LINKING MARKETING AND CORPORATE STRATEGIES

CHAPTER OPENING EXAMPLE

WHERE DOES A CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL "A" IN ICE CREAM MAKING LEAD? PLEASE STAY TUNED!

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were grade school classmates on Long Island. In 1978 they headed to Vermont and eventually started Ben & Jerry's–a company that produces dozens of flavors of ice cream, ice milk, and yogurt. Some of their early products and flavors: Rainforest Crunch, Peace Pops, and Chocolate Cookie Dough ice cream.

They and their website have a creative, funky approach to business–linked to a genuine concern for social causes. In fact, Ben & Jerry's contributes 7.5 percent of its pretax profits to charity.

But by the late 1990s Ben and Jerry concluded the company’s sales were flattening and it needed additional financial resources to grow. So in 2000, Ben & Jerry’s agreed to be acquired by Unilever, a huge multinational. Ben & Jerry’s would operate separately from Unilever’s current ice cream business to preserve the company’s legendary concern for the environment and social responsibility, and both cofounders would continue their involvement.

Because of intense competition, firms must continuously revisit both marketing and corporate strategies, as Ben and Jerry have had to do.