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Phil and Mark Maddox formed a small company, Nature's Health Connection (NHC), to market a skin cream that was being sold through Phil's pharmacy. NHC own the small company that makes the skin cream with the distinguishing ingrethent of emu oil. In 2000, an FDA approved ingredient was added to the cream to create Australian Dream Arthritis Relieving Cream (AD). Over the last ten years, managing the company has been difficult and at times nerve racking. However, growth has been steady due to learning from mistakes, a little luck, and the sheer determination of the brothers. Phil is the entrepreneur and risk taker, while Mark is more conservative. The brothers have an excellent personal relationship and compliment each other's strengths. Their initial strategy was to market AD to independent pharmacies in the southeast United States. The product has a high price relative to its competitors, but provides an attractive profit margin for the pharmacies. Advertising has been limited to in-store displays and local newspaper ads. The product has a loyal customer base and appears to be recession proof, but sales have not grown much recently. A year ago, Walgreens began stocking AD in some of its stores across the country. Once this happened, AD was quickly picked up by a few other large chain stores. The capital investment required to meet the sales quotas of the chain stores has almost caused Phil to throw in the towel. Going national requires costly changes in advertising strategy that seem insurmountable. However, Phil and Mark are adapting quickly. NHC's growth has caught the attention of a business broker who represents a group of venture capitalists that might want to buy NHC or to provide needed capital for NHC to go national. Phil strongly believes NHC will be worth a lot more if they can create a national brand image, introduce other products, and expand their distribution through other national and regional chains. The big questions facing NHC is: How to do it? Sho

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                     Stephen L. Loy, Eastern KentuckyUniversity
                     Steven Brown, Eastern Kentucky University
                       Mark Case, Eastern Kentucky University

                                     CASE DESCRIPTION

        The primary focus of this case is on how a sma
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