Ben and Jerry Video Case Study Solution
Ice Cream Case Study Teaching Notes Video: Ben and Jerry’s Ice-cream Wars 1. What was Ben and Jerry’s ‘strategy’ in the video? 2. What stimulated the strategy? 3.
Was it planned or emergent? 4. Was it successful? 5. How does this case help you think about ‘What is strategy? ‘ Were their decisions strategic? Yes, because: * Affected company as a whole * About scope and direction * Long-term Resource implications * Yes, they had to invest 5 pounds in a “correspondence course in ice-cream making” (core competence)??? * Was ice-cream making their core competence? * How were they different? Strategic position: Differentiation (good value, “chunky”, hip) BUT: for everyone: * “The key was their UNIQUE ice-cream” – the invention of the “chunk” (de different – seeking competitive advantage)”weird flavours with lumps in” * Comparison even made: whole nut “as opposed to this kinda bullshit. I mean, this is absurd! ” [DIFFERENTIATION] What is Haagen Dazs’ strategic position on the strategy clock? * Isn’t it stupid to take exactly the same strategic position as such a dominant competitor? [luxury & foreignness/being exotic vs. Inclusiveness & patriotism] * “they liked the ice-cream” “two regular guys” “they wanted to support what we were doing, so everybody came” * 1979, they marked their anniversary by holding the first-ever free cone day, now a nationwide annual celebration (wiki) [series of events linked to sustainability, resonating with Hippie” image] What does that say about the “fit” of their strategy? * “It was just the funkiest ice cream shop I have ever been in” (it’s not really about the ice-cream) – good internal fit.
* All activities aligned * Good external fit, responding to macro-trends Good stretch? Core competence * Persistence * hippie attitude Great combination of resources * owner tenacity * hippie culture * distinct shop culture * ambitious lawyer * gut instinct? * being “hands on” like the potter in Mintzberg’s example Goal was * SURVIVAL at first * then competitive advantage Level of strategy? * In B&J, competitive = corporate. * They make the conflict corporate for Pillsbury, which is the crucial turning point of the whole story * Keep that in mind when we discuss the style and value of corporate parenting later on. B&J break the internal fit * of Pillsbury’s activities and show this mis-fit to the world. What Haagen Dazs did was irreconcilable with the image of the Doughboy. Good “positioning” strategy * because they consciously position themselves AS ALTERNATIVE.
* They thrive on the ice cream war * [There is a second reincarnation of this war when Haagen Dazs reduces its “pint-sized” ice-cream tubs. 2. What stimulated the strategy? * Lack of money and success in business * RESPONSE TO MACRO-SOCIAL or MACRO-ECONOMIC trends: “The two big things happening in food at the time were bagels and ice-cream” * CHOICE made: Doughnuts too expensive, it had to be ice-cream * Then response to lack of sales potential in winter Response to competitor move 3. Was it planned or emergent? * Initially strategy was emergent. Very much responding to threats to survival. * Then strategy becomes planned.
* Clear evidence of learning when Ben ; Jerry retaliate with same strategy they learned from Haagen Dazs * By contrast, how did Haagen Dazs come about? 4. Was it successful? 5. How does this case help you think about “What is strategy? ” * “bet the company” questions * Levels of strategy * Importance of positioning * Value of parenting * Corporate vs. Competitive strategy * Barriers to entry and control of competition * Internal and external fit