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Ben Cohen Jerry Greenfield Articles
Ice Cream Kings: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are Born
“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream,” proclaims Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of one of the most popular brands of ice cream in the U.S. Indeed, the success of Ben & Jerry’s since its launch almost thirty years ago seems to support his claim. From the $5 correspondence course in ice cream making Greenfield and his partner Ben Cohen took from the Pennsylvania State University in 1978, to being named “U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year” by President Reagan in 1988, the childhood friends not only achieved tremendous success, but they did so on their own terms.
The Sweet Taste of Success: Ben & Jerry’s Takes Off
In the early 1970s, both Greenfield and Cohen were at major crossroads in their lives; neither was satisfied with nor particularly inspired by their careers thus far. In 1974, Greenfield moved to North Carolina with his fiancée to take what he now calls his ‘first retirement’ – a much needed three month break that allowed time for reflection. That same year, Cohen moved to the Adirondack Mountain region of New York, where he worked as a craft teacher at a local school for emotionally disturbed youth. For three years, he worked on this 600 acre property, building his own house, teaching pottery and other art techniques, as well as making ice cream with the students.
Lesson #1: Business Benefits When You Behave Responsibly
“Ben and I built Ben & Jerry’s on the idea that business has a responsibility to the community and environment,” says Greenfield. “If you open up the mind, the opportunity to address both profits and social conditions are limitless. It’s a process of innovation.”
Lesson #2: Remember that Happy Workers are Harder Workers
They can bring their dogs to work, wear jeans if they choose and compete in company-sponsored Elvis impersonator contests. Indeed, Ben & Jerry’s employees seem to have more perks than even the worker-friendly Google. Much like the Internet giant, Ben & Jerry’s has long recognized the importance of making a workplace fun for its workers.
Lesson #3: Creative Marketing Will Generate Sales Success
Ben & Jerry’s is not your typical company. From its bright and multi-colour painted stores to its interactive animated website, Ben & Jerry’s has consistently shown creativity and imagination in its marketing strategies. Owners Greenfield and Cohen decided early on that ice cream was a fun product, and thus so too should be their means of promotion.
Lesson #4: Two Heads Are Better Than One
In seventh grade gym class, the two self-proclaimed “slowest and fattest kids in the class” found themselves trailing all of the other students on the track. “Coach was yelling at us, ‘Gentlemen, you have to run the mile in seven minutes or you will have to run it again,’” recalls Greenfield. “Ben then responded, ‘Coach, if I didn’t run it in seven minutes the first time, then I’m sure not going to run it in seven minutes the second time.’”
Lesson #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Go After the Big Guys
Cohen and Greenfield were just a couple of hippies trying to avoid becoming simply “another cog in the economic machine.” Living through the 1960s, the two disliked big business for all of its negative social and environmental effects. With Ben & Jerry’s, the pair was trying to reconcile this by doing things their way, and placing heavy importance on acting responsibly.
The Inside Scoop: How Ben & Jerry’s Achieved Success
They turned their $5 for an ice cream making course into a successful multimillion dollar business, and they had a lot of fun in the process. But, Ben & Jerry’s isn’t just about the delicious ice cream. From taking a stand against nuclear weapons to discussing America politics and corporate social responsibility, founders Cohen and Greenfield are taking the vision for their business to the wider world. How did two anti-corporate hippies become millionaires and respected business leaders in the 21st century?
Ben & Jerry Quotes
Ben & Jerry Quotes
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By: Evan Carmichael
By: Evan Carmichael
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