New Balance Case study Essay

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New Balance: Outrunning the Competition
Introduction
After reading the case study for New Balance I see a brand with great potential. A brand that has staunch traditional values and customer satisfaction as its primary priority.

Question 1: What are New Balance’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities?
SWOT ANALYSIS
STRENGTHS
Good Management structure e.g. Van Rooyen the general manager
Wide range of products across every sporting category
Functional technological design in terms of fit. Foot widths have been incorporated in the design of the shoe. This distinguishes/ differentiates New Balance product from its competitors.
Brand has been kept affordable in terms of price
Inspired well-taken care of employees who
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The company can be both bigger and better.
THREATS
The sportswear industry is growing and becoming more competitive so the will be new producers and entries in the market with new ‘’aces up their sleeves’’. More competition in the market
Sales on the technical running market have been on the decline according to (exhibit 1) in the New Balance Case Study, and this is New Balances’ stronghold.
Becoming myopic and not scanning the periphery. Not seeing that there are gaps in the market and focussing mainly on running.
Not considering fashion focussed brands such as Puma as competition. This is a myopic trait of assuming indispensability

Summary
Much of the strengths of New Balance lie in the quality of their product and the good relationships they have with their retailers/ distributers. Their weaknesses are in that they are too focussed on the functionality of product, whereas the market is constantly changing and they need to be evolving with the market. Opportunities lie in the diversification of the product and making it more contemporary. They also need to employ stronger marketing techniques.

Question 2: Would you consider New Balance a niche player in the athletic footwear industry

New balance is a niche player with regards to their marketing technique. They utilised niche marketing strategies that the bigger firms overlooked.
1. Van Rooyen
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