and Justice, and helping to change the world for the better. Where some people simply talk about how great the world would be if we could just change this one thing for the better, Ben & Jerry find something they are passionate about, and they take action, and do whatever they possibly can to make sure the change actually happens.

One thing they feel very strongly for is marriage equality, so since 2009 they have been advocates promoting gay marriage by introducing their legendary flavor ‘Hubby Hubby’, and more recently ‘Apple-y Ever After’ and ‘Engagemint Party’. They also have a page on their site dedicated to this issue with discussions and example letters that people can send to their local MP. So not only are they promoting the issue, they have created a call to action which will make a real difference.

“Cows and farmers have feelings too”

Ben & Jerry both understand the importance of keeping their suppliers and employees happy, as after all, without them they’d have no ice cream! They have always made sure that all their employees are on a livable wage and they hold a deep respect for individuals inside and outside the company and for their communities, while continuing to support local farmers, making sure the milk that goes into their ice creams are always purchased from happy farmers, and happy cows.

Just click the picture below to see a fun interactive feature on their website called “Cow Cam”, which lets you watch for yourself just how happy the cows really are…

“Cow Cam”

“Cow Cam”

Office slides!

“Great ideas only come to life with courage”

Ben & Jerry always had big ideas and big dreams, but what they also had was the courage to turn them into realities. Putting all of their life savings into the adventure they started 34 years ago was a big risk, but they did it anyway.. and look where it got them. As they say “Chasing a dream is like chasing the chunks in your cookie dough, you make it happen.” So if you have a dream locked in your noodle, chase it! All it takes is passion, planning, and actions.

“If it’s not fun, why do it!”

Exactly. If you’re not having fun running your business, or have no passion for what you do, then why do it? If you’re not, it’s going to show to your customers and everyone around you which makes for one very unhappy business. Ben & Jerry’s branding is definitely not serious, it’s fun, quirky & vibrant, and we love the funny cows featured in their marketing material!

They even have slides in their offices as a way to force fun onto their employees…

On top of their core values, they continually seek new and creative ways to market their brand online and offline, and alway keep up to date with the latest innovations and technologies. Their marketing strategies and campaigns are effective, integrated, consistent, imaginative, engaging and personable, so pretty much spot on!

We can all learn a lot from Ben & Jerry.

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