Increasing competitive pressure as well as falling financial performance
In this paper, increasing competitive pressure as well as falling financial performance of Ben & Jerry has carried the number of takeover proposals. Therefore, Henry Morgan is the associate of the board of director of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade.
Along with, it was selected to signify the interest of the shareholder. In this way, Morgan will join the board meeting to consider the undecided offers. If the firm takes the offer, the firm will lose control of its asset and social orientation.
Despite his concern for Ben & Jerry’s social interest and also, he has to decide whether or not to take the takeover offer. At present, there are Four offers that are mentioned on the table. Along with, the auction-goers are Dreyer’s Grand, Meadowbrook Lane, Chartwell, and Unilever.
All offers have different proposals and prices. Refusing offers and outcome conducts to make value would be other alternate solution for Ben & Jerry’s. Yet, accepting the offer of Unilever looks to be the better solutions for Ben & Jerry’s Homemade
This essay is gone for giving and understanding the information of the different strategies and elements which must be dissected by Ben and Jerry’s before propelling their extension crusade effectively.
Initially the different market extension systems are talked about on points of interest with the goal that their correlation can undoubtedly be drawn. At that point the STP idea is examined in subtle elements with uncommon spotlight on target gathering of people, advertise division and item situating.
Target advertise determination is likewise talked about in points of interest and the different methods for target showcase choice are additionally specified in the report. Different nonspecific systems are likewise talked about in points of interest and at last the suggested techniques are examined in subtle elements and appropriate support is additionally accommodated choosing the specific strategy.
Ben & Jerry’s operates in the super premiumzone of the ice cream and frozen yogurt market, which is highly competitive. The largest competitor for Ben & Jerry’s was Haagen-Dazs Company, Inc, which penetrated the market earlier thanBen & Jerry’s and already became well established in certain markets.
That head start may contribute to its large share market, 62 percent, in 1993. However, Ben & Jerry’s market share rose significantly while that of Haagen-Dazs kept decreasing.
This resulted in both companies shared approximately 42 percent of the market share by the beginning of 1995. This amazing growth was generated by Ben & Jerry’s unique marketing strategy and the ability to aggressively price their products.
It focused on consistently producing new flavors while maintaining a very high quality of its products. It also created new product line, such as smooth ice cream, frozen yogurt, peace pops and quart-sized ice creams (Schiavo-Campo and Sundaram, 2012).
The biggest reason behind the success of Ben & Jerry’s was their capability to adopt with the social trends and market their products accordingly which not only brought tremendous success for them but also saved a huge amount in terms of advertising.
However, Ben & Jerry’s was facing a big problem as the market changed. The premium ice cream market was witnessing a downfall because more and more customers were going with the less expensive ones since they have also started offering unique flavors at very reasonable prices.
Price competition also became common in thesuperpremium segment. As the company got bigger, Ben had some difficulties in running the company because of his lack of expertise in management (Weinstein, 2016).
The new plant of Ben & Jerry’s in St. Albans was expected to run under it full capability due to the decreasing sales. To maintain its growth, Ben & Jerry’s was focusing on its restaurant sales and it paid little attention to markets outside of the US.
On the other hand, Haagen-Dazs focused once cream exports, whose market in the US tripled at that time. All of these factors summed up into decreasing profitability. In 1993, they were made profit of $7.2 million while in 1994 they lost $1.86 million.
Looking at its current and quick ratio, Ben & Jerry’s was still liquid and thus still able to meet its short term obligations. Looking at the D/E ratio that increased from 0.43 to 0.66, it seemed that the company relied heavily on debt to finance its operation.
Even though the D/E ratio rose significantly, sales only grew by 6% and net income was falling. It meant that the cost of financing exceeded its benefits and the interest obligation will become a burden to the company and might also cause bankruptcy if not properly taken care off. Debt/CF level also escalated since company’s cash flow is negative while the debt level kept increasing.
Accounts payable turnover decreased from 8.3 to 7.8, meaning that it took Ben & Jerry’s longer to pay off its suppliers. As Holland, I would at first focus on operation. Ben & Jerry’s operation was labor intensive and their machines were inefficient.
In order to survive, they had to be more efficient even though it is at the expense of letting go some of the employees. I would also focus on penetrating the markets outside the US, which offer a great potential. Marketing should focus not only to cause-conscious ad, but also to advertise its products by coupons or discounts in order to survive the price competition.
If necessary, company should renegotiate employees’ benefits with their union to cut on its expenses (Akkucuk, 2014). At the status quo, the benefits are well above the industry standard. It can be cut down to the level that was still above the standard but still economically feasible for the company.
When the survival of the company is compromised, employees’ morale will also be affected. One alternative to alleviate this problem is to offer stock options. Ben &Jerry’s has been criticized for only offering employee’s less than half percent of its company stock.
Offering stock options would solve this problem and it would also encourage employees to perform better so that the company can survive(Canizares et al., 2016).
The various concepts which can be adopted by Ben &Jerry’s to expand their presence in the local as well as international markets within the next 3 years are as follows:
Franchising: This concept is used for creating a successful brand image quickly in a foreign market. The biggest benefit of franchises is because of the fact that this concept implores less demanding approaches which could result in gaining considerable amount of market share within a short span of time.
All the management needs is to implement their current, effective plan of action and discover a partner in their targeted market who would help in launching their services and in return will pay the company a fixed percentage of the revenue. This is where a franchise concept can help build that much needed network and increase the customer interaction which will help of local businesses and franchisee owners.
This concept is extremely successful for service based companies and companies with low expansion budget. This concept is also the cheapest among all the market entry strategies(Royka, 2016).
Export-based operations: This idea is basically for the worldwide markets which Ben and Jerry’s is focusing for extension. Fare based tasks is a standout amongst the most well-known techniques taken after by organizations while entering another market.
It’s very fundamental if the association offer clearly to the market that they are attempting to break into. The essential parts in organize conveying are the masters and traders. These people are the branch between the association and the stores.
Trying to get a foothold with an essential movement as a nonnative is a demonstrations of worthlessness, anyway with a strong administrator/vendor on their side, it’s assuredly not! In fact, it’s straightforward, their pro/distributer have most of the contacts they need to succeed.
Clearly, they should work out conveyance coordination’s and everything else of that nature, anyway at first look, arrange conveying is on a very basic level the same as offering things in the nearby market(Trend Trading, 2017).
Building relationships: Building a solid business connection is essential for any organization working in an outside market and also nearby markets. They should endeavor to manufacture contacts and improve connections by the assistance of organizations and joint endeavors.
A sound relationship isn’t helpful for the organization in building up a feeling of trust however can likewise give access to data with respect to the client inclinations of the neighborhood advertise, deals works on, promoting hones and essential opponent data. They can likewise give access to nearby merchants and retailers which could assist the organization with reducing cost(Koopman, 2012).
Amon all the discussed approaches the approach of franchising and building of relationships would be useful for Ben & Jerrys as in both these approaches there is minimal funds are required and the market penetration rate is also very high.
STP: It is the best idea among the various development speculations. So as to venture into a multilayered association, STP assumes a basic job in each association.
As it were, the STP incorporates three noteworthy fragments, for example, division, focusing on and situating. Every single piece of STM incorporates singular centrality. Subsequently, three sections of STP are talked about underneath for better understanding:
Segmentation: in order to satisfy target market, the management of a company needs to focus on segmentation. There are various types of segmentation characteristics located which depends on sex, gender, occupation, behavior, attitudes and approaches of individuals.
On the other side, segmentation is one of the critical segments that include the behavior of an individual as the target audience. Thus, the main segment should be the occupation of target people. Apart from that, segmentation also includes demographic and psychographic factor.
Along with that, the demographic factors include gender division such as male and female. In another side, according to psychographic factor, the behavior of an individual is depended on lifestyle. The people who are conserving with high lifestyle and indented to expand more money and adopt technology into their life’s are to be targeted(Global markets and the law, 2013).
Targeting: the management needs to focus on the target population which would be considered as the target audience. In other words, the targeting is a kind of process which includes a perfect separation of the target audience. Apart from that, an organization must determine their target audience in order to expand the business successfully in the new foreign market.
On the other hand, the targeting process includes four essential parts such as price, promotion, product and distribution. The customer is basically price-sensitive, and they want best quality products in low price.
Along with that, Ben &Jerry’s needs to focus on price estimation before entering the global market. In addition, low price strategy is one of the effective global marketing strategies which is implemented by many MNC companies. Besides that, promotional activity is very helpful and effective strategy which attracts the mind of many customers.
In other words, the management of Ben &Jerry’s needs to promote their products through various media such as newspaper, television, radio and internet. Online marketing is one of the critical strategies which extend the awareness of the products through Facebook, Google and Skype.
Thus, the target customer of Ben & Jerry’s should be those people who are looking for a stable food delivery service(How Firm Can Hedge from Currency Risk, 2012).
Positioning: After analyzing two parts of STP which includes distribution process is the final one is called positioning and deals with the offering of the product or service by the company in a unique way so that the needs of the targeted audience could be met in an effective way..
In this segment, the management of Ben & Jerry’s needs to focus on the appropriate place for targeting the customers. Apart from that, the demographic factor is one of the major elements of the positioning marketing strategy(Fjelstul, 2014).
According to demographic factor, the behavioral approach to the target consumers includes variations like gender, age, family, occupation, lifestyle and locations. So, STP is playing an essential role in the global marketing of Ben & Jerry’s while expanding the business in the global market to increase the brand value of the organization(Tenant Laws, 2011).
Among all the concepts mentioned above the concepts which would best suit the company are the concepts of targeting and positioning. Both this concepts are interlinked. The concept of targeting states that Ben &Jerrys should focus on identifying its target audience first and then use the concept of positioning to promote their products effectively to the targeted customer base in an effective manner.
Ben and Jerry’s will take after the adaptable situating system for the worldwide market. Buyers get a handle on items and administrations that can change things and organizations in light of their needs. Most associations, in any case, find change a test to their errand and thing plan. Each change to a maker results as development in progress costs.
An adaptable situating procedure is another way for associations to build up themselves in front of their adversaries by offering an extensive variety of things which can viably meet the requests of the considerable number of customers as per their taste and inclination.
Ben and Jerry’s understood that the requirements of the market is changing, and they could ride this changing wave to end up the market pioneer by guaranteeing that they meet the particular needs of every one of their clients by collaborating with a wide range of restrictions offering a various decision of cooking to look over(Thompson and Richardson, 2018).
The social responsibility displayed by Ben & Jerry’s have helped them to gain such a significant market share in such a tough market as the premium ice cream market. Among the various Social responsibilities Ben & Jerrys can take the following three approaches:
- Classical View: In this concept the company focuses on improving the profit and revenue floor rather than focusing on the welfare of this society and the people.
- Socioeconomic view: In this concept the company is focused on improving the overall welfare of the society rather than focusing on maximizing the profit.
- Shared value view: In this concept, the company focuses equally on the welfare of the society along with equal emphasis on maximizing profit.
Among the above three the most suitable approach for the company would be the shared value view because in this they can focus on the welfare of the society and at the same time maximize their profits with the help of the increased value of their brand image.
After going through the entirety of the report it could be said that the concept of STP proves to be the most effective one but is still inadequate to crater to the expansion goals of Ben & Jerry’s.
But when multiple concepts are assigned together then only can the true goal be reached. Apart from the STP concept the concept of franchising can also be effectively used to effectively implement the expansion campaign.
Accepting Unilever’s offer has been the best decision for Ben & Jerry’s. Unilever has the global presence which will lead Ben & Jerry’s to find new ways to maximize shareholders’ value, revenue, and assets, because Unilever is the largest producer of ice cream in the world.
Furthermore, Unilever offers the highest price in cash, which is 71% of the premium. Ben & Jerry’s shareholders would benefit from the highest price in cash. Changing some of Ben & Jerry’s management and limiting some social commitments would positively affect Ben & Jerry’s.
These two actions may increase the management’s performance and reduce the firm’s social activity expenses to allow for profitable growth and increase value for shareholders and employees. Although, the firm’s social orientation may become less important, this offer is the best alternative that will allow Ben & Jerry’s to create more value and stay in business.
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