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Case Studies by Markus Christen

18 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 27 Nov 2017

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Collectibles
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
StockX is the world’s first “stock market of things”, a consumer marketplace for high-demand, limited edition products that operates exactly like the stock market. The underlying concept is to allow participants to buy and sell authenticated products in a live marketplace where they trade anonymously (with stock market-like visibility). The StockX exchange offers buyers and sellers historical price and volume metrics, real-time bids and offers (asks), time-stamped trades, individualized portfolio tracking and metrics, as well as in-depth market analysis and news. A partnership with Eminem, a native of Detroit, got StockX off the ground by creating exclusive content and access to rare sneakers from the rapper's personal collection. To build on this momentum, StockX needs to develop a growth strategy.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case highlights the importance of customer-focused marketing in creating profitable value. It highlights key concepts related to segmentation, targeting and brand positioning in a B2B context, in an industry which is maturing.

Keywords:
E-Commerce, Growth Strategy, Business Model Innovation, Collectibles, Sneakers, Eminem

published: 28 Aug 2017

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Consumer goods
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Rideau Artisanal Chandlery (RAC) manufactures and sells a large range of artisanal candles through a variety of specialty retailers in Canada and parts of the United States. It has gained market leadership by constantly adding innovative scents to its product line. The recent addition of its own online store is causing conflicts within RAC between the head of the sales operation in charge of servicing RAC’s distributors and the head of RAC’s online operation. The lower prices charged by the online store are seen as a threat to the traditional channel, but the online store has shown rapid growth and yields higher margins.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case provides a platform to discuss the challenges of integrating online and offline channels. Omnichannel retailing is supposed to be the future, but establishing a fully integrated mash-up of digital and physical experiences has proven to be a thorny problem for many companies. While the case takes the perspective of the manufacturer, retailers are facing the same issue. The case enables an instructor to: 1. Introduce a channel design framework 2. Highlight the need to look at omnichannels from the perspective of the different channel members 3. Discuss strategies to address the problems of "showrooming".

Keywords:
Channel Strategy, Omnichannel Management, Marketing Strategy, Segmentation, Pricing

published: 24 Jul 2017

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Silicone
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Dow Corning has relied on innovation since its inception but is now facing increasing commodotization of a significant part of its product line. The case is about how customer needs change as markets evolve and mature. In response, the company applied a customer-focused marketing approach to understand how their needs - and therefore customer segments - had evolved over the years. The main challenge was to identify the segments it wanted to continue to serve, the changes required to the business model, and how to deal with increasingly divergent and conflicting customer needs.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case highlights the importance of customer-focused marketing in creating profitable value. It highlights key concepts related to segmentation, targeting and brand positioning in a B2B context, in an industry which is maturing.

Keywords:
Branding, Commoditization, Segmentation, Portfolio Management, Business Model Innovation

published: 21 Apr 2017

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Injection molding machinery (capital goods)
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Akita, a global manufacturer of injection-molding machines and provider of associated services, lost the sale of a large machine of over 5,000 tons to Fortune Precise Plastic Technology (FPPT) in China. Worth RMB 10 million ($1.2 million), it had seemed a perfect opportunity to help Akita expand into larger, more sophisticated production systems in China and create momentum for Akita Performance Solutions (APS), its newly created sales organization. The case describes the steps taken over several months by sales engineer Kwong Hua, from the first contact with the customer to the news that FPPT had decided to order a less advanced machine from a domestic competitor.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case highlights the importance of customer-focused marketing in creating profitable value. It highlights key concepts related to the decision-making process in a B2B context and examines the role of the sales force and sales organization in creating value for the customer.

Keywords:
Decision-Making Process and Unit, Value Selling, Sales Force Control System, Business Model Innovation

published: 23 Jun 2014

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Home Electronics, Digital Media
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
In 1999, TiVo and Replay Networks introduced the first digital video recorders (DVR) to replace the video cassette recorder (VCR) and move television viewing into the digital age. Experts predicted fast household adoption based on the excitement the DVR had created in pre-launch market research. Almost a decade later, the promised DVR revolution is still waiting to happen. In constrast, the much more mundane DVD player and Netflix, launched at the same time, have shown more promising growth rates. What went wrong for the DVR?

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates the challenges a firm faces when launching a really new technology and creating a new product category. Great functionality is insufficient for fast adoption. The customer must understand what the innovation is, and how and when to use it. Moreover, the disadvantages compared to existing technology and the required behavior changes must be limited. A strong marketing effort that guides customers through the adoption journey is needed to overcome these hurdles.

Keywords:
Innovation, Adoption, Marketing Strategy, Positioning, Pricing

published: 26 Aug 2013

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Manufacturing Power Tools
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Having turned around the financial performance of Black & Decker, CEO Nolan Archibald faces a significant decline in market share in one customer segment for its flagship product, power tools, as a result of strong competition from Makita, a Japanese manufacturer. Does this problem require a change to an otherwise successful brand?

Pedagogical Objectives:
To open a discussion of brands and the difference between brands and products, as well as an in-depth examination of brand positioning and brand portfolio management. Case (B) focuses on the implementation of a branding strategy through the company's sales force, allowing for a discussion about the relationship between marketing and sales.

Keywords:
Branding, Brand Portfolio, Brand Positioning and Repositioning, Customer Analysis, Funnel Analysis, Sales and Market Share Problem, Competitive Strategy

Related:

published: 26 Aug 2013

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Manufacturing Power Tools
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Having turned around the financial performance of Black & Decker, CEO Nolan Archibald faces a significant decline in market share in one customer segment for its flagship product, power tools, as a result of strong competition from Makita, a Japanese manufacturer. Does this problem require a change to an otherwise successful brand?

Pedagogical Objectives:
To open a discussion of brands and the difference between brands and products, as well as an in-depth examination of brand positioning and brand portfolio management. Case (B) focuses on the implementation of a branding strategy through the company's sales force, allowing for a discussion about the relationship between marketing and sales.

Keywords:
Branding, Brand Portfolio, Brand Positioning and Repositioning, Customer Analysis, Funnel Analysis, Sales and Market Share Problem, Competitive Strategy

Related:

published: 01 May 2004

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Automobile
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
In response to the changes in the European small car market, Ford decided to launch a second small car, the Ford Ka. The Ford Ka has already been developed, the production capacity determined, and the launch set for October 1996 in France. Before Gilles Moynier can get to the specifics of the marketing strategy, he must decide who the target customer for the Ford Ka should be. The (B) case reveals that Ford chose an attitudinal segmentation and presents initial sales results. The change in the segmentation approach made it difficult to assess the success of the launch and to determine what needed to be done next to continue to build the brand.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The Ford Ka case introduces students to the fundamental marketing problem of market segmentation and target selection. Ford’s situation does not fit the “textbook” model exactly and thus, the case is an opportunity for students to see how theory is applied in the real world. Ford’s problem is not unique. Often firms want to introduce an existing product into a new market. At a more detailed level, the case can be used to highlight the difference between segment formation and segment identification and the importance of considering implementation issues of a marketing strategy. The case also exposes students to typical market research tools used for market segmentation.

Keywords:
Segmentation, Segment Identification, Target Selection, Product Introduction in New Markets, Internal Marketing

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published: 11 Jan 2004

  • Topic: Marketing

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Abstract:
Product bundling is a marketing strategy that involves offering two or more products for sale as one combined product. This strategy is common in a number of industries including software and traveling. Bundles are typically sold at a big discount compared to the sum of the prices of individual items.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This exercise is designed to understand the reasons how pure and mixed bundling can lead to higher profits, even when cost savings or market power are not relevant factors. This insight is important to understand when bundling is an appropriate strategy.

Keywords:
Bundling, Pricing Strategy, Christen

published: 01 Jan 2004

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Access Services (Telecom, ISP, Golf Course)

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Abstract:
A fitness center targets customers with different valuations of its service (depending on the distance they need to travel). Customers also have different utilization rates. Depending on available capacity, more or less heavy users should be attracted. The only available variable is pricing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This exercise allows students to determine the optimal pricing strategy (two-part tariff) to segment a market and discriminate between heavy users and light users to best use its available capacity.

Keywords:
Pricing Strategy, Two-Part Tariff, Access Services, Capacity Constraint

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