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L’Oreal

L’Oréal in China: Marketing Strategies for Turning Around Chinese Luxury Cosmetic Brand Yue Sai (2014) INSEAD Case (Yang and Chandon)

Yue Sai is L’Oreal’s troubled Chinese luxury brand. Alexis Perakis-Valat, the new CEO of L’Oréal China, has made it a point of honor to turn the brand around. He has asked Stéphane Wilmet, the brand’s new general manager, to come up with a turnaround plan that will restore L’Oréal’s reputation in China as the world’s best cosmetic marketer. Stéphane Wilmet and Ronnie Liang, Yue Sai’s marketing director, must reconsider everything from Yue Sai’s value proposition down to its media, price, product, and distribution strategies. Please visit the dedicated case website to watch commercials and video interviews.

One Fine Stay

One Fine Stay (2015) Harvard Business School Case (Jill Avery, Anat Keinan, and Liz Kind)

Miranda Cresswell, marketing director, and Greg Marsh, founder and CEO of onefinestay, were grappling with branding and positioning dilemmas. onefinestay offered high-end home rentals to travelers who sought a more authentic and local experience than a typical upscale hotel might provide. onefinestay’s brand had been “hacked” together quickly during the company’s early years. After five years of rapid growth, Marsh brought Cresswell on board to do a comprehensive analysis of the company’s brand and its positioning in the marketplace. Cresswell had spent several months gathering data and insights, and was starting to experiment with use case scenarios that took a crack at segmenting the company’s customers. The preliminary results were interesting, but raised more questions than they answered, and Cresswell wondered if this was the best way to segment the market. While segmenting in this way was intriguing, it led to a branding challenge – as a start-up, it was difficult for onefinestay to have the resources to support multiple brand messages in the marketplace and different segments wanted different things from their travel experience. She pondered whether there were other ways to group customers that would allow for a more universal positioning for the brand or whether the company needed to focus on one or two segments to serve. Positioning the fledgling brand was a challenge. Who was the company competing against and how could it carve out a unique value proposition that would appeal to travelers and be differentiated from what was offered by other hospitality options? Was its current moniker “the unhotel” working for or against it?

VOSS Artesian Water from Norway

VOSS Artesian Water from Norway (2009) Harvard Business School Case (Moon, McGovern, Dessain, Beyersdorfer)

VOSS is a Norwegian bottled water company that produces one of the world’s purest drinking waters, sold at an ultra-premium price in a sleek cylindrical glass bottle of minimalist design. In the U.S. (the company’s primary market), VOSS’ high-end brand presence is strongest in on-premise locations -specifically, top-of-the-line restaurants, hotels, and clubs. The brand has only recently begun penetrating the off-premise channel. In June 2007, Ole Christian Sandberg, VOSS’ founder and Head of U.S. Operations is considering how to grow the brand. The key question is whether VOSS should increase its distribution in the off-premise channel: Will this diminish VOSS’ high-end brand cachet? A related question is whether VOSS should begin expanding its portfolio by offering, for example, flavored water for the rapidly-evolving U.S. bottled water market.

Marketing Chateau Margaux

Marketing Chateau Margaux (2007) Harvard Business School Case (Deighton, Dessain, Pitt, Beyersdorfer and Sjoman)

Chateau Margaux, luxury brand or connoisseur brand? Although France is awash with unsold wine, demand has never been stronger for the very finest Bordeaux. How should Margaux sustain and grow its business? The Chateau management team is wondering if it can take more control of distribution instead of leaving it to the Bordeaux wine merchants. Also, can the Chateau build marketing and sales capabilities on its own? Who is the target market, wine connoisseurs or the newly rich? Corinne Mentzelopoulous, who took over the estate from her father in 1980, wonders whether a new lower-priced wine should be added to the portfolio.

Burberry

Burberry (2003) Harvard Business School Case (Moon)

In 2003, Rose Marie Bravo, Burberry’s CEO, is debating how to maintain the currency and cachet of the brand across its broad customer base, while entering new product categories and expanding distribution. In the past five years, the brand has become one of the hottest luxury brands in the world. But Bravo now faces a number of key decisions, including (1) which new product categories to enter, (2) how to deal with the appropriation of the brand by nontarget customers, and (3) how prominent the company’s famed “check” pattern should be in its advertising and clothing.

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