Case Studies – Some Thoughts on How to Use Cases
This section of the manual includes three case studies that will test the student’s ability to apply integrated marketing communications concepts. Each assignment can be completed using the standard case study format or by using the marketing communications plan format. Refer to both models that are included in this section. Each of these cases has been class tested. They work! Students will quickly identify with the various products and situations and will quickly see how they are marketed in Canada.
Naturally, cases become outdated as soon as they are written so it is assumed that you will instruct your students to conduct appropriate secondary research to update essential case facts. Each case provides some data about market size, sales volumes and market shares, but conditions in the marketplace change quickly as new brands, new trends, and other external influences enter the picture.
Each of the three cases requires as a minimum a good advertising strategy (creative and media) but it is up to the students to look at the bigger picture and determine how the other components of the marketing communications mix will be useful in finding a solution for the challenges that are presented. The instructor can also play a role in determining which components of the mix should be considered. You have the flexibility to be very focused (advertising only) or very broad (any and all components of the IMC mix).
Each case can be used for the purposes of a written submission or as a written submission with presentation. Since time is always a problem, my preference is for one case to be a written submission using the case study format and another case to be a written submission with a presentation near the end of the course. Personal experience shows that only one or two cases can be accommodated in a one-semester course. Three cases are provided for you to choose from.
The case studies and the key challenge in each case are a follows:
Cadbury Trebor Allen Inc. – Crispy Crunch
Crispy Crunch was once a very popular chocolate bar but it has fallen on hard times. The brand has not received any meaningful marketing communications support for several years. The task is to reintroduce the bar to the youth market and get it back into the top 10 bars in Canada.
Blue had a very successful campaign called “Out of the Blue.” It was replaced with a campaign called “Cheers. To Friends.” The new campaign has not worked and Labatt is losing ground to archrival Molson Canadian. A new marketing communications campaign is urgently needed to reverse Blue’s fortunes.
Levi Strauss & Company – GWG Jeans
Levi Strauss recently bought back the rights to the GWG brand and will begin marketing the line in Canada. GWG is a very old and reliable brand that was very popular with baby boomers when they were young. Levi’s needs a campaign that will resurrect interest in the GWG brand among the baby boomer segment of the population. Can they be tempted to buy GWG once again?
Case Study Model
The following is a proposed case study model. Feel free to adapt and modify it to suit you own teaching and learning needs.
When preparing a case solution it is expected that students will conduct additional secondary research. The capture of good information will enhance the quality of the analysis and the recommendation.
Executive Summary (Written Report Only)
The executive summary should include a concise statement of the problem, a short summary of the major points arising from your analysis, and the major recommendations from your analysis.
The decision to include and introduction is left to the discretion of the writer. If it is included, the introduction should be brief and include information regarding the nature of the company, the product, the market, etc.).