The ice cream maker’s court fight with its parent company is a referendum on the compatibility between purpose-led brands and publicly-traded corporations. Ben & Jerry’s is the most high-profile and popular poster child for the phrase “brand purpose.” (Okay, okay, Patagonia is also right up there in the conversation.) Over the past 40 years, the ice-cream maker has worked to set the precedent that brands can take a stand on social, political, and environmental issues—while still having...


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