RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Ecommerce : July 14, 2010

Ben & Jerry's drop email in favor of social media marketing

Email, a standard marketing channel for most brands, has been dropped by Ben & Jerry's in the U.K., according to recent reports, as the ice-cream giant turns its attention to social media marketing.

by Helen Leggatt

ben and jerry logo.jpgAccording to reports on both and, the iconic Vermont-based premium ice cream maker is dropping its regular email newsletter in Britain after customers aired their preference to be contacted via social media channels.

The last email newsletter went out last week and customers are now encouraged to interact with the brand via Twitter and Facebook. The decision appears to fly in the face of recent research that suggests social media and email have a symbiotic relationship.

But Twitter and Facebook aren't the only weapons Ben & Jerry's have in their social arsenal. What started out as a hippy brand is now dishing out dollops of digital interactivity and fun via its website and mobile offerings.

Their latest move is "Moo Vision", featured on the brand's iPhone app "Scoop of Happiness". The augmented reality feature lets consumers use their iPhone camera to interact with the product packaging for a range of Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors.

For example, by pointing the iPhone camera at the packaging for the New York Super Fudge Chunk flavor consumers are taken on a virtual tour of New York. Participants can share their adventures via Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: augmented reality, email marketing, iPhone app, social marketing, social media

Subscribe to BizReport

  • You might want to read this post about Ben & Jerry's strategy here...


  • Michael

    Yes it is great to be in control like all those "dead" (literally)Facebook users who are still sending out updates.

  • I agree with Simms that letting customers choose their channel would be the best route. What if Facebook and/or Twitter phase out? How will they regain their customers on the next big network? Hopefully people keep their same email addresses so Ben and Jerry's can contact them the 'old fashioned way' in the future. Though I've heard Dippin' Dots is the ice cream of the future...

    On the flip side, kudos to Ben and Jerry's for listening to their customers. Too few companies get caught in a cloud of what they think their customers want, rather than just asking them directly.


    Haley, @haleylandsman

  • Toye Begbaaji

    Oranges and apples...kinda makes sense for a popular ice cream vendor versus say, a bank, or an automaker. Can't say I'd want a blast email from every vendor in my shopping basket but I would appreciate a targeted email about a recall on my 1993 Volkswagen Vuvuzela and a specific recommendation on which dealer is closest to my zip code to get it looked at.

  • Granted, I run an email marketing focused digital agency but why wouldn't they provide each customer the opportunity to pick their preferred channel as surely not all of their customers prefer social? While this move surely will gain street cred in the social marketing world, it seems very short sighted in an overall customer experience viewpoint.


    Simms Jenkins - CEO, BrightWave Marketing



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.