During the intensive week, each group was given a case to analyze and was expected to present on the last day of Dr. Anibaba’s class. We were told that she could call out anyone from the group to give the presentation so everyone was expected to be prepared. I would like to assume that the reason for this group work was to see how we worked as a team. My group was given the United cereals case. We all agreed that everyone read the case and come back to analyze it during our usual group meeting. It was an interesting read. United cereals is a food manufacturing company established in 1941 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Initially a breakfast cereal organization, UC eventually diversified into snack foods, dairy products, drinks and beverages, frozen foods, and baked goods. Lora Brill became the new European vice president in 2006. She is responsible for all major product launches in each European country and reports to UC headquarters in Kalamazoo. In the aftermath of the 2008/2009 recession, Brill needed to significantly reduce marketing costs as this was currently the largest controllable expense.
Unlike most cases we analyze, this one had two problem statements, during our group meeting we had to agree that there was no set rule that a case must have one problem statement. So we agreed to go with the thought process of the protagonist in the case which was Lora Brill. She plans to unify a Eurobrand as opposed to each European country manufacturing its product. Thereby reducing the cost of advertisement and other additional costs. France could not wait for her to carry out the rigorous UC process of meticulously testing the products for a couple of months, sometimes years, before a product is available in the market. They had carried out their research across six cities within France and had a 64% chance of success. They were convinced that they should go ahead and launch so they do not lose the market to their biggest competitor Kelloggs and well as the market share to other small companies. She was in a dilemma, should she allow France to go ahead with the launch of their product or use the French product to launch her eurobrand. We all agreed on a common objective which was to optimize United Cereal’s European product marketing expense.
At this point, we knew we had our objective and problem statements, so we needed to back them up with facts from the case. So everyone started to come up with key criteria for and against the criteria. The next course of action was to have it in a PowerPoint presentation format to be presented in class in next day
To be continued