Brands usually create a fighter brand when trying to blunt a frontal assault from a competitor. In the case of Kind, though, management decided against creating a private label version of its successful bars when Starbucks, one of its largest customer, asked. Kind founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky provides the money rationale:
We couldn’t see ourselves running two businesses. If you’re training a team to obsess over quality, do you blow the whistle and say: Now we’re going to run a shift where we’re going to focus on cutting costs? If you’re in a volume-driven business, it’s probably OK. But if you’re building a brand and an experience, it’s incompatible.
In other words, Lubetzky acknowledges that the possible private label would require management not only to adopt a different orientation but also, in a sense, require an organizational competency that Kind does not possess. Some companies do not follow Kind's approach. For example, when Walmart asked, Coca-Cola chose to develop and stock Diet Coke with Splenda. By making this choice, Coca-Cola maintained its relationship with the largest American grocery chain while limiting competitors' shelf space. For Kind, though, management took a different approach to the relationship with Starbucks. Despite representing three percent of Kind's revenue, the relationship was not worth the company's allocation of resource.