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Case Study: How a Mom-and-Pop Operation Turned Itself Into a Cult Brand

by Kimberly Smith  |  
August 10, 2010

Company: Coconut Bliss
Contact: Larry Kaplowitz, co-founder
Location: Eugene, Ore.
Industry: Food, B2C
Annual revenue: $5,000,000
Number of employees: 11

Quick Read

Has the world of marketing come full circle? As social media turns what we consider to be "traditional" on its end by empowering the people and endorsing two-way conversations over broadcast messaging, more brands are realizing the importance of methods employed long before the days of mass media, mass messaging, and mass efficiencies—that is, straightforward, one-to-one relationship-building.

In fact, a recent study from IBM, which interviewed more than 1,500 CEOs, general managers, and senior public-sector leaders from 60 countries and 33 industries, found that the majority of company leaders (88%) view deeper customer relationships as the most important dimension of realizing their business strategies in the next five years.

Perhaps it's time for big business to take a page from the little guys—such as Eugene, Ore.-based Coconut Bliss. Its grassroots, customer-focused efforts have enabled the company to establish a nationwide presence in just a few short years, while nurturing an incredibly strong and genuine passion among customers that could never have been achieved through ad impressions.


Coconut Bliss is a certified-organic, vegan, and kosher frozen-dessert product made with coconut milk, agave syrup, and other certified-fair-trade ingredients.

Co-founders Luna and Larry Kaplowitz originally developed the treat to meet their own dietary needs but quickly found that friends and family around them were also quite keen on the product.

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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via

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  • by Dianne Tue Aug 10, 2010 via web

    I accidently hit 1 star - I meant to hit 5!

  • by Erin Anne Beirne Wed Aug 3, 2011 via web

    I especially appreciated the comment about how they don't use social media to blast out advertising messages, but rather as an digital extension of personal conversations with customers and fans, and to promote other companies who are a good fit for their clientele.

    As someone who (hopefully, won't know for sure until I read their labels) fits their target market, I hope to see them in Canada soon!

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