HBS Business Case 07 – Swiss Army
HBS Business Case 07 – Swiss Army
Branding and Positioning a Product
Branding and positioning a product is the process of creating an image of a product, which involves creating a unique name, and image, which will enhance advertising and reception of consumers (Atkinson, 2014). Since there are already similar products in the market, branding is aimed to bring a distinction of the product from other similar products in the market. Branding and positioning is important as it determines the total market share of a certain product, which influences the competition of the product with other products of other competitors (Atkinson, 2014). Branding and positioning are aimed at attracting consumers of the product and retain current customers. In the HBS Business case, Swiss Army is diversifying its product line into the fragrance industry. This paper is going to analyze how best to brand and position the product, and how to compete in the fragrance industry.
Is The Acquisition Of A Product Like This The Best New Product Development Strategy For Swiss Army?
The acquisition of a product like this is the best new product development strategy for Swiss Army as this will be an advantage to this company as the company has undertaken this kind of diversification before and succeeded (Alon, Fetscherin, & Carvajal, 2014). The fragrance industry has had positive industrial forecasts attributed to the growth in middle classes in emerging markets. This is because of the increase in income levels of the middle class, which has triggered consumers to spend on other products apart from the basic products, which include cosmetics (Alon, Fetscherin, & Carvajal, 2014). Some of the emerging markets include Brazil, China, and India, which all have large populations an advantage for the business opportunity of the fragrance industry. These economies also have a large number of young adults who have a high interest in beauty products (Alon, Fetscherin, & Carvajal, 2014).
This has led to an increase in the demand for beauty products and the current manufactures have had a positive outcome in marketing their products to these populations. Due to the few regulations governing the fragrance industry, it is a good strategy for Swiss Army to develop a new product in the fragrance industry (Alon, Fetscherin, & Carvajal, 2014). With no global standards and tariffs for fragrances, fragrance companies do not have much obligation to foreign markets. Some of the rules and regulations for other products are very expensive to comply to and may involve penalties for non-compliance (Alon, Fetscherin, & Carvajal, 2014). The fragrance industry does not incur many costs in its establishment, as manufactures require a moderate technology level and a variety of chemicals to manufacture the product. This makes it easy for manufactures to set their manufacturing plant and kick start operations easily (Alon, Fetscherin, & Carvajal, 2014).
What New Product Challenges Does the Company Create / Avoid With This Strategy?
Some of the new product challenges that the company will create include social challenges, which are related to the product in addressing a particular need. The needs for beauty products may not be the same in all countries and may vary in different markets. Some countries may have different preferences while not all countries prefer certain products (Nordhielm & Dapena-Baro?n, 2014). This is a challenge to the company in its expanding process as certain countries may have poor reception of the products, which may limit its growth potential. Diversification of a product line may increase manufacturing costs of a company, which may affect their returns (Nordhielm & Dapena-Baro?n, 2014). Other challenges include marketing and distribution challenges. Marketing a new product is costly as well as the distribution process.
Since this product will be distributed to different countries where there are marketing opportunities, the distribution and marketing process will involve a lot of costs involving transportation costs, insurance costs, warehouse, and distributing personnel costs (Nordhielm & Dapena-Baro?n, 2014). Since the product does not have a wide customer base hence no returns, these challenges will be addressed using the company’s capital from other sources. Other costs associated with a new product include promotional costs, which is the process of availing the new product to a customer and convincing the customer on the advantages of using the product over other products already in the market (Nordhielm ; Dapena-Baro?n, 2014). Since there are other fragrance products in the market, the company will have the challenge in the product development design. Coming up with a new product design which is competitive is not easy and requires skilled and experienced personnel, which may be difficult and expensive to acquire (Nordhielm ; Dapena-Baro?n, 2014).
Some of the new product challenges that the company will avoid with this strategy include the challenge of poor performing products. If the new product is successful, it will boost the company in addressing poor performing products in their production line (Sarma ; Singh, 2015). The development of a new product also enhances the company in entering new markets, which enables the company in achieving some of its business goals of marketing other products in their product line (Sarma ; Singh, 2015). This will give the company a competitive advantage over other competitors in the market. A successful new product development will increase the revenues of the company, which is a major goal of all companies. High revenues are important in addressing the high costs of production as well as expanding their product line (Sarma ; Singh, 2015).
Based upon Where Fragrances Are in the Product-Life-Cycle, Is This A Smart / Stupid Move For The Company?
The cosmetics products have shorter life cycles, which companies must consider. The fragrance market has consumers who are more influenced by other consumers more than the information from manufactures. This makes it hard for manufactures to control the market (Sarma ; Singh, 2015). Other consumers determine their buying choices, which make it hard for a company to have loyal customers, which guarantee a steady revenue collection. The consumers of the fragrance products are more demanding in searching for more value for their money, which involves more additional aspects besides the product (Sarma ; Singh, 2015). This leaves the manufactures with a huge uncertainty and the constant demand for innovation, which may increase the costs of production affecting their revenue collection.
While a company may have a huge customer base for a certain period, this may change forcing cosmetic companies to reinvent and promote their products again (Nordhielm ; Dapena-Baro?n, 2014). This is a smart move for Swiss Army as its core company values are all about innovation, quality, and iconic image, which will enable the company to have a competitive advantage over other companies (Nordhielm ; Dapena-Baro?n, 2014). This has been seen in the earlier brand development, which have been successful. With the company introducing a new product in the market, it is likely to receive a good reception due to the nature of consumers in the fragrance market. This aspect will also enable the company to remain relevant in the market with the implementation of innovative strategies (Nordhielm ; Dapena-Baro?n, 2014).
Based Upon Where Fragrances Are In The Goods-Services Continuum, Is This A Good Move For Swiss Army?
Fragrance products are tangible products that can be touched and consumers are able to purchase the actual products. Investing in a new product is much easier than investing in a service or an intangible item as marketing a product is much easier than a service (Atkinson, 2014). It is easy to prove to the customer the difference between the new product and other products in the market compared to a service, which may be difficult to prove. The quality of a product can also be tested. Marketing a product is easy as samples can be incorporated in the marketing process, which might be difficult for a service (Atkinson, 2014).
It will be easy for Swiss Army to market their product as they can take advantage of the fact that their product can be seen which is an advantage to the company, as consumers respond quickly and easier to physical products (Atkinson, 2014). Advertisements are also easier using the media platforms, which can be done using pictures and images of the product. A product also enables a company to focus on a certain population (Atkinson, 2014). Swiss Army can diversify their product to the different consumer groups, which is a benefit in managing their resources and increases the guarantee of success. Distributing a product is also easier compared to a service, which may involve setting up of facilities and acquiring of permits to enable operations to kick-start (Atkinson, 2014).
Alon, I., Fetscherin, M., ; Carvajal, C. (2014). Swiss Army: Diversifying Into the Fragrance Business (Case Study No. 9B14A066). London, Canada: Ivey Publishing.
Atkinson, S. (2014). The business book. London : DK, London: Dorling Kindersley.
Nordhielm, C. L., ; Dapena-Baro?n, M. (2014). Marketing management: The big picture. Hoboken: Wiley.
Sarma, S., ; Singh, S. (2015). Cases on branding strategies and product development: Successes and pitfalls. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.