The Edible Business Plan

BusinessWeek asked Roxanne Quimby, who founded Durham, NC-based Burt’s Bees about innovation.

The innovation came in the way that I marketed Burt’s Bees rather than the way it was manufactured. The products were good enough to eat. The skin is the largest organ of the body and anything you put on it ends up in your bloodstream. If people are conscious about what they eat, then they ought to care what goes on their skin. A lot of products are made of chemicals. Ours are made from Mother Nature, and we drove home that point. At our product demos, we had our trainers squeeze out the product and eat it. No one had thought to do this before, and it made a big impression.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.