Castlebridge Case Study Assignment
Castlebridge Case Study Assignment is based on the fashion store of London “Castlebridge & Company” which is maker of outer wears emphasizing high quality and essence of British culture. The store is famous all over world because of its high quality products which are designed by the British designers to cater the needs of people craving for British fashion. Most of the manufacturing of its product has been moved to offshore but still it’s headquarter is in London itself (Fenton & Pettigrew, 2000).
The company CEO is an American Mary Crane which has very less experience of british culture and fashion product life cycle. One more character is Fergus who is a member of board of director of Castlebridge & Company. The unique selling proposition of the company is “Britishness” which the company proclaims to capture with the manufacturing of every product.
The Castlebridge Case Study Assignment focuses on the crisis which is being faced by the Castlebridge & Company. All the domestic manufacturing units of his company have been closed and the last factory is destined to be closed. But there is lot of criticism being faced by the company while closing the last factory (Fiedler, 1967). Everyone is arguing that the Castlebridge is known as the face of British fashion for years and the product purchased by the customers is only because of the essence of “britishness” which a customer demands. The closure of the factory will dilute the brand image of the Castlebridge & Company thus throwing the company into the state of identity crisis.
To control all the issues which have aroused because of this event, CEO and board of directors have contemplated many business strategies. CEO has suggested donating the factory land to the factory workers and thus empowering them to do anything they wanted on that land. Thus this will lead to CSR activity by the company letting this company to regain the trust and national credibility. But the confusion within the board was that whether to go for margin increase by the company or preserving the national interest. Preserving national interest will enhance the credibility but will decline the profitability of the company (Frenkel, Tam, Korczynski & Shire, 1998).
The off shoring of the manufacturing to countries like China, India or Malaysia will decrease the cost of production as the labor is very cheap in these countries. But the label which is attached “Made in China” or “Made in Malaysia” reduces the brand trust and thus reducing the credibility of loyal customers. Thus off shoring will not only reduce the number of repeat purchases but also it will decline the brand equity globally.
Because of this offshore manufacturing, the Castlebridge & Company has increased its margin all over again. But there are several repercussions like reduced rate of repeat purchases, declining customer satisfaction and switching of loyal customers to other brands. Also the brand is facing resistance in their country as well on the form of media coverage and protests. This has also affected the image of the company (Gasper, 1992). The company is losing its hold in the domestic market and also the chance is emerging for competitors to outperform Castlebridge & Company. The American CEO is not focused towards sustaining the Brand image of British culture. This strategy will lead to the loss of high value domestic customers because they will not find products of Castlebridge & Company as attractive any more. The top management was confused regarding the definition of “Britishness” and how to sustain the USP of the brand. They knew the fact that Chinese craftsman were far better than present tailors of Britain and can produce high worth British products.
To step out from this crisis, there are many strategies prevalent which companies adopt while they enter the global market. Some of the strategies are (Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey, 1988):
- Think Global, Act Global
- Think Global, Act Local
- Think Local, Act Local
These are the strategies which are used by the companies while they enter the new markets across the geography. Castlebridge & Company has to continue its brand image of “Britishness” with its product. Thus they have to continue to shift its product manufacturing from Yorkshire to some developing country to increase the profitability of the company. The perception of the customers regarding the English product will be captured by labeling the product as “Designed in England”. This strategy will definitely carry the image of “Britishness” with its products and at the same time it will provide the required margin and profit for the sustainability of the company (Hecksher, 1994).
Just relying on the fact that increasing the base of loyal domestic customers, will not increase the profitability of the company. Main objective of every company is to increase the shareholders value. Thus the organizational goal of Castlebridge & Company should be project the brand as a global brand and communicate the brand image more effectively. Just preserving the national interest will not enhance the shareholder value.
If given an opportunity to solve this problem, the primary step would be to eradicate the conflict and resistance which has aroused in the country. It can be done by doing some CSR activities thus helping the citizens to believe in the company. The employees and workers should not be fired but the company should help in providing some jobs to the worker which will contribute towards working of Castlebridge & Company.
Read about Strategic Marketing Assignment
The second step would be starting a marketing campaign in the country and several other countries where the products of Castlebridge & Company is sold. Marketing objective of this campaign would be to focus on the qualities of the products of this brand and the essence of British culture in the products manufacture by this firm (Allinson, 1999). The target segment of this campaign would be the potential and existing customers of Castlebridge & Company. The touch points for the campaign would be through internet, print media and television media. While communicating the message to the target audience, the company should not lose focus on the core values and beliefs.
Third step would be to organizational communication. Organization communication is very necessary because it helps in transmitting the clear and transparent information to the employees from the top management. The organizational communication not only makes an emotional bonding with the company but the performance efficiency of the workers also increases. This will help in increasing the productivity of the employees and workers and help them contribute in the success of the organization. The organization structure should be flat and organic. This type of structure makes workers feel more comfortable in the working environment and they are sufficiently empowered to take part in decision making.
Thus implementing all these strategies in the same steps as described earlier will help the Castlebridge & Company to sustain its brand image of “Britishness” and increase the margin. Thus off shoring will not cause any problem in the future (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis, 2005). Off shoring will reduce the operational cost and thus the profit and customer base of the company will increase.
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