business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times has a piece about Burt’s Bees, the boutique lip balm/shampoo/skin cream manufacturer that has seen its sales double in the last three years and continues to hire new employees – even as much the nation grapples with the recession.

How has it managed to do so? According to the Times, it is by aligning the company with so-called “small indulgences” that people are unwilling to sacrifice even in hard times. “Burt's Bees hit on its recession-proof formula years ago,” the Times writes. “It went natural before natural was cool. And it made specialty personal-care products before such items went mainstream.”

And, the company is able to capitalize on two growing consumer interests – products that are good for them as well as being good for the environment.

"We've never attracted our consumers on price," Peter Alberse, who's in charge of Burt's Bees' customer development, tells the Times. "It's always about what's in the product, and what's not in the product."

KC's View:
As John Mellencamp sings, “You’ve gotta stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”

You’re almost always better off if you have something more than just low price going for you. Even in a tough economy. Especially in a tough economy. Because when things turn around, you represent both value and values.