"... I would consider any compnay very lucky to have Cascadia join their team. They have all the skills for creating the atmosphere and structure necessary to bring in a successful launch of a company.”
Real Beanz represents an important and valuable case study as a learning-from-failure experience. Real Beanz was a great tasting, great looking, an all-natural ready to drink iced coffee in a glass bottle. Cascadia Managing Brands introduced Real Beanz in the U.S., developed their business plan, launched the product, and was directly responsible for everyday sales and marketing.
Slowly, over the course of two and a half years, Real Beanz was introduced to the natural food channels, region by region, until it had achieved distribution in natural specialty food stores nationwide. Real Beanz was sold in seven different Whole Foods regions. Real Beanz was also introduced to DSD in New York City and established significant relationships distribution with the independent Coca-Cola distributors throughout the US.
The product sold extremely well, and the company was successful. The company's owners pushed too fast into additional DSD markets and quickly signed key distribution deals in New York, Boston, New Jersey, Dallas, Chicago, Florida, Nevada, and more. As we have seen time and time again, the company added distribution and marketing dollars too fast. They hired many people. And unfortunately the Company could not support the distribution or their own infrastructure.
Without a firm foothold outside the natural food markets around the US and in New York City, the company had no firm base on which to anchor its too-rapid expansion — and as a result, it ultimately went bankrupt. Bob Corsaro noteD that “great leaders are not judged by what they do; they are judged by what they do not do,” and he says this wisdom is particularly applicable to what happened with Real Beanz.
While the company's initial success was great, the fact they spent too much money and increased distribution too quickly led to its ultimate failure. The lesson learned? Don’t believe your own hype. Stay humble to the what your brand is and build it on a solid foundation.
As Bob cautions, focus effective and physical distribution in the right markets, in the right accounts within the right markets and don’t try to do too much too soon. "To be successful, expansion must be planned and initiated properly and strategically."