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Abstract:
The case focuses on AccorHotels’ ambitious digital transformation, aiming to put the customer back at the center of its strategy and operations. Responding to a powerful wave of digital disruptions in the hospitality ecosystem, from the emergence of review websites, online travel agents and active forums to the rise of new competitors such as Airbnb, the transformation entailed: (1) designing and implementing an innovative content marketing strategy (including online content creation or co-creation, curation and dissemination) (2) incorporating e-reputation as a core business objective, and (3) creating and/or adapting organizational structures – from management to operations – to support this new dynamic and maximize value creation. The case starts in Fall 2015, when Olivier Arnoux, SVP Customer Satisfaction at AccorHotels, and his team, are asked to devise an ambitious plan to address the new challenges facing major players in the hotel industry brought about by digital disruptions. It follows the decision-making process step by step, from (1) understanding the nature and impact of online content in the customer journey, to (2) building a strategic plan to integrate online insights into AccorHotels’ core business objectives (in particular the importance of e-reputation), (3) redefining where and how value is created, and creating incentive structures aligned with the new objectives. Participants have multiple opportunities to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists so as to understand the logic behind the decisions taken. What is novel is the systematic articulation of how digital and social media impact the customer journey, as well as the integration of online content into marketing strategy (i.e., content marketing) and organizational design (i.e., team structure, incentive system), underlining how embracing the digital revolution entails breaking traditional silos between functions such as marketing, strategy, finance and human resources. Detailed information on the consumer, the ecosystem, the firm, marketing and financial indicators is provided. Teaching notes and accompanying PowerPoint presentations suggest appropriate classroom exercises and include supplemental material and databases for group exercises. Videos provide insight on what drove the digital transformation and vividly illustrate its implementation and initial impressive results. They include interviews with Emilie Couton (Vice President Digital Marketing Asia Pacific), a video-recorded session of Olivier Arnoux on the digital transformation at AccorHotels, as well as examples of content created or co-created by AccorHotels. Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case offers a forum to discuss what it means for a company to engage its digital transformation in order to foster customer-centricity. A discussion of the nature and role of online content in shifting consumer behavior in the hoteling industry serves as a basis to explore how companies can create value at different points of the customer journey and what these steps entail. The case also touches on a variety of important strategic, organizational and operational decisions that the company must undertake to fully leverage online content and can be used to address the following broad questions (Specific questions are available in the teaching note): 1) How does online content stemming from digital and social media create value in the hoteling industry? 2) How can a company actively manage online content and implement a content strategy? and 3) What aspects of its organizational design a company need to remodel in order to maximize value creation through digital and social media.

Keywords:
Digital Transformation, Content Marketing, Customer Centricity, Hoteling & Tourism, Social Media Marketing, Customer Journey, Consumer Experiences, Digital Disruptions E-Reputation, Reputation Management, Accorhotels Booking Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Online Reviews, Social Media Listening, Digital Organizational Integration, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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published: 22 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Computer industry, Retail
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
On 15 May 2001, the first Apple retail store was opened to the public at Tysons Corner, Virginia, and the same day a second store was opened in Glendale, California. With retail branded experiences virtually unknown in the industry at the time, the decision to launch the Apple retail programme was greeted with scepticism. However, within the first week they welcomed 7,700 visitors, with sales of almost $600,000 – testimony to its undoubtable success – and went on to roll out another 24 stores. Fifteen years on, there are over 450 Apple stores globally, with higher sales per square foot – $5009 – than any other retail location in the United States. Even today, people still wonder what made them so successful and how it can be replicated. Having successfully designed a brand-defining experience for Apple retail that created immense value, Eight Inc. had to decide how this level of success could be replicated for other potential clients. The case describes the relationship between Apple and Eight Inc., who were initially hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to work on first the MacWorld tradeshows. It traces the steps in the process, from establishing the case to each minute detail in the design process. The case describes how the team built not just a store but a breakthrough branded customer experience.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To introduce and analyse a framework to design branded experiences. The case shows how designing a (retail) branded experience is different from designing a space or designing a service, and supersedes the latter. It also shows the business value that can be created through branded experiences. 2. The role of brand values in guiding the design principles for all the elements that contribute to the user experience. Understanding what those brand values are and how they are perceived by the target user is crucial in the design process. 3. A branded experience is the engagement of the user with the brand through the products/services, communication messages, the staff (and other users) behaviours, and the physical (and digital) space. The management of the experience design process requires an approach that combines modular and integrative principles. While the design of products/services, communication, behaviours and space are typically done separately by different disciplines, the integration of all these elements must be considered throughout the process so that they combine to create a holistic experience. The design of the Apple retail stores was not just an example of a good experience design, it was a breakthrough in the computer, technology and retail space. This provides a rich context to discuss the key success factors behind creating an outstanding branded user experience. One was the level of deep and detailed involvement of top-level management throughout the process, critical in defining the brand values that guided the rest of the design process and enabling the team to push the boundaries.

Keywords:
Innovation, Design, Retail, Experience Design, Computing Industry, Organizational Transformation

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published: 22 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Customers are gaga for Wawa, the restaurant / convienence store / gas station that inspires people to tattoo the firm’s logo. Founded in 1803, the company morphed over time from an iron foundry to a textile mill, to a dairy farm, dairy delivery business, grocery store, then convienence store. Dark clouds descended with the 2008 financial crisis. As competitiors converged on Wawa, management recognized the need for a new direction. After the CEO asked his executives to review a selection of business books, they chose Blue Ocean Strategy to redefine industry boundaries, shifting away from the red ocean of competition to a blue ocean of differentiation and low cost. By 2017 Wawa was the 34th largest private company in the US, with 625 million customers and sales of $10.5 billion. It serves 222 million cups of coffee a year and 105 million hoagie sandwiches. Where the average 7-Eleven convienence store grosses $30,000-$35,000 per week, Wawa averages $116,000. It used Blue Ocean Shift to achieve breakout success and thrive for a decade after its strategic pivot.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• Blue Ocean businesses can be created and thrive in markets thought to be hopelessly red ocean, including retail, gas stations and restaurants. • The methodical use of the Blue Ocean process and tools provides structure to break out of the red ocean and are more effective than an ad hoc approach. • When a company creates a Blue Ocean and effectively aligns its value, profit and people propositions, it typically takes years for credible challengers to emerge. Since its Blue Ocean shift, Wawa has enjoyed a decade of strong profitable growth, rolling out its new offering across its 800 stores. • All Blue Oceans eventually turn red. In the long term, success requires reaching for new Blue Oceans as existing ones are eventually invaded by challengers.

Keywords:
Retail, Gas Station, Convenience Store, Grocery Store, Restaurant, Quick Serve Restaurant, Fast Casual Restaurant, Wawa, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Mcdonald’s, Panera, Chipotle

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published: 22 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This highly popular exercise allows participants to actually apply the concept, frameworks, and process of blue ocean shift to one of the most competitive industries – the travel industry. Using worksheets, participants will take a step-by-step approach to systematically shift their strategic logic from competing to creating and apply the processes and tools of blue ocean shift to the travel industry. The case includes a real-life example of a successful blue ocean shift in the travel industry and is accompanied by a firsthand video interview with Dong Gun Lee, CEO of My Real Trip, a Korean company that challenged the travel industry’s long existing assumptions to open new market space.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case consists of three parts: 1) Part A is a short case that looks into the competitive landscape of the travel industry in Korea and ends with the challenging question to participants to create their own blue ocean strategy. 2) A Blue Ocean Shift Exercise is conducted in the classroom using accompanying worksheets. Participants follow the process of blue ocean shift using the Buyer Utility Map, Noncustomer Analysis, the Six-Path Framework, the E-R-R-C Grid, and the To-Be Strategy Canvas to create their own blue ocean strategy. 3) Part B provides an example of creating a new market space in the travel industry in 2012 in Korea - My Real Trip. This theory-based video case narrates how My Real Trip reconstructed the market boundaries and created new demand in the crowded and divided travel industry. The strategic move can be discussed in the classroom using the lecture slides that accompany this case.

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Sharing Economy, Travel Industry, Korea, Entrepreneurship, Start-Up, Strategy Formulation, Workshop, Market Creation, Exercise, Innovation

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Abstract:
This case analyses Tata Motors’ strategic move to create and launch the Tata Nano, exploring the factors behind the project’s earlier success and the reasons for its execution failure. It illustrates the importance of having a strong and aligned set of value, profit and people propositions in order to create and capture a blue ocean. The teaching note reviews how Tata Nano created its exceptional value proposition and attained a viable profit proposition by following the right strategic sequence, and then examines different components of Tata Nano’s people proposition to identify the major causes of the setback in executing its blue ocean strategy.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1) To demonstrate how Tata Nano reconstructed market boundaries across alternative industries and created a commercially viable blue ocean opportunity by following the right strategic sequence. 2) To highlight the importance of matching value and profit propositions with an equally strong people proposition in ensuring the successful execution of a blue ocean strategy. 3) To review major BOS concepts, frameworks and tools in the course of analyzing the Tata Nano strategic move.

Keywords:
Tata Nano, Blue Ocean Strategy, Emerging Economy, Strategic Alignment, Automobile Industry, Value Innovation, Strategic Pricing, Target Costing, Strategy Execution, Execution Failure, Stakeholders, Noncustomers

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published: 28 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
Case A focuses on the history of Embraer, which has grown to become one of Brazil’s most successful enterprises and the world’s number four global aviation company. After tripling in size from 2000 to 2007, its business succumbed to the global financial crisis. Embraer launched an internal programme for business excellence, resulting in the development of executive jets. Following the success of the ER jet, it continues to diversify its offerings and expand globally. In October 2017, rivals Airbus and Bombardier Inc. announced a partnership for the C Series programme – single-aisle aircraft ranging from 100 to 150 seats. This hailed a new chapter in the industry, which will be marked by competition from other emerging markets, notably China.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Explore the origins and global strategy of one of the most important companies in an emerging market (Brazil); discuss the importance of clusters and global innovation.

Keywords:
Aviation, Tactical Transport Aircraft, Brazil, Bombardier, Scaling, Innovation, Flying Taxi, Regional Jets, Boeing, Airbus, Clusters, Emerging Markets, Uber

published: 22 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Outfit7 is a digital entertainment firm that develops and publishes animated video games for mobile phones, tablets and desktops. It’s flagship product is a series of mobile apps called “Talking Tom and Friends”, with close to 10 billion downloads globally. Outfit7 is one of only 46 European unicorns, i.e., privately held companies valued above $1 billion, topping the global ranks of most downloaded mobile games. In 2017, according to App Annie, a leading app-ranking platform, Outfit7 was the sixth most downloaded mobile publisher, and My Talking Tom was the second most downloaded mobile game globally, putting it in the company of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Tencent and Alibaba. Part A describes the growth stage from 2009 to 2014, along with the story of founders Samo and Iza Login. The focus is on setting up the startup and developing a unique organizational culture, leaving the hiring decision (fit or misfit) to students. In Part B, from 2014 to 2017, the start-up moves into scale-up phase after the founders’ exit/appointment of a new management team, the focus is on entrepreneurial leadership. In Part C, as tensions emerge from scaling up a unicorn, students must decide what to keep and what to change (how to balance continuity and renewal) as expectations for growth soar.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To facilitate discussion of entrepreneurship, leadership, human resource management, change through growth, and organizational culture.

Keywords:
Start-Up, Scale-Up, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Human Resource Management, Organizational Culture, Unicorn, Founders’ Exit, Change Management, Family Entertainment, Growth, Learning from Failure, Organizational Values, Teamwork

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published: 22 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Outfit7 is a digital entertainment firm that develops and publishes animated video games for mobile phones, tablets and desktops. It’s flagship product is a series of mobile apps called “Talking Tom and Friends”, with close to 10 billion downloads globally. Outfit7 is one of only 46 European unicorns, i.e., privately held companies valued above $1 billion, topping the global ranks of most downloaded mobile games. In 2017, according to App Annie, a leading app-ranking platform, Outfit7 was the sixth most downloaded mobile publisher, and My Talking Tom was the second most downloaded mobile game globally, putting it in the company of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Tencent and Alibaba. Part A describes the growth stage from 2009 to 2014, along with the story of founders Samo and Iza Login. The focus is on setting up the startup and developing a unique organizational culture, leaving the hiring decision (fit or misfit) to students. In Part B, from 2014 to 2017, the start-up moves into scale-up phase after the founders’ exit/appointment of a new management team, the focus is on entrepreneurial leadership. In Part C, as tensions emerge from scaling up a unicorn, students must decide what to keep and what to change (how to balance continuity and renewal) as expectations for growth soar.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To facilitate discussion of entrepreneurship, leadership, human resource management, change through growth, and organizational culture.

Keywords:
Start-Up, Scale-Up, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Human Resource Management, Organizational Culture, Unicorn, Founders’ Exit, Change Management, Family Entertainment, Growth, Learning from Failure, Organizational Values, Teamwork

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published: 22 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Outfit7 is a digital entertainment firm that develops and publishes animated video games for mobile phones, tablets and desktops. It’s flagship product is a series of mobile apps called “Talking Tom and Friends”, with close to 10 billion downloads globally. Outfit7 is one of only 46 European unicorns, i.e., privately held companies valued above $1 billion, topping the global ranks of most downloaded mobile games. In 2017, according to App Annie, a leading app-ranking platform, Outfit7 was the sixth most downloaded mobile publisher, and My Talking Tom was the second most downloaded mobile game globally, putting it in the company of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Tencent and Alibaba. Part A describes the growth stage from 2009 to 2014, along with the story of founders Samo and Iza Login. The focus is on setting up the startup and developing a unique organizational culture, leaving the hiring decision (fit or misfit) to students. In Part B, from 2014 to 2017, the start-up moves into scale-up phase after the founders’ exit/appointment of a new management team, the focus is on entrepreneurial leadership. In Part C, as tensions emerge from scaling up a unicorn, students must decide what to keep and what to change (how to balance continuity and renewal) as expectations for growth soar.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To facilitate discussion of entrepreneurship, leadership, human resource management, change through growth, and organizational culture.

Keywords:
Start-Up, Scale-Up, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Human Resource Management, Organizational Culture, Unicorn, Founders’ Exit, Change Management, Family Entertainment, Growth, Learning from Failure, Organizational Values, Teamwork

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published: 21 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Marketing

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Abstract:
This case illustrates the challenges for a non-digital player adjusting to digital disruption in the travel and tourism industry. The rise and fall of Kuoni illustrates the ‘boiling frog’ syndrome – i.e., while threats to its business multiplied, there was no ‘wake up’ moment where managers made decisive changes before it was too late.
More generally, the case considers the challenges of digital disruption: leading transformation and change-management skillsets, and the mindset/culture required to embrace new technology. By identifying what Kuoni did and did not do, students understand what it takes to transform into an agile organisation by leveraging digital trends and technologies.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Understand the growth opportunities and threats of digitalisation for industries and individual companies
. Compare the merits of the incumbent business model (exemplified by Kuoni) with that of digital disruptors (exemplified by Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, priceline.com)
. Discuss business model adaptation and strategic partnership opportunities in industries facing digital transformation (from an incumbent’s perspective)
. Analyse the factors and parties (internal and external) in Kuoni’s failure to digitalize - and implications for the students’ own industry
. Understand the importance of leadership and culture in an organization’s transformation
. Hindsight teaches us that by insisting on ‘business as usual’ we may fail to heed catalysts for change

Keywords:
Digital Disruption, Digital Transformation, Business Model Innovation, Digital Strategy, Digital Transformation Failure, Customer Centricity, Marketing Strategy, Leadership in an Agile World, Change Management, Culture Change, Ecosystems, Travel

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