Ice cream sales soar these days. Deodorant – on the decline. (source: Apple News)

Our guess is that you’re not sweating that much but you still need your ice cream. I get it.

Q: What does ice cream have to do with communicating with gravitas?

A: Let’s let Ben and Jerry (Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream) answer this question.

“We usually say [we’ve been successful] because of three things: really high quality ice cream, great ingredients – very unusual flavors, and also the activist social mission of the company”.

To communicate with gravitas you need those ‘3 Ben & Jerry things’:

Ben & Jerry’s thing #1: Really High Quality Ice Cream.
For your organization this translates to your really high quality product/service.

Ben & Jerry’s thing #2: Great Ingredients & Very Unusual Flavors.
Your business’ success depends upon your great people with an emphasis on the unique qualities your team brings to your brand.

Ben & Jerry’s thing #3: Activist Social Mission of the Company.
Your strong mission for your organization – communicated by you and your board/advisors/culture – catapults your business above your competition. Ben and Jerry say that other companies could add big chunks to their ice cream, but these other companies can’t copy their mission. “It’s not something you can just say. It has to be who the people are.”

We are not suggesting that your organization must have an activist mission statement. We are saying that your company’s mission, clearly defined and embraced by your people, AND communicated by you, will increase your long-term competitive advantage.

Back to Ben and Jerry – these two childhood friends started out in a remodeled gas station in 1978 and turned their business into a household name around the world. You can say it’s due to its unique chunk-filled product. They’d maintain it’s also due to their strong mission.

Now go eat some ice cream. You might want to apply some deodorant too.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/27/magazine/ben-jerry-interview.html?smid=em-share

© 2020 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Photo Credit: Karen and her couch

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Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker

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