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Research Details

BARK: On a Mission to Make Dogs Happy

Abstract

This case is used internally at Kellogg and is not available for public distribution.

BARK, a private New York–based company, was started in 2012 by three humans and four dogs. Eight years later, it was mailing more than one million customized packages per month, priced starting at $22 a month, to BarkBox subscribers throughout the US and Canada. More than just toys and treats, these boxes were intended to create the togetherness that dog lovers crave. BARK had grown thanks to its simple mission: to make dogs happy. Customers connected with BARK's playful, often irreverent, view of life with dogs. This was the kind of company that called customers "pawrents," named a cow toy Miss Amoorica, referred to its customer service department as the "Happy Team," and allowed job candidates to bring their dogs to interviews. It even mailed handwritten condolence cards (often including an artist's drawing of the dog) when customers lost their valued family member. This passion for dogs had been the connective tissue that motivated BARK's loyal employees to strive for excellence. So far, this single-minded dedication to its mission had fueled BARK's success in many ways. But would it continue to serve BARK as the company scaled? How would the organization have to change if it went public?

Type

Case

Author(s)

Niko Matouschek, Luis Rayo, Susan Springer

Date Published

12/21/2020

Discipline

Strategy

Citations

Matouschek, Niko, Luis Rayo, and Susan Springer. BARK: On a Mission to Make Dogs Happy. Case 5-420-752.

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