Unno Launch Case

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1.What Were Groupo Sans’ Brands and What Brand Identity Did They Have?

Groupo Sans is a Spanish company that specializes in underwear design, production and sale. It has a significant market share – 35% in slips and boxers, 45% in men’s shirts, 23% in women’s shirts, 15% in panties and 37% in baby clothing. The company was a market leader in the Spanish market. In 1991 Groupo Sans became a part of Sarah Lee Corporation – a high-quality food, beverage and clothing company. Sarah Lee was built upon the perception of prestige, consumer orientation and the global nature of its brands. The business model initially was based on product diversification. However, in 2001the company’s management disinvested in a lot of Sarah Lee’s product offerings and shrank the company’s portfolio. The brands that were considered a part of the core of the business received significant resources that were now idle due to the disinvestment policies. European apparel brands were one of the priorities for Sarah Lee. These brands included the Goupo Sans’ brands Abanderado, Unno, Ocean and Princessa, along with Champion, Dim, Hanes, Loveable, Pretty Polly, Wanderbra and Playtex. Sarah Lee was based upon decentralized management, giving the individual subsidiaries the freedom to make strategic decisions regarding their brands. Groupo Sans offered four brand lines. Abanderado was targeting the male population. The products of the brand appealed to the more traditional market segments that placed a lot of emphasis on product high quality. The brand was preferred mainly by the segment of 55+ males. Princessa was another brand owned by Groupo Sans. It shared Abanderado’s traditional appeal and high-quality perception. It specialized in women’s underwear and its main customers belong as well to the 55+ demographic group. Ocean was acquired by Groupo Sans in 1989. The brand had a long history on the market ever since its introduction in the late nineteenth century. It was a well-established brand that specialized in men’s underwear.

2.When and why was the Unno brand launched?

In 1999 Groupo Sans was facing stagnant demand in its domestic market. With only 10% of the company’s sales made abroad, domestic market played an important role for the company’s revenue. This stagnant demand can be attributed to several factors. First, some aspects of the macro environment were decreasing the demand for Groupo Sans’ products. The change in the demographic characteristics of Spain had a negative impact on demand. With a zero population growth, sales of baby garments were decreasing. This product category has traditionally been one in which Groupo Sans’ had a very strong presence. Moreover, due to technological developments in the industry, the underwear quality was consistently improving, prolonging the time of wearing out of the underwear. Moreover, Groupo Sans was operating in an industry characterized by short product lifecycle. Consequently, companies had to quickly come up with different product offerings. Regarding the micro environment, Groupo Sans has usually developed new products from within the firm. Acquiring another company to achieve broader product portfolio was not something that the company pursued. In addition to all these factors, the launch of Unno was also necessary due to the poor penetration of Groupo Sans’ brands in the 15 to 35 years old demographic group. This market segment was the largest consumer of underwear. The company could expand domestic demand if it were to attract these consumers. Since its products were in a maturity phase, a launch of a new product could support the company’s position as a market leader and help expand its market share. In a well-established, mature and concentrated industry with a stagnant demand, Groupo Sans was trying to find a way to win additional market share within the boundaries of the market. This strategic move was possible due to the existence of supporting technology. This technology,...
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