The Curious Marriage of Socially Conscious Brands and Their Larger Corporate Counterparts
Harvard Business School professors James E. Austin and Herman B. Leonard are co-authoring a paper titled ”Can the Virtuous Mouse and the Wealthy Elephant Live Happily Ever After?” that examines the acquisitions of smaller socially conscious brands by their larger corporate counterparts. The goal of the report is to study why these mergers occur and how to manage them most effectively so that both companies benefit. The study explores these issues from the perspective of three recent real world examples: Tom’s of Maine acquired by Colgate, Stonyfield Farm Yogurt purchased by Danone, and Ben & Jerry’s bought by Unilever. Though delicate in nature, when these partnerships are approached correctly, they can drive both profits and positive change.