What matters more- reputation or money?

I’m a firm believer in supporting all that is organically-grown and locally-owned. I think this is a huge step in the way our society is gravitating toward. More than the product itself, small, locally-owned businesses still give a community and local appeal when most consumers are heavily dependent and focused upon the corporate world. In the last decade, consumers have leaned toward products that reap health and environmental benefits. As is always the case in business, people often get side-tracked and manipulated by one crucial aspect: money.I am an avid Burt’s Bees fan and promote its product whenever necessary. I enjoy reading about the two founders who met while hitchhiking and worked jointly at a bee farm. It’s a wonderful story and often one that we don’t hear enough of. Burt’s Bees has prided itself on selling its products in small bulk and to specialty stores. It’s design, content, and products all appeal to a more liberal and environmentally conscious target audience. Burt’s Bees has more than 300 employees, in which they are all encouraged to live a green life. Their mission is based off of green ideals and most employees are proud to say they own a hybrid vehicle. Last November however, Burt’s Bees did the unexpected. They sold their company to bleach-producers, Clorox for $913 million. Now, Burt’s Bees will join mainstream America and will be manufactured in national franchises such as Wal-mart. This acquisition will change the way Burt’s Bees is perceived. It will no longer seem locally-owned, but rather mass produced. Through this purchase, I have to wonder, what matters more, the finances or the reputation? It’s obvious that people often gravitate toward wealth, but is it that worth it when you could potentially lose your credibility and personable reputation?More importantly, why Clorox? Clorox has never had any input in the sustainable market. Its bleach has been known to cause health hazards. Now, Burt’s Bees will leave the more than 300 employees it currently has and will enter a corporation that employs more than 7,000 people. Through the acquisition of Burt’s Bees, are they a cheaply attempting to become more green? Is this an attempt to green wash?I found an interesting article from the New York Times that asks,“Can Burt’s Bees turn Clorox Green?”  In most situations, corporations purchase smaller, privately-owned companies to assist them in longeveity. In this case however, it also seems as if Clorox is depending on Burt’s Bees to re-create their image and successfully squeeze themselves into the green and sustainable market. To those of you who may feel distraught and down-right confused over this purchase, reading Burt’s Bees Letter to its Customers will make you feel better. I’m interested to follow this over the next year to see wether Burt’s Bees sales will increase and how the public will interpret Clorox’s new image.  


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