We all scream, “Ice Cream! Ben & Jerry’s Case Study – Lessons in Soulful Marketing

I’m at it again, doing some fun research on “Soulful” businesses and how they use Soulful Marketing principles. This company is my personal favorite, not just cuz I love ice cream, it’s cuz of their mission, values and original focus on sustainability and social impact.

Ben & Jerry’s understand their customer and how they care about issues and want to know what the company is doing to make a positive impact.

This is a business that created a strong brand that totally appeals to customers who share their values. This is how you create longevity and long-term success in your business and more…

Oh, and my favorite flavor is the classic Chocolate Chip & Cookie Dough.

What’s yours?

Here’s How Ben & Jerry’s Flavors Ranked.

Some quick facts about Ben & Jerry’s:

Ben & Jerry’s has nearly 100 flavors, including celebrity-inspired flavors like Cherry Garcia and Phish Food. They also have 17 non-dairy flavors.

Ben & Jerry’s has discontinued over 300 flavors (In the flavor graveyard of course.)

Core Soulful Marketing Principles & How Ben & Jerry Knocked Them Out of The Park:

1. Connect Authentically With Your Dream Prospect & Clients

Ben & Jerry’s has always been known for their social impact causes and initiatives that they care about. In 2009, they launched the “Do the World a Flavor” campaign, inviting customers to submit ideas for new ice cream flavors. This campaign engaged their customers and made them feel like they were part of a bigger movement.

By connecting with their customers on a personal level, Ben & Jerry’s was able to build a community of loyal fans who share their mission. This also aimed to promote the fair trade aspect of all its ingredients, emphasizing Ben and Jerry’s philosophy regarding how it makes its product.

Here’s how it all worked (see photo below): Customers could pick fair trade ingredients for their ice cream mix. The winning combo, “Fairly Nuts,” was sold in stores from March 2010. Participants could also win a trip to a Dominican Republic cocoa farm. The campaign was a hit, pulling in over 100,000 votes worldwide. It proved their crowdsourcing method was effective and engaging.

Ideas For Your Business: You’re building a community. Reach out to them, and get them involved. Do a survey, or a live value-filled information event, to get them engaged and communicate with your business. How can you create something clever like Ben & Jerry’s did?

2. Communicate & Connect to Your Dream Clients with Empathy

Ben & Jerry’s listens to their customer’s feedback and responds in a way that shows they genuinely care. In response to customer feedback about using palm oil in their products, Ben & Jerry’s launched the “Save Our Swirled” flavor to raise awareness about climate change. The company committed to sourcing palm oil in a more sustainable way and communicated this change transparently to its customers. By responding to customer feedback with empathy, Ben & Jerry’s showed that they value their customer’s opinions and are committed to making a positive impact.

Idea For Your Business: How can you listen better to what your customers want? What mechanism can you use on social media, email, or possibly a survey platform? What’s your core desire to give back? How can you incorporate that in your mission and purpose as Ben & Jerry’s has done?

3. Align with Your Mission, Core Values & Purpose

Since Ben & Jerry’s started, they saw themselves as pioneers of “peace, love and ice cream” and have been using their brand as a platform for social activism since 1978. We use ice cream to change the world,” Ben and Jerry often declared.

The company has a solid commitment to social impact and sustainability.

The “Flavors for Peace” program highlighted how they support social justice, human rights, and peace building. By aligning its marketing with its mission and values, Ben & Jerry’s creates brand ambassadors who share these values and work towards the same goals.

“… using our business to make the world a better place gives our work its meaning,” said Ben and Jerry.

Ideas For Your Business: Alignment of your business to your mission, vision, values, and purpose is huge in Soulful Marketing. This is how you create a brand, a business that does more than just “sells stuff.” It shows how you’re in touch with your dream client’s fears, hopes and dreams. How you can relate and connect with them because of your shared values. Find what can bind you together, and you’ll build a sustainable community of like-minded people for a lifetime.

4. Use Personalized Marketing in Your Business

Ben & Jerry’s uses personalized marketing to create a unique experience for each customer. In their early days, they even created a “Flavor Finder” tool on their website to help customers find their perfect ice cream flavor based on their preferences. That’s now been replaced with their Flavor Finder Near Me. Additionally, they offer personalized ice cream cakes that customers can customize with their favorite ice cream and mix-ins. By personalizing their marketing, Ben & Jerry’s creates an emotional connection with their customers and makes them feel special.

Ideas For Your Business: There’s a theme in Soulful Marketing that emphasizes HOW you’re connecting and being more personal and open with your dream prospects and clients. What are you doing to connect with the people on your email list and your social media followers? It’s important to share the like-mindedness of your struggles and how you overcome them. And let your folks know how you’re just like them. It’s about being honest, being a guide, a coach, and a cheerleader for them. It’s also about sharing what you’re comfortable with and being aware of not oversharing.

5. Creating Authenticity & Transparency in Your Marketing & Messaging

Ben & Jerry’s has always been transparent about the challenges they face regarding sustainability and social impact. They understand that their customers care about these issues and want to know their actions to make a positive impact.

For example, they’ve been open about the fact that sourcing ingredients like fair trade cocoa and vanilla can be difficult and expensive. And they continue to prioritize it because it aligns with their values and mission. By being authentic and transparent in their marketing and messaging, Ben & Jerry’s builds trust with their customers and creates a more meaningful connection.

Ideas For Your Business: Your core messaging of how you communicate what do for your dream clients is huge! Take a page from Ben & Jerry’s and be more authentic, transparent, and cohesive in your messaging of your emails, web pages, and social media posts. The more real and connected you are, the more you will create a following of cult-like fans.

I loved doing this case stuff about Ben & Jerry’s because it’s an excellent example of how a company can use Soulful Marketing Principles to create a strong brand that appeals to customers who share their values.

Remember, it’s about:

  1. Connecting Authentically With Your Dream Clients & Prospects
  2. Communicating & Connecting to Your Dream Clients & Prospectswith Empathy
  3. Aligning with Your Mission, Core Values & Purpose
  4. Using Personalized Marketing
  5. Creating Authenticity & Transparency in Your Marketing & Messaging

Ben & Jerry’s has created a loyal following of fans who are passionate about their mission and their ice cream. They even put it in their packaging with a sweet twist! And you can create this too in whatever business you have – promise!

Mid-July is here with all it’s beating summer sun and bright hot glory. Here’s to ice cream :-), AC, shade, and cool morning breezes.

Quote I’m Pondering:

“Restlessness — that which ruffles and diffuses the mind — blurs vision and causes misunderstanding. Emotion blurs your vision. Moods blur your vision. Most people act not out of understanding but according to their moods….In my experience with the great ones in India, the first thing I learned was to clear my vision of all forms of restlessness and mental prejudice that might blur my understanding.” ~ Parmahansa Yogananda

Powerful Mantras to Inspire: (Marianne Williamson)

I am thinking with the minds of all. I am feeling through all feelings. The flowers of joy blooming on all heart soils are mine. I am eternal laughter. My smiles are dancing through all faces. I am the wave of enthusiasm in all hearts. I am the King of Silence, sitting on the throne of emotion.

What I’m Reading:

Dramatic Demonstration by Jude Charles

Weekly Photos:

This is always one of the hottest months here in Northern CA. And I’m grateful that we had such a mild and cool summer so far. The heat waves are coming this weekend. We’ll be pushing 115 – that’s hot! We’re staying indoors and enjoying the cool breezes from our AC.

See Ms. Emma enjoying the cooler air and keeping watch at the window for animals and owners walking by. And some beautiful sunrises. Nature sure does love putting on a show for us in the early morning and we love it!

Then check out the last photo – that’s my spouse Alice, being her amazing creative self with her stained glass hobby. She just finished this stained glass of the Golden Gate Bridge for a friend. One of my favorite things about it is how the morning sun shines through the glass.

Whenever you are ready, below are three ways I can help you achieve success in your business.

  1. Jump on a complimentary Call with me– I promise you will leave our call with at least 1 – 3 actions that will impact your business immediately.
  2. Get my 7-Step Soulful Marketing System. It contains all my best stuff on creating and launching your products. Plus, you get proven templates, tools and worksheets valued at over $4,056!
  3. Looking for Guidance – One on One or Group Coaching-Consulting – It’s your time to create the success you so deserve. Let me help you create your authentic and unique messaging, offers and more so you will get more clients/customers. Would love to see how I can help you. Hit reply and let’s connect.
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