Burt's Bees: Leaving the Hive

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I. Situation
In 2006 Burt's Bees, a natural personal care manufacture, had sales growing by over 30% per year during the past four years across multiple, increasingly diversified channels of distribution in U.S. However, the natural personal care market was competitive and those competitors' products were diversified in categories, channels, prices, and promotions. Facing the mess situation, Replogle the CEO hoped to lead the company from an entrepren-eurial company in a niche market to a category leader in a transformed market. II. Problems

Burt's Bees managers thought they had fierce consumer loyalty. However, lacking of marketing department, they only judged by a little feedback from their sales representatives. By this way, Burt's Bees neither estimated the size of consumers nor measured the consum-ers' sensitiveness with changing. In communications, they thought a national product-demonstration tour can communicate the value proposition to consumers according to the sales, but they did not measure by the ratio of return over investment. Burt's Bees had over 30% sales through drug store and gift/specialty respectively, but they cannot forecast the demand of different products, and the "hives" faced the capacity problem with the growing products. Burt's Bees did not take price promotion, and these prices weren't set systematic-ally. Finally, the package of its products may cause confusion in awareness. III. Framework

Nature product development is the surviving core of Burt's Bees, and the company was not a leader in the natural personal care market but having fast growing sales at that time. Therefore, the strategy of Burt's Bees should focus on idiosyncratic product through efficient channels and pricing. As a powerful competitor, Burt's Bees should develop products according to consumers' need rather than only emphasizing the natural product. Once identifying customers' need, it should develop the natural products, and estimate the size of market and the...
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