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Recommend a Strategic Approach

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SCENARIO QUESTION:
You are tasked by your Marketing VP to recommend a strategic approach. What would you recommend Merit Enterprises do with DEFENSE Deodorant? Defend your strategic decision and demonstrate comprehension of strategic decision making within the marketing environment.

DEFENSE DEODORANT SCENARIO:

Suppose you are the marketing manager for DEFENSE Deodorant, a product that is manufactured by your company, Merit Enterprises. Merit markets a line of consumer personal care products, e.g., Hair-So-Soft Shampoo, Awesome Hair Conditioner, Glisten Toothpaste, Abracadabra Mouthwash, and other similar products. Each product has its own marketing manager and there are a total of 13 products in the corporation's product line, one of which is DEFENSE.

DEFENSE deodorant was introduced in 1993 with the typical corporate fanfare that marks the introduction of a new product. The product never really took off, however; yet, it does have a contingent of seemingly loyal DEFENSE users. Overall corporate sales are $6.3B with DEFENSE contributing sales of $68M in 2011. Gross profitability of DEFENSE in 2011 was $4.4M. DEFENSE in this current year in 2012 has about 2.1% of the total U.S. deodorant market, down from 2.4% in 2007.
Marketing research done by your department within the past three months suggested that those outside the DEFENSE user base see DEFENSE as simply "just another deodorant" in a market that is already brimming with competitive products (e.g., Sure, Mennon, Axe, Right Guard).

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First and foremost, it is important to note that the personal care products industry is extremely competitive. Often times, smaller entities have a great deal of difficulty making their mark or finding their place in the personal care market. The fact that the overall corporate sales for Merit Enterprise was $6.3B is remarkable! These numbers are fantastic. Additionally, Defense Deodorant offered sales that contributed $68M to the corporation's overall sales. The company brand, obvious has found their place within the personal care products market and thus, should capitalize on future opportunities for increasing sales.

As an employee of Merit Enterprises, it is not surprising that the Marketing Vice President has solicited your help to strategically advance the successfulness of the organization. As a knowledgeable individual, who possesses great business acumen, this is the time to show off your skills. Here's what I would recommend to the Marketing VP...
Defense Deodorant's sales have decreased over the past year and now, this brand own less of the market than in years before. This is problematic considering that from 2007 ...

Solution Summary

The purpose of this solution is to make recommendations regarding a branding decision. The recommendations provided are based upon gross profitability, current market data, market competition, etc. The response details market value, market trends, strategic profitability, etc.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Determine the requirements necessary for an effective supply chain.

Referring to the scenario included below, please provide:

Strategic Procurements has been approached by a local hospital inquiring about the company's ability to improve its logistics and supply chain. It currently has a rudimentary, localized operation in place without an overall governance or strategy process in place. The company has requested an initial briefing on modern supply chain management techniques. Assist with a paper for the hospital management consisting of the following sections:

- Define supply chain management.
- Describe the essential components of a typical supply chain management process and define the components using examples.
- Define push, pull, and hybrid high-level strategies, recommend one for the hospital, and rationalize your recommendation.

Source references would be great, too!

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In 1985, Drake Porter founded Strategic Procurements (SPI), a 120-person consulting firm based in Louisville, Kentucky, with a core group of four procurement specialists and a client base of one automobile parts supply chain. Since then, Strategic Procurements has expanded its client base to other auto supply store chains, as well as specialty retail stores across the nation. In 1994, Strategic Procurements developed a proprietary niche software application called PlanTranstic that is used for inventory planning and forecasting for the auto supply store industry. Strategic Procurements' mission is to facilitate the development and implementation of procurement strategies that reduce delivery time, inventory cycle times, and costs associated with supply chain management for its customers.

To accomplish its mission, Strategic Procurements is structured into two core consulting areas represented by a sales force led by the engagement manager. The core consulting areas are responsible for executing the assigned project work and generating possible leads for follow-up by the engagement team. The engagement team is responsible for expanding the current workload with existing customers and nurturing new opportunities. The engagement team and consulting areas often exchange personnel, as one group or another often requires specific, key expertise in supporting a client.

The two core areas are auto parts supply and specialty retail. The auto part supply group has 55 people, including a technology team that supports PlanTranstic. The specialty retail group has 24 staff members, while the engagement team is staffed with 10 sales and logistics experts. Strategic Procurements consultants primarily work on a time and materials basis, with a few fixed price contracts, depending on the nature and duration of the work. The majority of projects are six months to a year in duration, with a mix of on-site (customer location) and home office work. The deliverables for these efforts are studies or analyses with key recommendations for improving the client's supply chain management situation. The project team will often identify technology tools, as well as recommend specific strategies for the client. Additionally, the PlanTranstic software is customized for specific customers where appropriate.

The engagement team is primarily focused on keeping the auto parts and specialty retail pipeline filled with consulting projects. Yesterday, Drake Porter approached you and requested a briefing on the two-year plan for these core areas. Additionally, he wanted to know how prepared Strategic Procurements is to expand their industry opportunities. Specifically, Drake wants to extend Strategic Procurements' SCM expertise to the medical consulting area, as well as develop expertise in the industrial manufacturing industry. Are these viable areas, and would Strategic Procurements' capabilities translate well into these areas? You've agreed to examine these possibilities and meet with existing and new clients to better understand the industry needs.

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