Going by catchy slogans such as “lick global warming” and “from cow to cone” is Ben ; Jerry’s, an American ice cream company. The company, a division of Unilever Conglomerate manufactures ice cream, sorbet, frozen yoghurt and a number of other ice cream products. The company is headquartered in Vermont with its main factory located in Waterbury, Vermont. Currently, the company operates in 28 countries (benjerry.com). Ben ; Jerry’s is famed as an innovative market leader in a super premium industry. The company blends various strategies bearing on environmental responsibility, social activism while enhancing its growth, expansion and profitability.
Market segmentation is the division of large heterogeneous markets (buyers) into smaller more manageable segments (Taylor 1). Currently operating in 28 countries, Ben ; Jerry’s market segmentation is anchored on income levels of a particular region. In this case, an ice cream can costs more in America than it does in Italy. In every region, Ben ; Jerry’s segments them into groups such as first time users, non users, ex-users, non-users, potential users and regular users (benjerry.com). In its segmentation strategy, the company aims at acquiring the potential users and making them regular users. Moreover, the segmentation of the market according to consumer loyalty helps in understanding the needs and wants of their customers. According to Taylor (1) by studying the segments with low loyalty, Ben ; Jerry’s could find out how to gain strategize marketing and gain more market share.
The target market of Ben ; Jerry’s are people between the ages of 5 and 35 years. This group comprises of fun-seeking children and pleasure-loving youths who are innovative, trend-following and brand-conscious (benjerry.com). The company also targets young adults who are health-conscious and prefer desserts made from low-fat natural ingredient substitutes. Some of the company’s brands made for this target market are Chunky monkey, Cherry Garcia and Phish food. The company recently launched a social media campaign in Australia to enhance its hold on the young adults target market. The “flavor election” is a facebook competition in which 8 finalists, each representing a flavor, compete for the most “likes”. The winner stands to win a trip to any Ben ; Jerry’s Scoop shop around the world. Voters also win a year’s supply of Ben ; Jerry’s ice cream (Brio Daily 1).
Positioning strategy refers to the way a company wants its customers to see its products. The development of a positioning strategy a company is dependent on that of its main competitors. To compete with its fiercest rival Haagen Dazs, Ben ; Jerry’s positions itself by tailoring the products to suit informal settings and y giving them catchy names. The company wants its customers to see its products as fit for informal settings, to be taken during relaxation and leisure time. The company sets its products apart from traditionally-named ice cream products from rival companies, by giving its products quirky flavor names like Wavy Gravy, Phish Food, Chubby Hubby, Chunky Monkey among others. This strategy augurs well with the youths who are the chief target market for Ben ; Jerry’s products. As part of its positioning strategy, the company also donates 7.5% of its pretax profits to charitable events through the Ben ; jerry’s Foundation to support communities (benjerry.com). This strategy enhances the company’s hold on its customers and also helps in acquiring more customers.
The positioning strategy when establishing branches in other countries is based on price, product features, usage, users and competition (Taylor 1). In 2008, Ben ; Jerry’s acquired Best foods and Slim-fast in 2008 in its effort to capture the European market by providing it with weight loss cream products (benjerry.com).
Throughout its history, Ben ; Jerry’s marketers have come up with witty and effective advertisements. The advertisements for various products have been aimed at specific target markets and positioning strategies (BrioDaily 2). The “It’s what is inside” campaign called “Chocolate Fudge Brownie” was voted the advert of the week in May 2011. The advert shows a miniature fudge brownie being baked in an ice cream tub. The advert was aimed at presenting to its rather skeptical target market, a preview of how the products are manufactured and how the company is run. This has the impact of increasing customer loyalty and aid in establishing new markets. Moreover, the adverts show how the company partners with small businesses which aid in its positioning strategies. Ben ; Jerry’s also advertises its new products by offering free ice cream to charities around the Vermont area during community celebrations and public events.
Whereas branding gives a product personality, labeling gives the product a face (Taylor 1). Ben ; Jerry’s marketing strategy aims at integrating customer satisfaction and environmental sustainability. The Cosmic Crash a brand of ice cream comes in an eye-catching colorful container bearing the words “All Natural BEN ; JERRY’S, VERMONT’S FINEST” In the background of the words “Cosmic Crash” are illustrations of planets and the cosmos (benjerry.com). This demonstrates creativity and innovation to match that of its youthful target market.
The company packages its Peace Cops in plastic wrappers and paper board boxes. In 1997 the company developed a pint container that was compostable and therefore more environmentally friendly (benjerry.com). The “Eco-pint” was chlorine free to reduce negative environmental impact. Moreover, the company uses homemade cartons to package its products thereby conserving the environment though forest conservation. Currently, Ben ; Jerry’s package its products in recycled materials and unbleached (Dioxin-free) paper. The packaging contributes to the uniqueness of the company’s products and cuts down the cost of production (benjerry.com). The packaging of Ben ; Jerry’s products therefore contributes to the overall strategy of innovation, customer satisfaction and environmental sustainability.
Brio Daily. “Ben ; Jerry’s social media catapult into the Australian market.” 2011. Web 28 Feb.
Ben and Jerry’s. “Our story: Ben and Jerry’s” 2008. Available at: http://
www.benjerry.com/ourstory / [Accessed 11 November 2008].
Taylor, Sheri. Market Segment, Market Targeting, Positioning, and Differentiation Gourmet
Food Market, Marketing Strategies. 2007. Web 28 Feb. 2012
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