Thursday, May 14, 2015

Featured Customer: Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s Leverages Brand Experience at International Franchise Expo
One picture of Ben & Jerry’s “The Tonight Dough”—caramel & chocolate ice creams with chocolate cookie swirls & gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough & peanut butter cookie dough—is enough to make your mouth water and take off to a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop.

An Incredible Taste Sensation: Ben & Jerry's "The Tonight Dough"

Likewise, at the Ben & Jerry’s International Franchise Expo display, it only takes one glance at the loveable, iconic cow and the invitation to “change the world one scoop at a time” that will drive interested franchise owners to their booth.

Why?  Because people recognize the incredible taste sensations and the fun-loving, quirkiness that could only be Ben & Jerry’s.  Furthermore, at this year’s IFE show, Ben & Jerry’s will once again be on a mission to leverage their remarkable brand experience.

There are two types of people in the world, those who love Ben & Jerry’s and those who have yet to try it.

Ben & Jerry’s franchised scoop shops are designed to deliver the ultimate, immersive Ben & Jerry’s experience to fans and first-timers alike.  They’re whimsical, welcoming places where families and friends can enjoy their favorite treats and fans can deepen their connections with the Ben & Jerry’s brand.

A Whimsical Place: Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops
Since 1981, Ben & Jerry’s has offered scoop shop franchising opportunities.  Currently, they have 247 franchises in the US.  While very careful about branding and selective in adding new franchises, they are looking to open up franchised scoop shops in a limited number of high pedestrian-traffic metro and tourist locations nationwide. 

Ben & Jerry’s operates on a three-part mission that aims to create linked prosperity for everyone that’s connected to their business:  suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike.

DisplayStar Creates 10 Foot Wave Tube Display
For the second year in a row, DisplayStar has had the pleasure of working with Ben & Jerry’s in the creation of their display—a 10 foot Wave Tube display.

Home of DisplayStar, Beaverton, Oregon
“The Wave Tube is a great choice because it perfectly supports a large, frameless image with dye-sublimation fabric graphics,” said Terry Niedermeyer, President of DisplayStar.  There is no better way to capture the taste and texture of ice cream then through the use of dye-sub printing with its HD 1080 which gives the highest resolution and yields the most vibrant colors and sharp contrasts.

The two scoops of ice cream in the five foot cone speak loudly:  The dye-sub color captures the deep chocolate and creamy vanilla; and, the sharp contrast captures the chunks of chocolate and the crispness of the cone.

10' Curved Wave Tube Display with Graphic

People Only Need to See Ben & Jerry’s to Believe It
"The fact that Ben & Jerry’s is such a recognized brand changes everything," said Paula Glasmann, Ben & Jerry’s Franchise Development Coordinator.  "We are not trying to introduce ourselves and our products for the first time at the Expo—so we don't have to provide product samples to draw attention and traffic."

No ice cream samples?  Why would they not use the drawing power of “Peanut Buttah” and “Karamel Sutra” to attract people to their booth. 

"Sampling ice cream at this Expo is a logistical challenge and it can be a distraction that takes times and attention of the staff away from interested prospects who are there to get franchising information.”

“Serious franchise prospects already know Ben & Jerry’s.  They have tried the product and are there to explore franchise opportunities.  We are there so they know Ben & Jerry’s has a franchise offering.”

International Franchise Expo:  The Ideal Audience and Environment
At Javits Center in New York City, the International Franchise Expo is the largest franchise expo in the country with more than 760,000 square feet of exhibit space.  In 2014, the Expo had more than 19,000 attendees and more than 400 exhibitors.

The IFE offers an ideal environment for prospective business owners and entrepreneurs to meet face-to-face with representatives from well-established franchises to learn about franchise brands domestically and internationally.

International Franchise Expo in New York City at the Javits Center from June 18-20, 2015
More than 30 percent of attendees said they planned to invest between $100,000 and $499,999.  Expo visitors—whether single-unit, area developers or multi-unit buyers—are well-educated about franchising, engaged and serious about taking the next step in becoming franchise owners. 

Knowledgeable and Experienced Booth Personnel

After brand recognition, the most important strategy Ben & Jerry’s will deploy is the use of booth personnel with in-depth knowledge of the franchise opportunities and of the selection process.  Nothing can replace truly knowledgeable and experienced booth personnel who are as passionate about franchising as they are passionate about Ben & Jerry's ice cream.  In addition to Glasmann, in attendance will be the Franchise Development Manager and the Senior Logistics & Development Manager.

With an effective, but relatively small team at the show, it was important to choose a booth that was portable and easy to set up.  The Wave Tube was a great choice because of its lightweight frame and graphics which pack into a very sturdy nylon suitcase with wheels for easy transport.

To assemble, simply put together the frame, then slip the graphic over the frame.  At the bottom of the frame, zip the graphic together (like zipping up a giant pillowcase). 

Other show strategies will include an email blast to go out to all IFE attendees who have pre-registered for the show.  In addition, Ben & Jerry’s will have a big 3 foot x 6 foot sign in the aisle to direct traffic to their booth.  Brochures and free cone coupons will be given to serious prospects.  Lastly, Ben & Jerry’s will track their leads through the use of an electronic lead retrieval scanner system.

One Scoop at a Time = Trade Show Success!
Much like their plan to change the world one scoop at a time, Ben & Jerry’s will consider the Expo a successful investment if they land only a handful of franchise opportunities.

Interested in Franchising a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop?
Glasmann may have a hard time deciding on her favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor because she’s tried so many and they are all so good—but, she does know Ben & Jerry's franchise opportunities and is the best person to first contact.

Paula Glasmann
Franchise Development Coordinator
Ben & Jerry's Franchising, Inc.
30 Community Drive
South Burlington, VT 05403
Phone:  802-923-2413

Visit Ben & Jerry’s at

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