Sample Case Study Paper on Business 2231(03): Applied Marketing

Individual Case Summary Submission Form
Complete the form below for your individual case analysis when your group is critiquing the presentation of another group. Upload a copy of this memo into Moodle by the due date. Remember to bring a copy to class to follow along when your group is critiquing the presentation. Point form answers are permitted.

1)      Is this a Task Case or a Problem Case? State the problem or task. If it is a problem case, state the symptoms of the problem

It is a Task Case.

Significant features within the cosmetic industry such as market trends, a shift in the industry on consumption, production, and market such as brand sales has gradually changed the dynamics within the industry slowing down profit realization, growth strategies, and deeper product penetration of the product in new markets. Some of the dynamics in the market such as infiltration of new beauty products imported has continued to put undue pressure on local companies within Canada. Despite its strategic marketing plan and target market, Mary Kay products have to compete continually with imported products, which have increased by a margin of over 5 percent, a factor that is affecting product realization and pressure on their products. For example, mass products that sold exclusively to salons directly are gradually becoming available to consumers. The net effect is increased pressure on the company to devise ways of levelling its presence and market penetration.




2) What are the MAIN ISSUES in the case that are important considerations in the Situation Analysis? List them below and explain why you think they are important.


The slow growth of the industry in Canada has seen a drop in profit realization for the three dominant companies within the country. This has significantly increased competition levels in the industry with increased need to maximize profits, penetrate untapped markets, and devise marketing strategies that can work best to change the situation in the industry. Importation of sold has also seen a shift in market trends, a fact that has significantly changed market dynamics within the industry and the main dominant players, that is May Kay, L’Oreal Canada, Inc, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble. Despite May Kay’s strategic marketing strategies and target market, the situation has continued to deteriorate putting further pressure on new strategies. May Kay should devise ways and means to tackle the imported products through and by new market strategies, widening of their target market and expansion of the personal and care products they offer in the market.  With their Generation-Y target market, May Kay has the potential to influence the market, more so the imported products by introducing a new line of cosmetics specifically designed for a wider market. They should therefore expand beyond their current market target and include additional line of production within personal care and beauty products.




3) List the key alternatives that you think are relevant to solving the problem or completing the task for this case.


The first alternative is for May Kay to expand its product line and add more beauty and personal products in the market. Additionally, it should also concentrate on improving its current products in order to remain competitive within the industry and more so to expand its target market. The ever-changing demographics in the market puts the company that would require strategic plans that would work best to put its products above the others both in the current market and in penetrating new markets. For instance, the company should focus beyond women’s products and include a new line of personal care products designed for men too. Although this can be done on a low scale, it may change the company’s fortunes within the marketing industry as it will position it as an “all in one” beauty company for both genders.

Using its current target market, the company should also pay heed to the market forces that influence their target market to increasing sales through aggressive sales. For example, Gen-Y, are characterized by techno-savvy lifestyle which the company can incorporate in its marketing strategy in order to maintain their current consumers as it looks into ways of penetrating further into new markets. The solution or strategy would therefore involve new approaches, plans, and appealing means of reaching new markets and consumers.

Additionally, the company’s marketing strategy does not include much on reaching out to men. The company concentrates more on reaching out to women than to reaching out to men. If it can change its reach out advertising plans, the company can significantly increase its market share and profit realization. From the company’s profile and target market, women comprise a higher percentage of the target market than the opposite gender. The company needs to change this to include more on gender balance on its marketing strategies. The current situation only concentrates on women than on men.

Instead of fighting or seeming to resist the changes within the beauty and personal care industry, the company should adopt to measure that makes it adapt to the changes without resisting. For instance, it should include the distribution of its products not only within the traditional networks such as departmental stores; it should go beyond and include salons, beauty parlors, supermarkets, retail stores, and its own current sales network.




4) List at least three pros/cons for each of the alternatives you listed in the last section.


1.      Expansion of the company into a new product line may introduce new dynamics within its operation that may make the company deviate from its production line. On the other hand, the expansion may not help the company to figure out a distinct solution to solving the current market situation, but may only offer a temporary solution to an everlasting challenge to its current business operation.

2.      By concentrating on the generation-Y market group, the company risks losing on a larger segment of the market such as older women and men who also form a significant portion of their market target. Despite the fact that, Gen-Y forms a significantly larger portion of the target market, putting a greater focus on them may not position the company and its products strategically in the ever-changing industry of beauty products.

3.      Deviating from the current distribution plan may also put a strain on the company’s operation as it attempt to align its marketing plans to the dynamic market. However, with sound tactical plans and operation, the company can pull through by adapting to flexible, easy to maintain and run marketing strategies.

4.      Seeming to go along with the changes in the industry has the negative effect of the company losing its vision and mission objectives in providing the highest quality, safe, and best performance products. The circumstance within the industry may not enable the company to stick to its original objectives as a beauty and products manufacturer. Because of market dynamics, the company may find itself developing conflicts in its operation. For instance, the introduction of new products may mean that the company has to inject new production measures such as testing and evaluation that may not be in line with its previous operations. This may add more pressure and confusion in its operation and strategic plans.





5) What is your recommendation in this case?


Mary Kay Inc, should adopt new measures to remain relevant in the beauty and personal cosmetics industry. These measures should be aimed at increasing its market share, adapting to changes within the industry, and increasing its competitive level. This may call upon it to exercise caution in its operations, strategies, and production line intensify its relevance and competition level. For example, over reliance on its old tradition of using traditional stores may not position it strategically within the market. On the other hand, to counter the high level of competition from imported products and local industries, the company need to lay out a flexible framework that aims at penetrating new markets in addition to maintaining a high level of performance in increasing profits and market share.

Although the current case scenario may be beyond the Company’s making, it can align its management, operation and mode of work to fit with the current trends in the industry. To strategically position itself, the company needs to focus its strengths on its products and use them as their underlying strong points in the industry. This would place it in a better position considering that it is a local player in the cosmetics industry in the country. Additionally, the company needs to identify itself with its customers through and by the use of tactics best appealing to them; for example, it can work on creating a new relationship with its male consumers by increasing male beauty and care products in the market. By doing this, the company will expand its market share and consumer base and in turn increase revenue and profit realization.

In addition, the company needs to focus its energy on empowering its consumers to making the right choice on products that are healthy, and are aimed at bringing out the best on one’s beauty preference. The high number of awareness amongst consumers of beauty products calls upon the company to open up a new foray in empowering its consumers to wise decision making on the best products for their beauty needs.