MARVEL ENTERPRISES INC
Marvel Enterprises, Inc. is an industry-leading firm whose core business is character-based entertainment. Marvel’s foundation and success is built on their proprietary library of over 4,700 characters featured in a variety of media for nearly seventy years (1939-2004). Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing agreements, and publishing of comic books through the division of Marvel Comics. Marvel's strategy is to leverage its characters in a growing array of opportunities around the world, through their main business of licensing for entertainment media including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, and direct-to-DVD. After successfully repositioning the firm as a global player, post bankruptcy, Marvel’s business model is raising concerns from both critics/analysts and shareholders. Marvel’s growth does not seem sustainable as their current business culture of investing in low capital intensive projects are yielding low and safe returns that are hindering Marvel from extending their current growth rate; and in addition, shareholders, including management, are becoming skeptical on how long they can rely on their prominent characters for a large portion of the company’s earnings. Four major forces shape the media and entertainment industry: accelerating pace of change; increase levels of competition; sustained financial pressure; and increase in unpredictability and risk[i] . Marvel needs to ensure that they can utilize these forces both efficiently and effectively in their favour to build the Marvel Family and brand recognition. Therefore, it is recommended that Marvel enter the business of producing digital and online media, such as movies, television and online web streams; and using the new business medium to help introduce other characters while continuing to leverage Marvel’s more popular assets to grow earnings and brand equity. EXTENDING “MARVEL UNIVERSE”
Marvel has been successful in establishing and sustaining a brand image of creating iconic heroes through mediums such as licensing of consumer products & digital productions, and creating comic books. In order to ensure that Marvel continues to provide consumers with the same quality of experiences that it has been providing since its inception, Marvel needs to be able to control and dominate new streams of customer interaction. Hence, by creating infrastructure and a business model that leverages their strengths, Marvel can ensure future sustainability through the addition of digital production in their value chain (Appendix A). HOW NEW INITIATIVE FITS MARVEL’S CORPORATE STRATEGY
Marvel’s success in rebranding themselves through hard economic times was no fluke; it was mainly due to successful management and vision from Marvel’s chief creative officer Avi Arad and the introduction of a more stringent licensing system. Arad gave each character a 5-year career path, which helped the organization to plan, which characters would release through certain mediums. They treated each division as a separate business to help promote efficiency and competition. More importantly, Marvel retained control over the creative process in any licensing deal. This posed as great success as in the past third party’s have not been able to fully understand the Marvel characters, and have given consumers experiences that were not wanted as they could not grasp the true meaning behind each Hero. The introduction of new digital media production fuses well with the existing management and business structure of Marvel. Marvel can create a new division called “Marvel DM” and will possess title to all creative aspects of reaching their intended market. With recent blockbuster success like Spiderman, there is clear indication that Marvel is losing the opportunity of expanding into a business that they have the proper infrastructure to dominate. Of all...