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Activism As Brand Identity

In a new article in B Magazine, I look at Ben & Jerry’s corporate strategy to turn its customers into social activists.  A lot of good things have happened at the company since Ice Cream Social was published three years ago, and the article brings you up to date on some of the most exciting…

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Managing Ten Million Conversations At Once

You can find Ben & Jerrys in the freezers of about 40 million US households.  About ten million of these contain “fans” who connect with the company by liking it on Facebook or following it on Twitter, Snapchat, or some other social media platform.   Keeping those fans engaged and encouraging them to carry on…

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“Bernie’s Yearning” is here!

Ben Cohen has produced forty pints of a new flavor to support the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders.  The flavor is not produced or endorsed by Ben & Jerry’s Inc., and the extremely limited run is being used for explicitly political purposes.  Twenty five of the pints are being raffled off to raise money for…

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Bernie Sanders Ice Cream: Mix It Yourself

Everyone interviewed for Ice Cream Social agreed that Ben Cohen is a genius at creating new flavors of ice cream. Last week, he did it again. Cohen, who supports Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, joined about 700 protestors outside a theater in Burlington, Vermont before Donald Trump appeared there on January 7. Ben is also a…

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Managing Idealists and Capitalists

Marya Besharov has been teaching the Ben & Jerry’s story for seven years. She focuses her classes on the salary ratio, a policy the company maintained from the early 1980s until 1994 that required the highest-paid full-time employee earn no more than seven times as much as the lowest-paid (full-time) employee. The policy divided the…

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Hitting the Big Times (sort of)

Last Friday’s New York Times story on the relationship between Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s isn’t really hard news. It’s the Mister Softee version. What the story leaves out is what Unilever does not want you to know. To save money, Unilever executives ordered the recipes for Cherry Garcia and other popular flavors changed shortly…

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