Nantucket Nectars

Babson Professor William Johnston, Case Director

Dan O'Heilly, Case Writer

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 1998.


Two college friends return to Nantucket Island, where they had worked during college summers, to start a business so they can live permanently on the Island. They create a unique juice blend made out of nectars and other ingredients and initially sell it only on the Island –where demand was high. They are convinced that the product will work on the mainland as well but their distributors don't seem to be pushing the product as much as they could. The partners debate whether to distribute the product themselves in Boston and Washington, D.C. or continue to use distributors. They target large public events and engage in guerrilla marketing by dressing up in grape suits and giving out free samples during traffic jams. Their competitors take notice of their popularity and Ocean Spray eventually buys them. Primary teaching focus is in the selection of distribution channels and low cost promotion.

Location of the company: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Years spanned by the case: 1992-99

Industry segments: beverage producers

Stage of the company: early growth

Age of the entrepreneurs: mid-30's

Key Words: entrepreneurship, distribution, marketing, guerrilla marketing, partnership


A 79-minute DVD is available for this case. Both of the principals from the case answer questions in a Babson class. Please place video orders through ecch.

Teaching Notes

A six page case teaching package, written by William Johnston, is available for this case. The teaching package includes strategies for case presentation, key concepts, some solutions to the assignment questions in the case as appropriate, and suggestions for the most effective ways to work this case into a course.