Introduction and Background
Faced with sales growth stagnation in the late 1980s, MEM Company has to develop a strategy to remain competitive in the toiletries industry. As of 1980, there were as many as 60 companies and 200 brands in the industry highlighting the highly competitive rivalry in the market and the abundance of substitutes due to lowly differentiated products . Faced, with two options either to introduce a new brand, Cambridge, or to expand distribution into food stores. We have decided to analyze these options based on 3 perspectives; Branding, Sales, Distribution and Competition. All reference to exhibits are made with reference to the case, “MEM Company, Inc.” by Harvard Business School unless otherwise stated. Branding
Consolidation of suppliers met that most companies had access to the same type of fragrances. As a result, branding was a major differentiating factor English Leather was an established brand with a high level of brand awareness, ranking second only to Brut in unaided advertising awareness and being equal in terms of total brand awareness . However, MEM employees have already begun voicing concerns that the brand was growing ‘tired’. Exhibit 12 provides evidence of this as it states that during a focus group, the participants perceived English Leather as a less Sophisticated brand that “the guys wore in college”. Further examination of the brands slogans compared with its competition revealed its slogan too be provocative and straightforward. Other brands were trying to be intelligent by using slogans with puns (eg. “Put a little spice in your life” by Old Spice) or by elevating status (eg. “For the man who gets the most of his life” by Pierre Cardin) whereas English Leather’s slogan “All my men wear English Leather or they wear nothing at all” was just an outright claim that looked boring and overly authoritative. Hence, although launching “Cambridge by English Leather” allows the new brand to ride on English’s Leather’s...
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