Business Case Studies
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Business Case Studies
The case studies available here are narratives that facilitate discussions about a particular business or management issue.
Curated by Abey Francis
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Case Study of Zara : Application of Business Intelligence in Retail Industry

Case Study of Zara : Application of Business Intelligence in Retail Industry | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
The Zara has made of use of Information Systems (IS) and to advance in many areas. This has resulted in huge success for the company. 
Abey Francis's insight:
Information Systems deals with the application of people, technologies and procedures to solve business problems. Management information systems are different from the normal is in the sense that they are applied in analyzing other is used in operational activities of the organization. In academics, the term usually refers to a group information management methods associated with the automation and decision making of humans for example, expert systems, decision support system , executive information systems. In management information system data is carefully and systematically collected, stored and disseminated in the form of information required to perform roles of management.
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Nissan's Successful Turnaround Under the Leadership of Carlos Ghosn

Nissan's Successful Turnaround Under the Leadership of Carlos Ghosn | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
The presented case study is about a challenging turnaround of the Japanese car manufacturing company Nissan under the leadership of Carlos Ghosn.
Abey Francis's insight:

Nissan has been successfully competing in the automobile industry through decades, but in the early nineties they reached a critical point with severe losses and debt. The Nissan brand was loosing its value, and a turnover was urgent for the company to survive. Nissan got an alliance opportunity with Renault, which resulted in Carlos Ghosn taking over, as the first non-Japanese Chief Operating Officer in Nissans history. The task at hand for Ghosn was not easy, but he came to Japan with a vital revival plan hoping to succeed. When Carlos Ghosn took over Nissan in 1999, the company was on the brink of disaster, with a staggering $22 billion debt, slumping sales, a declining image, etc. Just one year later, the automaker was profitable once again. By 2001, debt had been whittled down to $4 billion, operating profit was at a record high, and the popularity of the brands new models surpassed all expectations.

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“Imagination At Work” Ad Campaign by General Electric

“Imagination At Work” Ad Campaign by General Electric | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
General Electrics “Imagination At Work” ad campaign made a change in consumers’ perceptions of GE: more people were viewing GE as a high-tech company rather than as a relic from the smokestack eras.
Abey Francis's insight:

Since 1979 General Electric Co. (GE) had relied on one of the most successful branding slogans in history: ‘‘We bring good things to life.’’ But along the way the company had become almost exclusively associated with its lighting and appliance products, which by the end of the twentieth century represented only a small percentage of the company’s business. With the installation of a new chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, who replaced the legendary Jack Welch, the company decided to rethink its branding in order to better position GE as an innovative and forward-looking company. The result was a new slogan, ‘‘Imagination at work,’’ which became the focus of a campaign aimed at consumers, business partners, and investors as well as GE employees. The $100 million ‘‘Imagination at Work’’ campaign, developed by BBDO Worldwide Inc., began in January 2003. In addition to TV spots, it included print ads and Web elements. The advertisements simultaneously repositioned the brand and directly promoted one of GE’s many businesses. In one commercial, for example, Lassie, the heroic canine star of vintage TV and films, warded off a cougar with an array of karate moves as a way to talk about GE’s security technology. In time the campaign also spread to Europe and Asia. Despite taking some criticism for dropping ‘‘We bring good things to life,’’ GE expressed satisfaction with the campaign and continued to build on it. Market research detected a change in consumers’ perceptions of GE: more people were viewing GE as a high-tech company rather than as a relic from the smokestack era. Moreover the new slogan became something of a rallying cry within the company, spurring on employees to make innovative contributions.

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Social Anxiety Disorder Campaign by SmithKline Beecham

Social Anxiety Disorder Campaign by SmithKline Beecham | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
After the social anxiety disorder campaign had been running for seven months, according to Medical Marketing and Media, Paxil scored third among advertised prescription drugs in unaided recall, behind Viagra and Claritin.
Abey Francis's insight:

In 1999 Paxil, manufactured by SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline plc), was third among the pharmaceutical industry’s best-selling SSRIs, a class of drugs then used primarily to treat depression and anxiety related maladies. The drugmaker’s strategy for gaining ground on rivals Prozac and Zoloft included extending Paxil’s market by winning approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat other forms of mental illness. When, in May of that year, the FDA made Paxil its only approved treatment for social anxiety disorder, the drug finally found itself in a position, after seven years on the market, to outsell its rivals. Social anxiety disorder was a little-known condition at the time, but estimates by SmithKline Beecham put the number of potential Paxil customers in the United States at close to 10 million. Enlisting the public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe as well as Paxil’s advertising agency of record, McCann Erickson Consumer Health, SmithKline Beecham mounted a combined physician, PR, and directto-consumer branded campaign that was meant to inform Americans about social anxiety disorder and to let them know that Paxil alone had been approved to treat it.

 

Immediately after learning of the FDA ruling, SmithKline Beecham increased its spending on physician-targeted ads to get the word out about the new Paxil designation. Meanwhile, the drugmaker funded a public-service campaign meant to spread awareness of social anxiety disorder. Then, in September 1999, a $30 million push of the Paxil brand began its run on television and in magazines with national circulations. SmithKline Beecham focused its message about social anxiety disorder on professionals between the ages of 18 and 34, with an emphasis on men, who were believed more likely to seek help for the condition because of career concerns.

 

The PR campaign resulted in more than a billion media references to social anxiety disorder, up from roughly 50 in previous years, almost all of which mentioned that Paxil was the only approved treatment for the condition. Seven months after its launch, the campaign had made the Paxil brand name one of the most recognized prescription drugs in the United States, and the drug was responsible for a sizeable increase in the anxiety medication category. Paxil gained on its SSRI rivals and experienced sustained sales growth, a trend that continued as the drug won further treatment designations, and the company adapted its marketing accordingly in the following years.

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GoDaddy's Super Bowl Commercials Case Study

GoDaddy's Super Bowl Commercials Case Study | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
In 2005 GoDaddy.com successfully exercised an advertising campaign during the Super Bowl, the most viewed television event in the US.
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By 2004 Go Daddy Software had become a leader in the Internet domain-name registration industry, buying available domain names and then selling them to individuals and businesses for a yearly fee. In 2004 the company embarked on its first national marketing effort, contracting New York agency the Ad Store to help make Go Daddy and the GoDaddy.com website known to mainstream America via a TV spot for Super Bowl XXXIX. That Super Bowl, played on February 6, 2005, was the first since the infamous ‘‘wardrobe malfunction’’ that had resulted in pop singer Janet Jackson’s breast being exposed on the air during the previous year’s halftime show. Among the results of the public outcry following the incident was increased pressure on Super Bowl advertisers to avoid risque´ images and themes. Go Daddy chose to fly in the face of this pressure by running a sexually suggestive commercial that lampooned the prevailing climate of censorship.

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Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty Case Study

Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty Case Study | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
In a world that is inundated with images that give women a narrow view of what the ideal body, the Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty is a refreshing change.
Abey Francis's insight:

 For decades, the media has portrayed the idea of a “beautiful woman” as something completely fake. Whether it’s in a magazine or on a commercial, almost every single one of these women have been photo-shopped or modified to some extent; some a lot more extreme than others. One brand in particular decided to take a stand and do something different, to stand out. That brand is Dove.

The aim of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is to celebrate the natural physical differences personified by all women and to encourage them to have the confidence to be comfortable and happy with themselves. This campaign has won a handful (or two) of ad awards and has sold an enormous amount of product. Sales have increased to $4 billion today from $2.5 billion in its opening campaign year.

Not only has this campaign helped Dove successfully increase its sales (and number of awards), but it has also increased women’s confidence. Research from a Harvard psychologist, Nancy Etcoff, examining the campaign and found that more women today describe beauty on a wider variety of qualities outside of just looks, such as confidence.

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Intel Corporation's Social Media Strategy

Intel Corporation's Social Media Strategy | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Intel is everywhere in the digital social media - blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Intel’s chosen social media weapon is high-quality content, and its delivery vehicle is its staff.
Abey Francis's insight:

With 17,000,000 likes on its global Facebook page, 900,000 @Intel Twitter followers, and more than 44,000 subscribers to YouTube, Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence is certainly living up to its name. In addition to the global accounts, Intel’s geo and country teams operate an additional 50+ international Facebook pages, 30+ supporting Twitter handles, and 14+ global YouTube channels.

 

Organizations such as Intel are beginning to look and operate more like media companies–a transition that doesn’t happen overnight. They’re evaluating topics and trends in real-time and creating a brand narrative across multiple networks. It takes a lot of content to fuel that many channels–and a dedicated team to manage the ideation, creation, and analysis of that content. More importantly, it takes a lot of quality content to generate engagement with audiences across continents and timezones, and for Intel engagement is a key metric.

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Starbucks Social Media Marketing Strategy

Starbucks Social Media Marketing Strategy | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Starbucks social media marketing strategy consists of many different elements masterfully integrated and combined, involving millions of loyal fans boosting their branding.
Abey Francis's insight:

Starbuck's has a big brand presence online. Not because they have millions of dollars for Marketing and Advertising, which they do have, but because they are one of the most engaging companies online. If you are fan of Starbucks coffee, and a bit Internet savvy, then chances are you have come across one of if not all of Starbuck’s Social Media Pages. Starbucks has made it a point to take its successful offline branding strategies and implement them online. Its online image and messages have stayed consistent with their brand values, which are honesty, sincerity, and connecting with its consumers on a level unlike any other brand. The offline Starbucks Culture has taken to the airwaves of the Internet and Social Media. Lets take a look at how they became one of the most engaging brands online.

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Google's Acquisition of Motorola Mobility

Google's Acquisition of Motorola Mobility | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Google's Acquisition of Motorola Mobility is considered the largest in the company's history, reaching the value of $12.5 billion, it is considered as the strongest merger and Acquisition within the sector of high-tech since the year 2007 according to data from Thomson Reuters.
Abey Francis's insight:

Patent lawsuit frenzy is sweeping the technology industry. The media, analysts, pundits and more have now made it glaringly clear that Google is on the weaker end of the spectrum when it comes to patents.

 

It is for this reason they attempted to purchase the Nortel patents. Based on recent actions it can be concluded that Google knows they need to secure a more robust patent portfolio. More specifically they need a patent portfolio around mobile devices to help protect Android.

 

Motorola has an incredibly robust patent portfolio. In fact they have nearly three times as many patents as Nortel. Some have alluded that Motorola’s patent portfolio is possibly the strongest in the mobile field. It could be debated but its possible that Motorola has the best patent defense against Apple’s in this field.

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Marketing Strategies of IBM

Marketing Strategies of IBM | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Well-devised and efficient marketing strategies have been the key to IBM' global success. The marketing strategies adopted by IBM are very much structured on the basis of trust-based marketing strategies.
Abey Francis's insight:

International Business Machines Corporation, or the IBM, is basically a multinational computer technology and has got hold over IT consulting services. The company has established itself as one of the selected information technology companies since 19th century. Adoption of marketing strategies for IBM has been a planned structure since 19th century and by means of these strategies it has earned enough success all over the world. With its growth in the manufacturing as well as marketing domains of computer hardware and software, it has gained the nickname of "Big Blue". On marketing grounds, IBM follows strict infrastructural services, added by hosting provisions and consulting services in various areas from mainframe computers to the persuasion of nanotechnology.


The company considers that to make marketing strategies, it is important to have appropriate decisions that can well enhance all kinds of competitive advantages and can create all kinds of new sources of value for the purpose of improving the organisational revenue growth. As declared in its official website. IBM considers that their strategy and change services target in helping their clients in transforming their economy and related businesses by the scope of identifying strategic options. This further gets added by provisions for developing strategic and planned change programs to meet the demands of their consumers. 

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Business Innovation Lessons from Salesforce.com

Business Innovation Lessons from Salesforce.com | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
With innovative business strategies, Salesforce.com has been able to build brand equity and loyal customer following that earned billions of dollars in revenues for the company.
Abey Francis's insight:

For small companies looking to take on larger competitors, the ability to drive faster, more efficient, and more transformative innovation is a powerful competitive advantage. Just ask Salesforce.com.

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Doritos Chips "The Loudest Taste on Earth" Ad Campaign by Frito-Lay

Doritos Chips "The Loudest Taste on Earth" Ad Campaign by Frito-Lay | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Frito-Lay's launched "The Loudest Taste on Earth" Ad campaign in 1997 to focus on a narrow market for its Doritos brand of flavored tortilla chips, to introduce new Doritos products, and to increase the international sales of tortilla chips.
Abey Francis's insight:

Frito-Lay Inc., the world’s largest maker of snack foods, launched an advertising campaign in 1997 to focus on a narrow market for its Doritos brand of flavored tortilla chips, to introduce new Doritos products, and to increase the international sales of tortilla chips. Doritos were the top-selling tortilla chips in the United States, but previous advertising had targeted a broad audience, and public awareness of the brand had begun to decline. With ‘‘The Loudest Taste on Earth’’ campaign, the company targeted consumers who were 16 to 21 years old and who appreciated the freedom to make noise. The campaign emphasized that Doritos were flavorful, that they made a loud crunch when they were eaten, and that it was acceptable for young people to be exuberant and uninhibited.

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Lenovo's "PC Plus" Strategy

Lenovo's "PC Plus" Strategy | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Lenovo adopted a new business strategy called as “PC Plus" Strategy, which covers terminal products like PCs, smart phones, table PCs and smart TVs.
Abey Francis's insight:

Chinaʼs Lenovo Group is gearing up for what it refers to as the ʻPC plusʼ era, a period where consumers use non-traditional personal computing devices such as tablet computers and smartphones to meet their day-to-day computing needs. Major PC manufacturers HP and Dell are struggling to cope with these changes as tablet sales eat into their PC-related product lines. By comparison, rather than refocusing its attention away to solely support new product categories like tablet computers and smartphones, Lenovo has continued to support and innovate its traditional line of PC computers.

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Case Study: Success Story of Google Search Engine

Case Study: Success Story of Google Search Engine | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
The persistence of Google for continuous excellence and innovation makes them the leading standard. Google has helped to redefine the value of how the individuals, businesses and technologist see the Internet.
Abey Francis's insight:
Google, Inc. made innovation an everyday process rather than using it as a strategy during times of crisis. While some companies worked on perfecting their product before its initial release, Google followed a unique ‘launch and iterate’ process to innovation. Right from the time the company was founded, Google relied on its employees to augment its culture of innovation.
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Analysis of "Do More" Advertising Campaign by American Express

Analysis of "Do More" Advertising Campaign by American Express | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Created by ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, ‘‘Do More’’ aimed to convey all the advantages AmEx could offer, ranging from its numerous charge and credit cards to travel services and financial-planning assistance.
Abey Francis's insight:

The American Express Company (AmEx) was long associated with the celebrities whose appearance in print campaigns was meant to position ‘‘membership’’ in its credit-card brand as the domain of a privileged few. But AmEx’s elitist brand image became a serious hindrance in the 1980s and 1990s. Rivals such as Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International had been using their own marketing to exploit the fact that their card brands were accepted more universally than AmEx, and by 1996 their gains had significantly eroded AmEx’s market share. The launch of a new umbrella advertising campaign tagged ‘‘Do More’’ was not just the debut of new creative concepts; it marked a concerted attempt to reposition the AmEx brand.
Created by ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, ‘‘Do More’’ aimed to convey all the advantages AmEx could offer, ranging from its numerous charge and credit cards to travel services and financial-planning assistance. The company also used ‘‘Do More’’ to broaden its consumer base, employing celebrities, such as Tiger Woods and Jerry Seinfeld, who appealed to consumers across demographic and income boundaries. The umbrella effort had various incarnations and encompassed several individual campaigns through 2001. AmEx typically spent between $170 million and $200 million on U.S. credit-card advertising during these years.
AmEx gained market share in the first two years that ‘‘Do More’’ ran. Difficulties in later years were reversed by the introduction of a new card appealing to young adults, a product whose existence itself was a measure of the evolving nature of the AmEx brand. ‘‘Do More’’ did a great deal to bring about and to publicize this evolution, and many of the hallmarks of this repositioning campaign—including the continued participation of Tiger Woods and Jerry Seinfeld—were visible in the advertising that followed its discontinuation in 2002.

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The Collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008

The Collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
In September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company became insolvent with finances totalling $639 billion in assets and debt worth $619 billion; it became the largest bankruptcy in history.
Abey Francis's insight:

The aim of this case study is to discuss the case of fall of Lehman Brothers which enjoyed several years of the glorious past and reach to a financial tragedy leading to its collapse in 2008. The crucial part of the question that “Why did Lehman Brothers fall?” 


The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers had brought a devastating effect for economies and the financial markets worldwide. The fall of Lehman Brothers was not just a banking failure but it was far more and had its effect in the worldwide economy. This was a human failure that leads to the greatest tragedy in the field of investment and real estate market and lead to a severe financial crisis and global recession.

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Citibank's "Live Richly" Ad Campaign Case Study

Citibank's "Live Richly" Ad Campaign Case Study | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Citibank committed itself to the ‘‘Live Richly’’ campaign through Fallon in 2001 by bolstering its advertising budget, increasing it to some $100 million.
Abey Francis's insight:

Citibank, a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc., the largest financial-services company in the world, offered consumer and corporate banking services through some 1,400 offices in more than 40 countries. In the early twenty-first century, amid a strong U.S. economy, Citibank initiated research for an advertising campaign to promote its personalized services, attract financially savvy consumers seeking options for investing their new wealth, and strengthen brand recognition. With the help of newly hired advertising agency Fallon Worldwide of Minneapolis, Citibank launched the ‘‘Live Richly’’ advertising campaign in 2001.


The rebranding campaign, with an estimated budget of $100 million, was built around the tagline ‘‘Live Richly.’’ The television, print, and billboard campaign featured slogans such as ‘‘People with fat wallets are not necessarily more jolly,’’ ‘‘Holding shares shouldn’t be your only form of affection,’’ and ‘‘He who dies with the most toys is still dead,’’ emphasizing the importance of living life to the fullest while downplaying the focus on money. In addition to promoting the Citibank brand, the campaign sought to highlight Citibank’s credit-card division as well as its retail bank operations. Several of the ‘‘Live Richly’’ television commercials were named ‘‘Best Spots’’ by Adweek magazine. ‘‘Live Richly’’ succeeded in raising interest in Citibank and its offerings: following the unveiling of ads for Citibank’s new financial service Citipro, the number of information requests for Citipro at retail branches increased 47 percent.

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BMW Film's "The Hire" Ad Camapaign Case Study

BMW Film's "The Hire" Ad Camapaign Case Study | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
In a series of short online films known as “The Hire,” starring Clive Owen as the heroic, enigmatic “Driver,” BMW sought to promote its brand in an unorthodox way.
Abey Francis's insight:

In 2000 Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) posted total sales of $33 billion, a slight decrease from its 1999 earnings of $34 billion. Afraid of further backsliding, the Bavarian automaker decided to reshape its advertising to better target the Internet-savvy BMW customer. Before 2001 the company’s advertisements had typically consisted of product-driven campaigns with immaculate BMWs clinging to mountain roads. BMW asked its longtime advertising partner, Fallon Worldwide, to create something different. In 2001 five action-packed short films emerged under the campaign title ‘‘The Hire,’’ which became one of the most acclaimed campaigns in advertising history.

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Delta Airlines Successful Business Turnaround

Delta Airlines Successful Business Turnaround | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
The case study discusses the reasons of financial problems and restructuring plan of Delta Airlines. Issues like the pilot union impasse, increasing operational expenses and legacy costs, falling yields and severe competition from low cost airlines are discussed in detail.
Abey Francis's insight:

What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 160 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year. Delta Air Lines was the third biggest airlines in the US in the early 2000s. After the September 11 attacks, which led to the decline of the airline industry in the US, many of the major carriers in the industry went bankrupt. Delta was one of the few major carriers that managed to stay afloat. However, in mid 2004, the airline announced that it might have to file for bankruptcy protection if it failed to obtain pay cuts of $1 billion from its pilots, who were the only unionized employees at the airline. The case discusses the problems at Delta and their role in the financial decline of the airline. Issues like the pilot union impasse, increasing operational expenses and legacy costs, falling yields and severe competition from low cost airlines are discussed in detail.

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Richard Stern's curator insight, February 20, 2015 9:08 AM

Interesting information about Delta. GTI Travel is a preferred vendor of Delta.

Thomas Bivens's curator insight, September 11, 2015 11:49 AM

With the September 11th attacks on the United States, the airline industry suffered and Delta was no different. Many U.S. airlines filed for bankruptcy and Delta was well on its way to doing the same. The reconstruction plan called for the removal of 7,000 employees which is around 10% of the company's work force. In addition, one of the airline's biggest hubs, Dallas, cut 90% of its flights which led to the ultimate removal of Dallas as a hub all together. These plans improved the situation but led to a chapter 11 bankruptcy that was filed in 2005. Over time, things changed and the airline industry improved bringing Delta back into the game. This change led Delta Airlines to be one of the most successful and profitable airlines in the world.

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The Body Shop's Ruby Ad Campaign - An Example of Anti-Marketing Strategy

The Body Shop's Ruby Ad Campaign - An Example of Anti-Marketing Strategy | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Body Shop created the Ruby ad campaign which challenged the belief that beauty is directly related to size. Ruby, the size 16 campaign doll, challenged the stereotypes of the ideal woman for she looked like a Barbie doll of an average women.
Abey Francis's insight:

The Body Shop was and still is aware of the self- image debacle that women are constantly battling. After all, “to promote self-esteem”is one of their key values as a company. In 1997, they created the Ruby campaign which challenged the belief that beauty is directly related to size. Ruby, the size 16 campaign doll, challenged the stereotypes of the ideal woman for she looked like a Barbie doll of an average women.

 

With the slogan “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do” The Body Shop was able to connect to their consumers on a more intimate level for it allowed the customers to see that although this company is part of the cosmetics industry their definition and idea of beauty is not in agreement with the usual message that the industry displays.

 

“Ruby is the fruit of our long-established practice of challenging the way the cosmetic industry talks to women. The Ruby campaign is designed to promote the idea that The Body Shop creates products designed to enhance features, moisturize, cleanse, and polish, not to correct ‘flaws.’ The Body Shop philosophy is that there is real beauty in everyone. We are not claiming that our products perform miracles.’”-Randy Williamson, spokesperson for the Body Shop

 

This campaign was an eye-opener to the public for the Body Shop was one of the first companies to challenge image with Ruby. With all campaigns some can admire it while others disapprove as seen with Mattel, a toy company, who argued that Ruby created a bad image for Barbie and provided The Body Shop with a cease-and-desist order.

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Dell Social Media Strategy

Dell Social Media Strategy | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Dell is committed to improving overall level of customer service continuously which is 24×7 “always-on” customer service philosophy through social media and has made it a critical part of business strategy.
Abey Francis's insight:
 In June 2005, Jeff Jarvis unleashed a blog storm on Dell, exposing its challenges in customer service and support. Most of us are probably aware of this story, as it’s been used numerous times to illustrate Social Media disaster examples. However, the inspiring part about this story is how Dell used this experience to learn and implement valuable organization-wide changes in the way they support and engage with customers. 

Dell launched into several initiatives to improve its customer support structure on Social Media channels, including the blogs, forums and Twitter. In addition to providing additional support avenues, these channels also enable Dell customers to share ideas, provide feedback, share knowledge and interact with key stakeholders in the organization. In December 2010, Dell also launched its Social Media Listening Command Center, with the overarching objective to listen and learn from customers.

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IBM's Turnaround Under the Leadership of Lou Gerstner

IBM's Turnaround Under the Leadership of Lou Gerstner | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
“Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance” describes how Louis Gerstner lead the organizational turnaround at IBM when it was at the verge of extinction.
Abey Francis's insight:

Louis Gresner’s leadership style is marked by strong emotional intelligence and ability to lead people with passion and commitment.  We can see six different styles of leadership in Mr. Gersner- authoritative style, the affiliative, democratic, coaching, pacesetting and coercive styles, all demonstrated in varying strengths.

 

Grestner was able to resonate with employee emotions and have a shared desire to be a part of something effective and meaningful. This emotional resonance was established through leadership styles based on emotional intelligent acts. By establishing this connection and creating resonant teams and culture, Gersner was able to improvise and sustain it till his retirement. As an authentic leader he was able to influence work outcomes and organizational performance.

 

He was a man with convictions and followed his instincts. He was not carried away by what his critics said. He was more into fire fighting, a “fixit” personality who felt the urgent need to rescue IBM. His focus was on short-term strategies and did not set long-term strategic goals since he believed irreversible actions will bring radical shifts which may disrupt his turnaround efforts at IBM.

 

He was an avid observer and excellent problem solver. He could identify the emerging technological trends to shape new strategies. He understood the importance of customer and devised strategies to address their immediate needs and concerns.

 

Gersner followed a systematic approach to address business issues. In order to diagnose problems, he met customers, competitors, senior executives, financial analysts, and consultants to get a grip on outstanding issues. After learning about IBM’s strengths and weaknesses, he launched his turnaround plan.  Instead of focusing on grand vision, he motivated employees through business success which translated into job security and higher pay. He understood the immediate need to have open lines of communication with his employees and having candid feedback. As part of the grand vision, individuals executed tasks which made them an integral part of the transformation effort.

 

By being democratic, he sought alternatives and convinced others of the need to discontinue support for unattractive products. Gerstner gives credit to many people that were instrumental in the turnaround. He was coercive when he disbanded the management committee and relayed this news across the organization. His affiliative style of leadership resulted in building strong relationships amongst teams. This is reflected in his new set of management principles that reinforce teamwork and harmony.  He made employees equity holders of company to align them with company goals.

 

As a pace-setter, he showed strong faith and confidence in employee abilities and set high performance standards.

 

An authoritative style emerged when Mr. Gersner resorted to right sizing which may have created some negative impact (emotional dissonance) from the affected employees who were laid off.

 

Gersner could spot emerging talent and personally mentored them to lead new divisions within IBM. This was reflective of his coaching style of leadership. He shunned conservative approach and instead took huge risk in transforming IBM from a product-focused organization to a service-oriented, networking-led model organization.  Mr. Gersner played his style by gauging the readiness of his employees to foster change. He leveraged employee abilities and willingness to accomplish specific tasks.

 

As an effective leader, Mr. Gersner seamlessly shifted from one style to the other to garner best results possible. His repertory of leadership styles is extensive and he used them as the situation warranted to deliver positive outcomes.

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IBM's Social Media Adoption in Business

IBM's Social Media Adoption in Business | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
IBM employees can build their social presence, showcase their expertise, drive innovation and deliver business value through trust and people-centered digital experiences.
Abey Francis's insight:

Back in the early 1990s, IBM employees had access to collaborative systems on Mainframe, where employees could chat and comment on one another’s work. By 2000, IBM’s intranet had social elements like customized content and feedback options like chat and commenting. It also hosted online “jams” where tens of thousands of employees would talk about topics critical to IBM’s business.


IBM has centered its social strategy around content since the get-go. What’s interesting is that IBM doesn’t take a command-and-control approach to content. Some of its employees write for IBM blogs, while others have their own blogs. Platforms like Facebook are for distribution of content on areas like mobile analytics, data, smart storage, online support and more.


Topics for content vary, since IBM is in many different business markets. What all of the blog posts have in common is they aim to help readers make smarter business decisions and position IBM and its employees as thought leaders. 


“Like many companies in the early to mid-2000s, we started to see that the conversation online was that every company is going to be a media company,” said Ethan McCarty, director of social strategy and programs at IBM. “I’m not sure it played out like that for everyone, but we started to experiment with seeing what kind of content works on various platforms. No one knew. And I don’t just mean us IBMers. No one in the industry knew.”


While some companies have to run everything that goes out into the public past legal, that’s not the case with IBM. It isn’t cost effective and is definitely not efficient. Instead, the social team is fluent in IBM’s social media guidelines, and the company has even built a site with educational materials.


IBM’s content approach is very similar to a trade publication. It digs deep into trends, challenges and advancements in the industries it does business in. There are no hard sells or promotions. Positioning itself and staff as a thought leader is a means of building trust and credibility. Then, when the time comes to chose which company to do business with, IBM hopes, it will be top of mind.

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Dell's “Dude, You're Getting a Dell” Ad Campaign

Dell's “Dude, You're Getting a Dell” Ad Campaign | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
In the ‘‘Dude, You’re Getting a Dell’’ television commercials, Steven spoke most directly to parents who were purchasing computers for their high school and college-age kids.
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In 2002 Dell Inc. experienced its first-ever yearly decline in net revenue. In 2001 sales hit $31.9 billion, but the next year they fell to $31.2 billion. The drop in sales coincided with an overall decline in computer sales worldwide, and the mail-in computer giant was far from doomed. Still, it was at this time that Dell shifted its advertising approach, introducing its ‘‘Dude, You’re Getting a Dell’’ campaign in 2001. The advertisements starred Steven, a ‘‘surfer dude’’ teen, and were intended to attract high school and college students and their parents.

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Seinfeld Ad Campaign by Amex

Seinfeld Ad Campaign by Amex | Business Case Studies | Scoop.it
Amex's "‘The Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman’’ was widely considered one of the most innovative online campaigns at that time. Because of the campaign Adweek named American Express its Interactive Marketer of the Year for 2004.
Abey Francis's insight:

Although the American Express Company (AmEx) had built its brand on an idea of exclusionary ‘‘membership,’’ its elitist image proved a weak spot in the 1980s and 1990s, when competitors such as Visa and MasterCard eroded AmEx’s market share by positioning themselves as more convenient alternatives. One of the AmEx marketing moves meant to counteract the company’s outdated image was enlisting the comedian Jerry Seinfeld in 1992 as a collaborator on TV commercials that reproduced the observational comedy of his stand-up routine and of his NBC sitcom Seinfeld, which at the time had a devoted but comparatively small viewership. As Seinfeld became increasingly popular, AmEx heightened Seinfeld’s role in its marketing. Between 1995 and 2002 the comedian was a centerpiece of the credit-card giant’s American marketing efforts.

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