Case Studies: Marketing

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Photo

    Norwegian Cruise Line

    David P. Sibley T'13, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 20 pages
    Publication date: 2013
    Case#: 6-0037

    After five years of profitable growth, Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, rang the NASDAQ bell on Norwegian's first day of trading. Under Sheehan's leadership, Norwegian had experienced a dramatic turnaround, largely due to his efforts to help the organization deliver on the promise of Freestyle. Allowing guests the freedom to choose between many different dining and entertainment venues, Freestyle was an industry first and an immense operational challenge. When first introduced, the execution of the game-changing strategy failed with guests waiting in long-lines for poor quality food. A veteran of private equity turnarounds, Sheehan systematically integrated technology and process improvement to build an organization that could deliver Freestyle cruising. This case allows students to explore the challenges of aligning marketing and operations strategies and the competitive advantage that can be achieved through such integration.

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    Topics: Marketing, Operations, Strategy

    Industry: Transporation

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  • Groupon Photo

    Groupon

    Cassie Lancellotti-Young T'11, M. Eric Johnson, John Marshall T'92
    Length: 14 pages
    Publication date: 2011
    Case#: 6-0034

    On track to exceed two billion dollars in revenue in 2011 in its third full year of business, Groupon and its latest daily deals were news the business media could not resist. From the local corner bakery to national retailers such as Gap, sizzling offers were projected to triple Groupon’s 50 million subscribers by the end of the year. But while the limelight remained focused on the headline “feature” deals, Groupon was quietly testing new models to expand this core platform. This case considers how those new models would fit with its operations and marketing strategy.

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    Topics: Marketing, Operations

    Industry: Internet, Retail

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  • Digital Communication at Dell Photo

    Digital Communication at Dell

    Jennifer M. Farrelly T'09
    Length: 22 pages
    Publication date: 2009
    Case#: 6-0032

    Every second two new blogs are created, seven PCs are sold, 2.2 million emails are sent, 520 links are clicked, 1,157 videos are viewed on YouTube, 31,000 text messages are sent. With the explosive growth of social media, society and corporations are embracing this phenomenon as much more than a passing trend. This case focuses on computer manufacturer Dell Inc.'s social media strategy and how it has successfully integrated digital communications into every aspect of its business model. Case readers are put in the shoes of Bob Pearson, VP of Dell's "Conversations & Communities" team, who is tasked with developing Dell's social media strategy. After a rocky start with social media--including an actively blogged service crisis termed "Dell Hell"--Pearson is challenged with not only creating a department and strategy from scratch, but with developing internal buy-in and skill sets needed to get Dell started with Web 2.0. Pearson faced important decisions including how to structure the internal team,what guidelines to set for blogging and social media participation, and how to measure success. The Dell case focuses on how new social media technology is changing not only corporate communication but also business functions such as product development, customer service, marketing, and customer engagement. It offers many valuable lessons for both students and business professionals as they continue to join the Internet age. 

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    Topics: Marketing, Product Development, Sales, Social Tech

    Industry: Computer

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  • Nolej Studios: Growing a Creativity- Based Company Photo

    Nolej Studios: Growing a Creativity- Based Company

    Ashley Martin T'08
    Length: 27 pages
    Publication date: 2008
    Case#: 6-0028

    Nolej focuses on providing dynamic websites, brand identities, and unique interactive demos primarily for clients targeting a young adult, urban, hip demographic. The company develops cross-platform marketing and advertising that engages the audience and generates visibility for their clients' products and services. When a new client approached Nolej for help in developing and marketing a new product for the toy industry -- a product area new to the company -- Crawford knew that taking on this potentially lucrative project would push the company out of its comfort zone. Saying "yes" meant the company would have to quickly expand its creative team by outsourcing tasks and integrating technical vendors. 

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    Topics: Innovation, Marketing

    Industry: Advertising

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  • Social Media and the Burger King Brand Photo

    Social Media and the Burger King Brand

    Andrew Schneller T'06, John Marshall T'92
    Length: 27 pages
    Publication date: 2007
    Case#: 6-0025

    With profits decreasing and franchisees unhappy, Burger King needed to take dramatic action and redefine how it was perceived by customers. Instead of traditional advertising, the company created Burger King-related content intended to entertain consumers, give the brand social currency, and create a sense of mystery. The firm chose inexpensive, non-traditional media channels such as internet micro-sites and social networking sites to reach target consumers. This case study examines how the use of digital communication, media channels, and Web 2.0 have changed the way firms can build their brands. 

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    Topics: Marketing

    Industry: Fast Food

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  • Strengthening the Distribution Channel at Steinway Photo

    Strengthening the Distribution Channel at Steinway

    Robert Batt T'06, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 22 pages
    Publication date: 2007
    Case#: 6-0027

    Few brands enjoy the quality image of Steinway & Sons. For nearly two centuries, Steinway's pianos have set the world standard in product excellence. While quality has also been the cornerstone of Steinway's manufacturing and marketing strategy, its channel strategy was less well-aligned. What were the strengths and weaknesses of Steinway's distribution network? This case examines the integration of operations and marketing strategies. It describes how Steinway used channel consolidation and new product offerings to enhance its distribution strategy and control its quality image. 

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    Topics: Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain

    Industry: Musical Instruments

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  • Biogen-Idec: Growing a Customer-Focused Supply Chain Photo

    Biogen-Idec: Growing a Customer-Focused Supply Chain

    M. Eric Johnson, Julia Kidd Winterson T'04
    Length: 19 pages
    Publication date: 2005
    Case#: 6-0022

    Biogen CEO Jim Mullen was taking the biotech firm from a research-focused business model to a more customer-centric enterprise. This case looks at his plan for a significant IT investment in a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to support more patient interaction in the company's call center, improve the flow of medication to patients, and provide better access to account information for its increasingly international and mobile sales force.

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    Topics: Innovation, Marketing, Supply Chain

    Industry: Biotechnology

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  • Victoria’s Secret Photo

    Victoria’s Secret

    Kathleen L. Biro Theodore Durbin T'02
    Length: 11 pages
    Publication date: 2004
    Case#: 6-0014

    Amid some of the toughest retail conditions in years, Victoria's Secret announced a gain of 9% in first half-year 2002 sales and 30% in operating income. However, market growth was slowing down: profit margins for the VS's Direct division, which focused on catalogues and the Internet sales, had been declining over the past several years.

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    Topics: Innovation, Marketing

    Industry: Apparel

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  • Hasbro Interactive Photo

    Hasbro Interactive

    Chris Trimble
    Length: 16 pages
    Publication date: 2004
    Case#: 2-0021

    In the mid 1990s, Hasbro created Hasbro Interactive, a new business unit chartered to develop video games for PCs and other gaming systems based on Hasbro's many toy and game brands. After a few successful years, ambitions for Hasbro Interactive escalated dramatically. Would all games in the future be interactive?

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    Topics: Innovation, Marketing

    Industry: Toys/Video Games

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  • PERI Photo

    PERI

    Hans Brechbühl, (with Yiorgos Bakamitsos)
    Length: 10 pages (plus appendices)
    Publication date: 2003
    Case#: 6-0019

    The international market leader in an increasingly important product and service segment of the construction industry, PERI faced key decisions on updating and automating key processes. This case offers the opportunity for in-depth discussion on where a bricks-and-mortar company should place its IT bets for the future.

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    Topics: Information Technology, Manufacturing, Marketing, Services, Supply Chain

    Industry: Construction

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  • McGraw Hill: GradeSummit Photo

    McGraw Hill: GradeSummit

    Yiorgos BakamitsosEvelyn Hsia T'02, Hans Brechbühl
    Length: 30 pages
    Publication date: 2003
    Case#: 6-0018

    This case outlines the interesting challenges McGraw Hill faced in launching an online testing and assessment product for higher education. It offers the opportunity for in-depth discussion on new product development, product/service bundling, channel management, and value networks.

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    Topics: Innovation, Marketing, Services

    Industry: Publishing

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  • New York Times Digital Photo

    New York Times Digital

    Chris Trimble
    Length: 21 Pages
    Publication date: 2002
    Case#: 2-0006

    In 1995, the New York Times, launched New York Times Digital, a new venture dedicated to building a profitable business focused on distributing news context in multimedia format online. In implementing the venture, the company created a unit that was quite distinct organizationally. Many challenges followed. 

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    Topics: Innovation, Marketing, Product Development

    Industry: Media

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  • Learning from Mattel Photo

    Learning from Mattel

    John W. Torget T'00, under the supervision of Sydney Finkelstein
    Length: 8 pages
    Publication date: 2002
    Case#: 1-0072

    After just three years as chairman and chief executive, Ms. Barad’s 18-year storybook career with Mattel ended dramatically on February 3, 2000 with another disappointing earnings announcement. As one of only three women running a Fortune 500 company, she became a role model for millions of women aspiring to positions in the top ranks of corporate management.

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    Topics: Marketing, Product Development, Sales

    Industry: Toys/Video Games

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  • Groove Networks: Making P2P a Reality Photo

    Groove Networks: Making P2P a Reality

    Ed Ludwigson T'02, under the supervision of Visiting Professor Melissa M. Appleyard
    Length: 7 pages
    Publication date: 2002
    Case#: 6-0008

    Is P2P the future of collaboration in the workplace? Groove Networks certainly believes so, as do backers Accel Partners, Intel Capital, and most recently Microsoft. But will the Microsoft relationship launch Groove on to the desktops of millions or see Groove subsumed within the Redmond software giant? Will Groove's future exist solely as a project collaboration tool or will it create a completely new platform for P2P computing?

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    Topics: Innovation, Marketing

    Industry: Communications

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  • Mattel, Inc: Vendor Operations in Asia Photo

    Mattel, Inc: Vendor Operations in Asia

    M. Eric Johnson, Tom Clock
    Length: 22 pages
    Publication date: 2000
    Case#: 1-0013

    After the announcement of the merger between Mattel, Inc. and its second largest rival, Tyco Toys, SVP Ron Montalto was embroiled in a debate over the sourcing strategy for the existing Hot Wheels product line and newly added Matchbox cars. Montalto had to decide whether Mattel should go forward with a new China plant, build a plant in Malaysia or Indonesia, expand one of the existing facilities, or outsource the surplus die-cast volume.

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    Topics: Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain

    Industry: Toys/Video Games

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