Management Case: “Keeping the Buzz at Burt’s and Bees” I. Background
Burt's Bees is an American personal care products company that describes itself as an "Earth friendly, Natural Personal Care Company" making products for personal care, health, beauty, and personal hygiene. As of 2007, they manufactured over 197 products for facial and body skin care, lip care, hair care, baby care, men's grooming, and outdoor remedies distributed in nearly 30,000 retail outlets including grocery stores and drug store chains across different countries. The original vision of Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby was to ultimately reach “everyone, everywhere”. The opportunity to grow its brand in the mass market is a lucrative one for the company. However critics and some customers have commented that Burt’s Bees was becoming too commercial, losing the authentic elements that has led to its success. (Quimby)
Also in 2006 John Replogle became CEO of Burt’s Bees and he strongly believed that Burt’s Bees could bring natural personal care to the forefront of mainstream personal care. Under his leadership the product range would be changing rapidly, it would still stock the brands classics and many of these products would continue to carry the brands early symbol; Burt’s bearded face However new product lines were about to appear among them a complete line of hair care products. In 2011, Nick Vlahos, a 15-year veteran of The Clorox Company was named Vice President and General Manager of Burt's Bees. He continues Replogle’s belief to break into the mass market. (Debryun, 2011) II. Problem
How could Burt’s Bees maintain its brand identity in their new product line as they break into mass market? III. Assumptions of the Study
Burt and Bee’s Product life cycle stage
The product life cycle is one of the most familiar concepts in marketing. The PLC concept can be used to analyse a brand, a product form, or a product category. The PLC concept does not tell the length of a product’s life cycle or its duration in any stage. It is simply a tool to help marketers forecast events and suggest appropriate strategies. In this case, let’s take a look Burt’s Bee’s Product/brand stage. There are 4 stages, the introductory, growth, maturity and decline. Burt’s Bees is in the Growth stage. In this stage, company’s sales and profits starts increasing and competition also begin to increase. The product becomes well recognized at this stage and some of the buyers repeat the purchase patterns. During this stage, firms focus on brand preference and gaining market share. (Kotler & Armstrong, 1999) Product
Along with maintaining the existing quality, new features and improvements in product quality may be done. All this is done to compete and maintain the market share. In this case, Burt’s Bees develop a new line for men and babies. Distribution
Distribution becomes more significant with the increase demand and acceptability of product. More channels are added for intensive distribution in order to meet increasing demand. They have opened new retail outlets including Walgreens and CVS. Promotion
At growth stage, promotion is increased. When acceptability of product increases, more efforts are made for brand preference and loyalty. Burt’s Bees strategy is through word of mouth and in today’s world in the social media. Which I believe is not enough if they want to enter and compete in the mass market.
Brand Equity and Brand Identity
Branding is an important element, because the brand of a company is the abstract image of its all products. Branding could add value of the brand and its products. So branding is vital to Burt’s Bees. “For Burt’s Bees, the company is the brand, and the brand is the company. At the heart of Burt’s Bees DNA is “The Greater Good.” A focus on transparency, consistency. Leveraging the brand ambassador’s through the power of social media & continuing to engage with consumers. By...