Burt’s Bees is an interesting case, which discusses the success story of an all natural skin care company. It is an unusual concept but the founder Roxanne Quimby saw the market for such a product and immediately started acting upon this opportunity to create the best skin care company in the world. It was interesting to notice how Roxanne and the co-founder Burt Shovitz started the concept of natural skin care products just for the extra income and then went on to make it their core product of the company.
This is the best example of an unpredictable market.
Another interesting factor of the company is its use of natural products, keeping in mind the environment. The company doesn’t test its products on animals (like many other companies) and the company’s packages are designed such that they can be recycled which in turn have the lowest impact on the environment. This helped them to capture a wide market swiftly as the customers today are very sensitive and prefer natural products over chemical-oriented ones.
With the increasing pollution, there is more awareness among the people to use environmentally friendly packages and products as far as they can.
Burt’s Bees seem to attract its customers covering both these aspects. The founders prove to be efficient business people since they saw the need of the customers and delivered the product demanded by them. According to me, the entrepreneur’s first and foremost quality is to know the market and deliver the exact product/service to get maximum profit and for the long life of the company. However, the case states three important questions needed to be answered in order for the founders to reach a desirable figure of $25 million and prevent it from selling.
Question1: How could Burt’s Bees establish its presence in such a crowded market? Answer: According to my analysis, Burt’s Bees has achieved a remarkable position in the market with its unusual product. This means that the company can do very well in the market provided some changes are made. The customers are at the top of any company. It cannot do well unless it has enough buyers for what it sells. So firstly, I feel it should undertake heavy survey methods to know what customers are actually looking for in their products, what are they missing, what are their desires. Time changes and so do people and their tastes.
I feel Burt’s Bees should have continuous updates on what is desired by its customers and be more in touch with them to get the sales. Secondly, I also feel the company should invest a certain lump for its advertisement. It lacks a lot behind in this area as compared to its customers. I did not know the company’s name until this case study. So, I feel it should also work towards its advertisement. Since, this is the world of technologies; Burt’s Bees should have its hands on the latest technologies out there to make it products up to the mark. It would also save some labor costs.
As far as financial aspect is concerned, as I have mentioned in my earlier discussions, I very strongly believe that the most important concern of the company is that it should never run out of cash. Burt’s Bees may come up with the best product and use the best technology available but it would be of no use if it runs out of cash. Hence, they should be very cautious towards their cost of goods sold and that its expenses never exceed its income/cash flow. I understand certain factors stated here are not directly related to creating a presence in market but I very strongly believe that indirectly they have a lot do with the company’s success.
Question 2: If retail wasn’t a good move for the company, where did Burt’s Bees future lie? Answer: According to me, we live in an internet era. Burt’s Bees should try selling its products online. Many people especially females always look for the products for their skin and hair online; to check if there is anything new in the market which is better than what they are using. It can also distribute free samples of their upcoming products to the customers along with their order to increase their awareness and ultimately their sale.
For starters, if they do not get direct sale online then they can have a tie up with a popular brand of a different industry, say clothing where people make their most online purchases and give out free samples along with their orders. This could be the best marketing strategy for the company. In my second opinion, they should try selling their products at the local market stores where people do most of their shopping. And lastly, in the worst scenario if nothing works out then it should be a wholesaler. The company can create products as per the retailers’ demand and sell them their products.
But looking at the company’s success and figures, I feel it shouldn’t have a problem doing retail considering the above stated suggestions. Question 3: What is the best route to reach $25 million in sales? Answer: This in my opinion will be the summary of all my suggestions. More research, get the right product for the customers, increased use of technology, controlling costs and selling products online. Taking care of all these factors would help the company achieve remarkable sales figure and ultimately the goal of $25 million.
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