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Jones – Blair Case Analysis

Davenport University

Case Recap

Jones Blair company is a privately held company that produces and markets architectural paint under the Jones Blair brand name. In addition to producing a full line of architectural coatings, the company also sells paint sundries although they are not manufactured by Jones Blair. Sales for the company in 2004 were $12 million with a net profit before taxes of $1.14 million. Sales have been increasing roughly 4 percent per annum over the past decade while paint gallonage has actually remained rather steady. In 2005, Alexander Barret, the president of Jones Blair decided after a meeting that the company needs to deploy new corporate marketing efforts. This case summary will provide a summary and analysis of Jones Blair company's options and an examination into the company's strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.

Problem Identification

The problem currently being faced by Jones Blair company is how to go about deploying corporate marketing efforts among the various architectural paint coatings markets served by the company in the southwestern United States. In the past, Jones Blair relied mainly on their sales representatives personal relationship with distributors to further the brand awareness. Along with personally promoting the paint brands, sales reps engaged in coordinating cooperative advertising programs with different Jones Blair paint dealers. National paint firms are spending nearly ten times the dollar amount in advertising as Jones Blair. In order to further their brand awareness, Jones Blair must devise new corporate marketing efforts.

Case Analysis

The Jones Blair company markets its paint and sundry items in over 50 counties in the southwestern United States. The company maintains its manufacturing facility and headquarters in the Dallas-Fort Worh area. The metropolitan DFW area is the major area for Jones Blair in terms of sales and business operations.

Jones Blair distributes its product through over 200 independent paint stores, lumberyards, and hardware outlets. 40% of these outlets are located in the 11 county DTW area. The rest of the outlets are in roughly a 39 county service area. Many of the larger retailers that Jones Blair supply, carry only the Jones Blair line while very few carry several lines with Jones Blair being the premium and higher priced product.

While the Jones Blair company has several downfalls it also does have its own internal strengths. The strongest facet of Jones Blair strategy, is its sales representatives. The company employs eight sales representatives whoa re responsible for monitoring inventories in retail outlets as well as taking orders, assisting in store displays and coordinating cooperative marketing efforts. In a survey of Jones Blair paint dealers, it was found that sales representatives were well liked, helpful, professional and very knowledgeable about paint products. The national paint suppliers do not usually maintain such a relationship with their customers. As the president of the company said “Our reps are on a first name basis with their customers and it is common for our reps to discuss business and family over coffee during a sales call.” This is an invaluable tool in creating brand loyalty within these retail outlets.

Even though Jones Blair has an excellent sales staff, the low number of sales representatives is a hindrance to the company. With only eight sales reps, the possibility for sales growth is limited as the amount of time each sales rep can spend on an account is also limited. Currently, Jones Blair only supplies a 50 county region in the southwestern United States and would be very pressed to increase their service area with such a limited number of sales representatives.

Externally, there are a number of threats to the Jones Blair company. The architectural coating market, which is the company's main market is a very...
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