Ben & Jerry’s Unique Take On Corporate Activism

Since then, Huffpost says that Ben & Jerry’s has built a department dedicated to the company’s activism. Chris Miller leads a team of people with backgrounds in politics and advocacy. However, unlike other companies that give large donations to show their commitment to social justice, their team is focused on developing long-term relationships with various grassroots organizations. From Black Lives Matter groups like Equality for Flatbush to the Communities for Clean Water coalition (via Ben & Jerry’s Foundation), Ben & Jerry’s offers their corporate power to magnify the missions of the people directly facing these issues and bring solutions.

So, when things go down, they’re calling the nonprofit organizations they work with, and any statement they make is run by them (via HBR). Those relationships inform their responses to current events, not selling ice cream. Although, they have seen strong growth in that department. CEO Matthew McCarthy told HBR that data shows their fans are aware of the company’s efforts in activism, and it’s made them more supportive of the business. In the same interview, Miller referenced a quote from Ben Cohen, Ben & Jerry’s co-founder: “The strongest bond you can create with customers is around a shared set of values.” While it’s true Ben & Jerry’s does make great ice cream, Miller believes that the loyalty people have for the brand is driven by their beliefs.

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