Essay on Harlequin Enterprises Case Analysis

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Harlequin Enterprises: The Mira Decision

Harlequin Enterprises has dominated the series romance fiction novel market since the 1970’s. Harlequin has fought off every major competitor in this genre and maintained consistent performance for multiple decades. Brand loyalty, worldwide production capabilities, production efficiencies, creative control, and distribution are the strengths that Harlequin utilizes to dominate the series romance genre.

Having a consistent product has helped Harlequin establish a loyal customer base with over 70 million readers worldwide. Surveys indicate that four out of five readers continue to purchase Harlequin books the next year. To keep creativity at a high level Harlequin utilizes over 1,300 authors
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According to Donna Hayes, VP Direct Marketing, “our strengths lie in series romance.” While harlequin series romance sales have increases roughly 9% in five years, single title romance book sales have increased over 35% in the same period.

Harlequin has failed in previous attempts to enter the single title romance market. Their Worldwide Library single title romance program was shut down after two years on the market. A result of the Worldwide Library shutdown was the exodus of many of their popular authors. Many of these authors started their careers with Harlequin but left for other high profile single title publishers willing to pay large amounts to win over the authors.

Deciding if Harlequin has a competitive advantage can be looked at from two angles both providing different results. In the series romance genre Harlequin certainly has maintained a competitive advantage over the years. It has consistently been the only player in the market as other publishers have tried and failed at the genre. Harlequin has been able to produce higher revenues and growth within this genre better than any other publisher. As previously discussed, it maintains the most sophisticated distribution system and global author team.

That is where Harlequin’s competitive advantage ends. In the overall romance novel market Harlequin does not possess a competitive advantage. The series romance
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