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Case Study: Norm's Farms

The Problem

 

Back in 2013, Norm’s Farms was a small, family-run business that was really beginning to thrive both in stores and online. Then, Amazon told them they weren’t compliant with Frustration Free Packaging. The important income stream from Amazon stopped, so the husband and wife team of Ann and Rodger Lenhart began to do what they always did: fix it themselves. This time though, as Ann tried to work through the process, it immediately became obvious how incredibly difficult it was going to be.

 

“I began to call it a Frustration Filled Process”, she recalled. “I could never get anyone at Amazon to tell me why my solutions did not meet their requirements.”

 

Beyond the rejection of Frustration Free Packaging, the business faced another problem.  Amazon insisted that Norm’s brand had been registered as “NORM’S FARMS” in all caps. In actuality, Ann had done it in proper caps, and nothing Ann did could fix the problem. Amazon became a huge drain on time and energy. Disconnected from the product line, Ann tried to reach out to Amazon for assistance but without a phone number and with emails unanswered, she had hit a dead end.

 

That’s when she found Whitebox.

 

The Solution

 

Whitebox used their familiarity with Amazon’s system to get Norm’s issues addressed right away. The brand registry problem and Frustration Free Packaging debacle were over soon after the hand off.

 

“What I couldn’t do in three months they did in a couple weeks,” Ann explained. “They got us back up on Amazon and I’m forever grateful for that.”

 

Since Norm’s often used glass jars, Whitebox knew their products needed special attention. They were able to kit the items in a way that protected them and complied with Amazon’s narrow terms. Plus, Whitebox took care of the whole ecommerce process, which meant a ton more time to work on sales growth and developing new products.

 

The Results

 

Once the initial issues with Amazon were solved, Norm’s began to see solid growth. Whitebox ran the entire ecommerce process, including inventory, which meant a lot more time for other things.

 

“Before Whitebox, we used to have to wrap all the packages ourselves,” Ann said. “Every month or so, the two of us would devote a whole day to getting the next batch of products to Amazon.”

 

With all that time, they were able to work on pushing their product in brick and mortar stores as well as bring out new products. Norm’s knew all along they had a special product, and they were finally able to do the elderberry justice.

 

Beyond this though, there was Whitebox’s deep knowledge of selling on Amazon, drawn from working with clients with all sorts of products. They knew the ins and outs of the entire process, and expanded and improved Norm’s kitting methods. Plus, they helped Norm’s to begin selling multi-pack items with better margins. More recently, Norm’s has been able to launch two new products including an elderflower syrup, and has a third product line of children’s supplement in the works.

 

And, best of all, Norm’s Farms has seen great growth, especially in the last two years. In 2015, their best month of sales was 4k, and by December of 2016 they were able to bring in 12k in one month.

 

About Norm’s Farms

 

The Lenhardt’s began growing the deep purple elderberry on their family farm in 2010.  The elderberries that make up the bulk of their products have a unique appeal, since 90% of elderberry products consumed in the USA are grown in Europe. When the buyer for their very first crop of elderberries fell through, Ann and her husband put the berries into a freezer and began working on recipes. Soon, the delicious jams, preserves and supplements were out in the world. On January 1st, 2013 Norm’s Farms was born. Now, their antioxidant and vitamin rich products are available up and down the east coast in stores and online.