Ben & Jerry’s has a reputation as a socially responsible company. They try to combine, at first glance, difficult compatible things: to prosper financially and take care of people. They do not describe themselves as a vast conglomerate, striving only to earn more and more money every year. They, first of all, think about what people want and try to give it to them. The company wants to feel its involvement in the product they are buying, or in the company of which they are clients.
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Ben & Jerry’s builds its strategy and tactics based on an ethical business, a business of mutual prosperity, which is also called caring capitalism. If the average American company contributes only 2% of its net income to charity, Ben & Jerry’s donates 7.5% to social needs and environmental protection (Effi, 2021). This form of caring capitalism has earned Ben & Jerry’s the respect and high commitment of its customers. Ben & Jerry’s cares about the interests of society and environmental protection, not in words, but deeds. The company implements its mission in specific plans and events.
Indeed, it may seem that its business comes from God and his origins. The Holy Scripture directs people to a more thoughtful attitude to the problem of wealth and the activities that create it, that is, to business. The rich know a simple thing: if they want to get something more– they have to give more. It is often heard how much money a person has donated to humanitarian aid, given to opening a charitable foundation (this company presents more than the average). The Holy Scriptures mention the tithe that everyone should share. This figure is taken from the Bible: “Bring all the tithes to the storehouse house so that there will be food in My house” (Malachi 3:10) In other words, God wants us to learn how to give, and then He will provide us with something more. Ben and Jerry’s try to donate as much as possible to charity with the hope of retribution.
The company has always evaluated each of its actions regarding its impact on society and the environment. Ben & Jerry’s popularity grew by leaps and bounds. During the 90s increased by 10-20% per year, reaching $237 million in 1999 (Effi, 2021). All this helped the company not only to make the business successful but also to take care of the people who needed it. As a result, the company has an excellent reputation, many partners, and consumers.
However, there is a downside – balancing between striving for high ideals and making a profit is not easy. Such a policy and the pursuit of environmentally friendly products are not cheap (William et al., 2019). Some, jokingly, claim that Ben and Jerry want to solve all the world’s problems at the expense of their ice cream. They call it an ethical business, but so far, it looks utopian because all their goals contradict each other. Business is hard work; if managers add social tasks to customer service requirements, making a profit, they get a vicious circle (William et al., 2019). Ben and Jerry’s ideas are pretty primitive, and because of them, the company suffers only losses. Entering the global market helps the company stay afloat in many ways due to a relatively broad audience of consumers. This fact is significant because modern trends in nature protection and eco-friendly lifestyle help the company gain popularity.
The company has done well in ethics and social responsibility, but it could have been much more for profit. Over the past few years, the once-rapid growth in sales volumes has declined, revenues have ceased to please with stability, and the stock price has fallen. In 1998, the company reported a 20% increase in sales and a 60% increase in net income. Competitors and critics jokingly said to these results that dividends are measured solely by spiritual achievements.
Effi, B. (2021). Ben & Jerry’s Social Responsibility: ESG Without the G. Forbes. Web.
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Malachi 3:10. (n.d.). Bible Hub. Web.
William, M. P., Robert, J. H., & Jack, K. (2019). Foundations of Business, 6e. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.