Case Studies

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w. wi l ey .c om/ c o l le ge / aak CASE 5-1 Barkley Foods Joyce Stevenson, the manager of marketing research for Barkley Foods, had just left an emergency meeting with the firm’s president. An opportunity to buy an established line of gourmet (high-quality/high-priced) frozen dinners had arisen. Because there were other interested buyers, a decision had to be made within three or four weeks. This decision depended on judgments about the future prospects of the gourmet frozen dinner market and whether Barkley could achieve a competitive advantage. The marketing research group was asked to provide as much useful information as possible within a 10-day period. Although uncomfortable with the time pressure involved, Joyce was…show more content…
Its largest product areas were canned tomato products, frozen orange juice, cake mixes, and yogurt. Barkley was known to have strengths in operations (product preparation), distribution (obtaining distribution and managing the shelves), and advertising. Their brands typically held a solid second-place position in the supermarket. There was no effort at umbrella brand identification, so each product area was carried by its own brand. Joyce Stevenson had previously been in strategic planning, and reviewed the type of information and analysis that would be required to support a strategic decision like this one. She wrote down the following four sets of questions to guide the thinking of the research group: 1. Market analysis ■ What are the size, current growth rate, and projected growth rate of the industry and its relevant subsets (such as ethnic dinners) for the next five and ten years? ■ What are the important industry trends? ■ What are the emerging production technologies? ■ What are the distribution trends? ■ What are current and future success factors (a competitive skill or asset needed to compete successfully)? 2. Environmental analysis ■ What demographic, cultural, economic, or governmental trends or events could create strategic threats or opportunities? ■ What major environmental scenarios (plausible stories about the future) can be conceived? 3. Customer analysis ■ What are the major segments? ■ What are their motivations and unmet

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