Best Practice Cases in Branding There are fifteen in-depth case studies in the Best Practice Cases in Branding supplementary text, each of which can support one — or even parts of two — class sessions. Moreover, many of these fifteen written cases are supplemented by a 10-20 minute video that contains additional information and interviews with key company sources for the case. In general, the written cases are fairly easy to teach and can provoke much student involvement. They can be a valuable addition to your course. The written cases are somewhat different, however, from the typical HBS cases and therefore work best with a slightly different teaching approach. This introductory note describes the recommended general approach to teaching these cases. Detailed specific case notes are provided for each of the fifteen cases. Additional information on the video cases can be found on the Prentice-Hall web site. Some PowerPoint slides with graphics that may be useful in teaching the case can also be found on the web site.
The main difference between these cases and traditional HBS cases is that HBS cases often have a strong decision focus – a certain set of actions that must be evaluated and enacted. The text cases here have a different approach. They concentrate on major brands with which students are generally familiar, review much historical background, and provide detailed information on one particular branding issue, event, or strategy. By and large, the marketers of these brands have done much “right” and, as such, the cases have much more of a “best practice” flavor than may be found in other types of cases. For that reason, student learning from reading the cases alone can often be quite rich and beneficial, and students appreciate the opportunity to learn about high profile brands and companies. Nevertheless, the in-class experience can add extra dimensions as specific topics can be expanded on and additional learning can occur. Thus, discussion with these cases does not aim towards resolution of a marketing problem or opportunity as much as with the HBS cases but instead covers a lot of ground to make a series of important points about branding in general and one particular brand in the process. The video cases can also help in this regard. The basic breakdown of the cases is 1/3 review of case material, 1/3 lessons about branding in general; and 1/3 about next steps and new development for the brand. The videos can be shown in their entirety at the beginning or end of class or shown in segments at different times during the case discussion.
These written cases can, of course, be supplemented by HBS cases, which deal with more specific branding topics (some of which will be highlighted below). The purpose of these teaching notes is to provide you with useful background to organize your teaching of the cases. Given the high profile nature of the brands that are the focus of these cases, it will make sense to update the case with current events and developments that students will find of interest.
These cases represent best practices from a variety of industries, from fast-moving consumer goods to high-tech and online brands to service brands. The cases often include information about global branding issues faced by the companies, with two cases (Nivea and Red Bull) focusing primarily on Europe. The brand management topics covered in the cases will help the reader understand how to:
Brand a new product (even if it is a commodity or ingredient)
Employ new marketing approaches to build brand equity and brand loyalty
Expand a brand into new geographical markets and channels
Establish a brand hierarchy and introduce brand extensions
Collectively, these cases provide a comprehensive overview of the strategic brand management process and corresponding best practice guidelines. Each of the fifteen cases also yields valuable specific lessons on how to build and manage brand equity.
Intel: Building a Technology Brand
This case concerns the marketing efforts by Intel to build brand equity in the face of a lawsuit preventing trademark protection for their X86 microprocessor series. Intel had to determine how to name its new generation of microprocessors, as well as how to establish competitive advantages and consumer preference for its microprocessor lines. A number of issues are raised concerning the development of an effective branding strategy.
The case also addresses Intel’s expansion of its business beyond PC microprocessors and the various branding strategies the company employed. After being criticized for a “lack of focus”, Intel decided clean-up its product line and limit its focus on microprocessors, servers, mobile devices, and networking equipment. As a result, the company deployed a “platform strategy” and introduced a bundle of products, including its new “Centrino” processor along with other chips designed for wireless communication.
Despite its success in the microprocessor business, Intel recognized that the PC market growth is slow and competition from AMD is becoming fiercer. As a result, Intel’s stock price declined significantly and required immediate action. The new management decided to launch a new brand strategy that attempts to reposition Intel as a “warm and fizzy consumer company.” The new campaign is based on a new logo, and new slogan (Leap Ahead), and new platform (Intel Viiv) and four specific target markets. Will this campaign help the brand achieve renewed success?
Class discussion can revolve around the following questions that students should consider before class:
What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Intel Inside campaign?
Evaluate Intel’s continued use of the Pentium family of processors. Did Intel make the right decision by extending the name through the Pentium 4 processor?
Suppose you were the Chief Marketing Officer for AMD. How would you propose the company position itself to better compete with Intel? Would you propose that AMD institute an Inside-like ad campaign?
Evaluate Intel’s segmentation strategy. Is having a good/better/best product line (Celeron, Pentium, Xeon) the best positioning for Intel? Should it discontinue a line(s) and focus on the other(s)?
In light of Intel’s move into the “digital home,” did the company’s executives make the right decision in launching an entirely new brand identity? Did it make the right decision in changing a 37-year-old Intel logo and dropping the Intel Inside campaign for Leap Ahead? What other marketing strategies might the company employ?
Intel moved into consumer-electronics products, such as digital cameras in 2000, only to withdraw after receiving complaints from OEMs such as Dell. Does Intel face a similar issue with its move into the “digital home?” Does this move too far outside Intel’s core competency of producing microprocessors?