United Cereal was an organization embodied with a strong set of core values. They believed in commitment, diligence and loyalty; attracted people to work for the company and promoted managers from within. Their managers were committed to “The UC Way” and certain deeply rooted beliefs like: •
“Listen to the customer”-led them to pioneer the use of research and focus groups. •
“Spot the trend, make the market”- led then to place high value on extensive market testing prior to launching new products. •
“Honoring the past and embracing the future”-gave them a high regard for product development and innovation in marketing. To be able to answer whether the Eurobrand cereal was truly viable we first must be clear about what was the cereal market like in Europe. The $7 billion cereal market was very diverse. The per capita consumption varied from 8kg in U.K to 0.5 kg a year in Italy as a result of the cereal market being based on varying national tastes and breakfast traditions. Channels also varied by country. United Cereal was pretty centralized in its organizational policies and practices as the Country Managers confirmed to United Cereals embedded values, policies and procedures. But; they were pretty de-centralized where their market strategy and product strategy was concerned as each Country Manager made his own marketing and product decision to maximize his subsidiaries local profit. The Country Manager could also customize the products; adapt advertising and promotions keeping United Cereals policies in mind. They were in short silos bringing to mind ‘the access and legitimacy paradigm’. This might makes better business sense as the Country manager would put to use all his skills to maximize profits and would also be able to penetrate the market strongly, but; did United Cereal really have a say in any of this? When Arne Olsen tried to invigorate the product profile and increase profitability across Europe he made strategies to achieve this that were met with...
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