Suggestions For Bert’s Bees Company

With an established and fanatic fan base and recent entrance into the large drug store chains, John Replogle has the unenviable task of transitioning Bert Bee’s from a good niche brand, into a widely revered great brand. Replogle needs to guide Bert Bee’s in this tenuous phase by making rigid decisions on which products to prominently feature as well as broadening the appeal of the company from just a “quirky” thing to do, to something that’s accepted, without alienating previous loyal customers.

The key with Bert Bee’s is to not change product lines and risk losing their identity. With the highly saturated yet rapidly expanding natural personal care industry, firms often fall into the trap of conforming to competitors ideas in hopes of getting the next cutting edge product. With dabbles into operating Bert Bees specialty stores and experimenting with a cosmetic line (unnatural), experiences of straying away from company ideals have lead to miserable failures. This product company has branded itself as the “Starbucks” of natural personal care industry by offering customers more than just a gratifying and pleasing product but a unique experience that brings them back desiring more. Replogle should capitalize on the “all natural” trend by dramatically increasing the marketing and promotions budget in addition to expanding into the body care product line to attract potential clientele.

Bert Bees has a remarkable ability to attain and retain customers as evidenced by 35% usage after awareness measure and 73% use after trial, significantly higher than all other competing brands. This implies that if the firm spent considerably more on advertising products customers would not only come, they be there to stay due to the draw of the products. With the renown “Bee-tify Your World” tour a monstrous success, the company should initially aim to hold a couple of these conventions per year and to supplement the tour, Bert Bees should partner with large hospitals or health care organizations resulting in entering commercial markets. After involvement with these respected outside organizations, much like competitor Aveeno, Bert Bees would have the endorsement of a third party, something the closed off company has yet to experience and something that would vastly increase consumer confidence. Finally, in an attempt to appeal to the more casual personal care consumer, investment in TV and radio ads (Ex. 1) are imperative. For Replogle, this may imply hiring more experienced marketers or getting involved in the process himself to ensure a quality advertisement that markets the fours aspects of Bert Bees.

Attachment and identification to products is what sets Bert Bees customers apart from the field. With entry into the shampoo and body care segment, the firm should continue to rely on their traditional logo for it sets them apart their not-so-natural competitors. Inclusion of the natural percentage on each product as well as odd bottle designs are musts because they adhere to company mantra of honesty and quirkiness. However, Bert Bees must cut down on significant segments of their product line, possibly their outdoor and baby care segment (slow growth), in effect lowering the inventory days for the company. This is not to say to completely eliminate these products, for there is a fiercely loyal base for these products. Bert Bees could accept special orders for these products (such as shaving cream and fig flavored chap stick) and sell them exclusively on the website, at a premium during certain select times of the year. In an effort to gain customer participation, surveys should be given at stores and conventions to ascertain what works and what doesn’t. Display issues can be resolved by geographically segmenting products certain regions have surplus of products as required. Finally, drug stores could offer a greater SKU selection (rather than limited) of products to customers via their websites.

Due to Bert Bees being in a rapidly evolving environment, much of these suggestions assume that customers retain the same tastes and competitors stay relatively the same size without any breathtaking innovations. Bert Bees has all the right tools to expand it’s horizons, it simply needs to market their products to achieve their mission of Bert Bees catering to “everyone, everywhere.”