Ben & Jerry's Marketing Strategy

Authors Avatar by rebeccan121 (student)

Ben & Jerry’s is one of the leading brands within the frozen dessert market due to a variety of factors. This report will look at those factors exploring the concepts behind each one to justify its position within the market.

The company was founded in 1978, Vermont, USA where Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their first Scoop Shop in a renovated gas station. Since then over 300 more have opened within the USA, and the company has branched out into the international market with Scoop Shops in 34 different countries including the UK, Australia and Singapore. In 2000 Unilever, the world’s largest ice cream producer and current market leader bought Ben & Jerry’s for just over £169m. As part of the takeover deal it was agreed that Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, would still manage it brands integrity and watch over its social mission.

One of the main factors of the brands success is placed within its marketing strategy. Ben & Jerry’s marketing mix provides a range of controllable aspects in which used to meet with the target audience.

The main element of this marketing mix lies within the product itself, a luxurious treat with a variety of exciting and unique flavours, along with the brands social and economic mission. Ben & Jerry’s are very proud to commit to a wide selection of social, environmental and economic projects on a local, national and international scale; these are all advertised on the company website as well as gaining coverage in many news articles within the area the project is involved with. The company website also includes three mission statements; the product mission, the social mission and the economic mission, each providing the basis of what the company is founded upon. All of the things concerning these mission statements are all included as part of the Ben & Jerry’s product, which in essence means that by purchasing the ice-cream product you support the social and economic mission of the brand.

Pricing is very important when marketing a product, as this is the only element within the marketing mix which generates an income as the other factors are a variable cost for the company. Competition and company objectives are considered when planning the pricing of a product. Ben & Jerry’s choose to use a premium pricing strategy, this means that the products are priced at the higher end of the market, however this does not deter consumers as the premium price is supported by a high quality product and brand image. However recently Ben & Jerry’s have increased the price to an average of £4.18 and according to Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Editor for the Telegraph, it is now ‘above the "psychologically important" £4 barrier’ this is due to the current inflation in the food market.

Ben & Jerry’s marketing mix also uses place as a key factor in its success. It is primarily based in the US where it originated, but its international market is quickly expanding, most recently with the reopening of stores in Israel. Products are currently available from a variety of outlets, mainly within supermarkets and convenience stores. There are also individual Scoop Shops open, and many Scoop Stations open within shopping centres and cinemas. According to the Mintel report on UK Cinemas, June 2010, Odeon the largest cinema chain within the UK has over 100 cinemas and Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Stations in the majority of its properties. Cineworld, another leading chain also offers Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Stations within many of their cinemas, adding 13 additional outlets during 2009. Although not included in the Mintel report was Vue cinemas, which according to their website boasts a substantial amount of Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Stations in their cinemas across the UK. Another Mintel report on UK On-board Catering, May 2010, shows that Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream is available within the Food Court on all P&O Ferries. This growth within the brand means that the products are more widely available and are now reaching a larger target market.

Join now!

The last aspect of the marketing mix is promotion, this is used to communicate with the public and inform them of the product. It is also used to influence the target market into purchasing their product, by promoting it as being the best. Advertising is one of the key factors when marketing a product; however Ben & Jerry’s initially aimed to stay away from the conventional advertising route and relied heavily on word of mouth as they believed that the money they would spend on advertising would be better used if given to charities. Eventually after expanding the business to ...

This is a preview of the whole essay