Ben & Jerry’s: Unlocking the Power of Contribution

May 26, 2016 | Christophe Fauconnier

Ben & Jerry’s  started the company by opening a $12,000 one scoop shop. What started out as a simple business quickly turned into a meaningful brand movement with a strong point of view; business powered by fun can be a huge catalyst to eliminate social injustice. Quickly, Ben & Jerry’s learned to operate like a movement or a community, rather than a machine organization.
As a brand they wanted to be experienced, quirky, fun activists who like to stir the pot and as product, they wanted to deliver euphoria for the belly and soul by making the best possible ice cream made in the best possible way.

They embraced activists who dare to care with controversial campaigns such as the fight to legalize same sex marriage and created new flavors such as Hubby Hubby and Apple-y-ever-after. They created  the campaign “if it melts its ruined” that rallied people in 26 countries to march in Paris and create awareness for climate change issues and influence the world leaders at COP21.

Our AHA Moment

Our challenge was to help Ben & Jerry’s to humanize the people they serve. As a brand that is very aware that they have to be authentic in everything they do, they had to be careful about engaging the people who consume their ice cream in their activist campaigns. They had not realized that the people that consume their product also aspire a world with more justice and prosperity for all, and it makes them feel good to contribute and to care about the world.

What makes us proud

Today Ben & Jerry’s refers to these people as aspiring activists, who like themselves realize that when you have an authentic purpose that resonates with people both inside and outside the company, it opens doors to exciting approaches to relationships that can engage your support communities in powerful ways. They found that purpose goes hand in hand with success and since their customers became aware of their purpose values, they were not 2.5 times more loyal to the brand. The best way to allow for customers to be aware of their causes was to allow them to participate in the campaign’s cause.