The Clorox Company Goes Green
Author(s): Ashley Nowygrod, Brian Moss, Nathan Springer, Craig Cammarata, Jennifer Gough
Institution: University of Michigan, USA
Competition year: 2011
Place: 3rd place
Track: Corporate Sustainability
Key words: Greenworks, Clorox, Seventh Generation, Method, Cleaning products, Green cleaning products
The Clorox Company launched green household cleaning products line GreenWorks in 2008 and immediately commanded 40% of the market. Following a stagnant sales in the early 2000's due to fierce competition with Procter and Gamble, Unilever and others, the company made a bold move into the green consumer market with the launch of GreenWorks, acquisition of Burt’s Bees natural personal care products, and a strategic partnership with the Sierra Club.
The case tracks the history of the Clorox Company and its competition to differentiate from larger, more diversified rivals, and its methodical approach to launching GreenWorks. Increasing interest by a new market segment that valued health, quality, and environmental values buoyed the success of small natural products companies like Method and Seventh Generation. Leveraging its distribution network and shelf space at large box retailers, competitive pricing at a small premium above similar natural cleaning products, and a brand name associated with quality sales of GreenWorks exceeded expectations and grew the entire green cleaning product market. The case asks students to consider whether Clorox should continue to build out its GreenWorks product line and if it can use the strategies employed to build GreenWorks to compete in other product lines or markets.
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