The hardest part for a modern business is to create a brand which is known, trusted and admired by the nation. It is a process which can take decades to get right. However, we have to keep in mind that the brand image can be destroyed in a matter of days.
Currently, the company Marks & Spencer is one of the most well known retailers in the UK, with around 21 million people visiting its stores each week. The group developed its business on several segments like clothing and food. In the 2000s, its strategy was not well implemented, and customer's needs were misunderstood. These aspects caused a decline of the brand.
In this case study, we will initially examine the issues faced by M&S in 2004. In the second section, we will present the different advantages of the recovery plan. To conclude, we will evoke the new strategy assessment and the new directives for 2012.
In 2004, the M&S brand slowly began to go downhill. Its customer relationships and sales regressed. Why did it suddenly all start to go wrong? According to the document, this decline is partly due to an uncontrolled diversification strategy; M&S was targeting too many segments and failing to understand the customer needs. Furthermore, in accordance to a BBC article, the brand was producing poor quality clothing, and credit cards were sometimes not allowed during payment.
Moreover, a major event in the company was the entry of Stuart Rose in May 2004 as the new CEO. He came to turn around the flagging fortunes of the company. The billionaire Philip Green, who worked in Arcadia Group, offered to purchase the company. Regarding these difficulties, M&S began negotiations with its suppliers with the aim of reducing its annual 149 million euro expenses.
It was one of strategies proposed by Stuart Rose. A lot of changes occurred with the departure of some managers (director of the clothing and the furnishing, the marketing director). In addition, M&S saw its image damaged even more because the president was accused of possible insider trading by the authority of financial services.
[...] Marks & Spencer has a wide variety of competitors, from the main supermarket groups, to specialist fashion and home-wear retailers. Part In order to face these several issues, M&S set up a new plan called the “Plan As you certainly know, the environmental and social responsibilities are part of the obligations any company has to face. An organization has to protect and enhance the environment in which it functions. The first notion of corporate social responsibility appeared in the USA half a century ago. [...]
[...] The company wanted to be a forerunner by offering new and innovative products, for example “ready meals or machine washable wool”. Moreover, according to the document, M&S has developed socially responsible business strategies. This has helped the company to create good relations with suppliers. This included a set of global sourcing principles, the development of long term partnerships with suppliers, a process of social auditing and verification and a commitment to continuous improvement, with sanctions being applied when standards were not met. [...]
[...] That is why companies have to develop new processes concerning the hazardous wastes or ordinary garbage in order to reduce the global warming. This phenomenon will be accentuated by the Fair Trade project. This is the name given to a program which ensures a fair price for customers, for manufacturers and the simultaneous development of small farmers from developing countries. By purchasing fair trade products, people will gain the feeling of having contributed to the well being of the farmers and workers. [...]
[...] It has introduced a community program: “Marks & Start”. It is country's largest company-led work experience program”. Regarding healthy lifestyle of 12 goals have been achieved. M&S always tries to follow the trend of healthy food, and be more and more involved in this segment. To conclude, M&S has experienced a decline. However, by launching new strategies, the corporation has addressed several issues. The plan A has begun to pay dividends, by improving the relationships with its customers, employees and suppliers. [...]
[...] In addition, M&S spends money on training; this helps in obtaining more qualified and more efficient workers. Thus, a real pay-off investment is realized. Thirdly, the online-service will help to restore good relationships with the consumers as it affords an opportunity to provide them premium facility. It is important for the customer to be heard and know that their opinions are valued. However, it is also a very powerful marketing tool for the brand can identify the likes and dislikes of its consumers. [...]
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