Case Study

Ben & Jerry’s: Inside the pint — values-led sourcing and linked prosperity

12 pages
July 2012
Reference: IMD-3-2297

In 2011, more than 30 years after Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded the super premium ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, the strong personality and personal values of the founders were still very present. While the company had grown to revenues of more than $700 million and had been acquired by Unilever, it still operated based on a concept of linked prosperity and leading with progressive values, reflected in its famous three-part mission statement simultaneously emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. This mission statement emphasized the company’s strong belief that making a positive contribution to society should be a central part of doing business rather than an afterthought culture of social and environmental activism. However, what had once been radical and unorthodox behavior in the 1980s and 90s had become expectations of what a firm should be doing. In 2011 the leadership of Ben & Jerry’s believed in the need to push forward and lead the way in innovative business practices that created linked prosperity. The questions then were, what would it mean to re- radicalize Ben & Jerrys in 2011? What would really push the linked prosperity agenda to the next level? What would it take to meet and live up to the demanding expectations of the company’s three-part mission?

Learning Objective

Designing and executing a shared value/linked prosperity strategy. Integrating a strategy based on economic, product and social considerations.Re-radicalizing strategy.

Corporate Social Responsibility, Strategy Execution, Supply Chain
Global, United States of America
Field Research
© 2012
Available Languages
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