Native Deodorants: Sell or Swell?
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
The founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the direct-to-consumer deodorant startup Native Deodorant (Native) had grown the brand to one million active users in about two years. The company was founded in 2015 in San Francisco and had disrupted the deodorant industry by offering all-natural deodorants direct to consumers through its website. By cutting off retailers from the value chain, the CEO had created a feedback loop that helped him have an agile and iterative approach to his business. In 2017, he received an offer from the Procter and Gamble Company to buy his one-and-a-half-year-old startup for US$100 million. He faced a tough predicament: he could continue to leverage the business model of Native and grow to the next million customers, or he could sell to P&G for a nine-figure payday. What should he do?
This case is appropriate for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on marketing management or entrepreneurship. The case focuses on the disruption of a decades-old mature industry by a new entrant through disruptive innovation on product development and delivery. The case can be used to teach concepts of customer centricity, customer insights, strategic opportunities, and competitive disruption. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Define an organization’s business model and identify the key drivers of success and competitive advantages.
- Understand the vitality of customer centricity in developing sustainable business models.
- Realize the application of agile processes in marketing.
- Integrate digital disruption with market-focused planning and strategies.
United States, Small, 2017
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