Marketing Case Studies
Case Studies from http://www.entrepreneurmag.co.za/Entrepreneur/Events.aspx
1933 – Kelloggs
1993 – IBM
1933 – Kelloggs
- In the US, the notion of brands was slowly starting to take hold, although at this point there were still multiple small competitors in the food industry.
- In particular there were a number of producers of breakfast cereal.
- When the recession hit, most of these companies pulled back on their marketing.
- BUT, one company decided to do the opposite and actually spend more on marketing with the clear goal to get out there and be known.
- This went against what everyone else was doing, but it energised their brand, which became a household name. Today, Kelloggs still holds a place of leadership in breakfast cereals.
- The motorcycle market was going through big changes. Japanese bikes were entering the market and they beat their US competitors on price and fuel efficiency.
- Harley Davidson sales were dropping and the company was desperate. It couldn’t compete against the Japanese according to traditional dimensions.
- Management made a big decision: “We need to change our value proposition. We need to target a specific group and earn real loyalty from them.”
- Who did Harley Davidson target? It zeroed in on 40-something accountants and business men who either missed their rebellious youth or had missed out on a rebellious youth – and gave them an outlet.
- Harley Davidson was suddenly selling more than motorcycles – it was selling an dream, complete with leather jackets, tassels and a host of other paraphernalia.
- The manufacturer targeted a group of people that would embrace its product – and from there grew into an iconic brand.
1993 – IBM
- Throughout the 80s IBM was the leader and the standard in computers.
- BUT, in the late 80s things started changing. The idea of the personal computer (PC) was gaining momentum, and more and more companies, such as Apple and HP, were jumping on board with this trend.
- IBM however, had not even considered the importance of this movement, continuing to focus on its big clients and big computers.
- By the time IBM’s clients began turning to PCs as a solution to their office computing needs, IBM had great customers, great training and great knowledge – but no products.
- So they changed their business model. They no longer supplied hardware, but became a service-based organisation instead. “We will help you set up your PCs, configure your system and service it.” This model stood them in good stead for the next ten years.
- Between 1995 and 1997 Apple’s revenue was on a distinct downward trajectory. From $11 062 billion in 1995, the company’s revenue had dropped to $7 billion by 1997.
- In 1997 Steve Jobs approached Apple’s board and requested the appointment of ‘consultant’ CEO. The board agreed to give him a few months to see if he could turn things around.
- Steve’s focus areas:
- The problem – declining sales
- What steps to take?
- Where are we relevant?
- Figure out and focus on core assets
- Are there any relevant partnerships we should be pursuing?
- Design new product paradigms (enter the iconic iPod)
- Start at the top. Jobs replaced all but two directors. His new board included three mavericks and innovators and three stable, legitimate names that were well known. This gave the board legitimacy while the innovators were represented too. He sourced his talent from within the company, searching department after department for talented and committed individuals – Find and nurture those gems!
- Pick your segments (Focus where you are relevant). In which markets do you mean something and make a difference? Jobs realised that much of the Apple market was based on Adobe users buying Apples to run the programme – yet Apple had never approached Adobe. Now it did: “What can we do to our Macs to make them run better and faster for Adobe?” Apple could now leverage off this market too by enforcing the idea that Macs were the best machines to run Adobe off.