Marvel Enterprises Case Study

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Case Reading: Marvel Enterprises, Inc.

1.In your view, what strategic direction should Marvel Enterprises’ Vice Chairman Peter Cuneo and his colleagues pursue? Why? How? •I believe the company should focus on developing their lesser-known characters and making them known to their audiences. Granted they now have the resources to expand beyond the current business model to take on more capital-intensive activities, their efforts may be in vein if they don’t have well-developed characters to feature in future ventures.

2.Why was Marvel’s turnaround so successful? Would you characterize that success as a fluke? Or do you view it as sustainable? Why? How? •As opposed to taking on additional debt to acquire new capital, they refocused their attention to better manage their library of characters to foster long-term growth •By licensing their characters for use in various media products they didn’t limit themselves to a single media outlet; allowed Marvel to be successful because activities in these areas often reinforced each other •They retained some form of control over the creative process to ensure quality of the content that featured their characters; this helped to maintain consistency in characters and stories •Marvel’s turnaround success was driven by better management of assets; whereas Marvel had previously capitalized on “speculative frenzy among collectors” by increasing number of titles at double the prices, the new board refocused their efforts on reestablishing quality •I view Marvel’s success as being sustainable because there is and always will be a large market for comic books and toys, especially among young boys

3.How important are each of Marvel’s three divisions – comic books, toys, and licensing – to it past and future performance? •Comic books: important for both past and future performance oPast performance: periodicals accounted for close to 90% of market sales in 2003, giving Marvel a 40% market share (vs. 35%...
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