Faced with declining market share and sales between 2014 and 2016, Natura, at the time Brazil’s second-largest brand in the cosmetics, fragrances, and toiletries market, was expanding its customer reach by moving from a direct-sales company to a multichannel company. In 2014, Natura added online catalogs, physical stores, and drugstores to its well-established direct-selling model, but the results were disappointing. Between 2014 and 2016, three different Natura CEOs attempted to lead the company in the strategic transition to focus less on the direct sales consultants and more on reaching the end consumers directly with multiple channels and touchpoints. In October 2016, the company’s board appointed its former commercial vice president, João Paulo Ferreira, as CEO. In this A case, Ferreira’s challenge is to find the right balance between the direct-selling and other channel formats to market Natura, to enable the company to thrive in the face of intense competition in the beauty and personal care market in Brazil.
The case set is appropriate for use in an MBA, Executive Education, or undergraduate course on marketing, digital transformation, financial services, distribution channels, brand management, or marketing metrics, and it would work well in any course module focused on sales management.