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Case study - Mirror Morror on the wall

Words : 3000
    Assignment Title: - “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...”
    Background Reading.
    We live in a society obsessed with fairness. Fairness has become synonymous to beautiful.
    The fairness creams market in India is estimated to be steadily growing at 10-15%. Even
    when most of us know that skin colour is genetic and fairness creams cannot change a
    person’s natural skin colour, how come we are seeing a phenomenal growth for such
    products? Advertisers are successful in making us believe that the impossible is possible
    and the wonder creams do make you a ‘Snow White’.
    According to the fairness cream ads you have to be fair in order to be happy, successful,
    and confident, attract men/women and even get your dream job. Many people are seen to be
    using these fairness creams for years without any result. Skin color is genetic. Sometimes
    due to environmental factors one’s skin color may change. These environmental factors can
    be taken care of by using sunscreens or anti tanning creams and also there are simple home
    remedies which can be done; but if you were born with a dark complexion you can’t become
    ‘a white fairy’ by applying these fairness creams. Every day you just witness the opposite in
    If you notice in all the fairness cream ads, Fairness is linked to confidence. The girl has a
    total personality change after using the fairness creams. These ads give off the impression
    that one is less attractive and desirable if they have a dark complexion. It has been proven
    over period of time that fair creams do not make one fair. They might control tanning and
    they might prevent your skin from getting darker by preventing melanin secretion. Most
    fairness creams contain bleaching agents and they might do more harm than good.
    Advertisers make false claims that their products do not contain bleaching agents and it’s
    safe to use and skin friendly too.
    Almost all the fairness creams claim that they have ‘special scientific ingredients’. This is
    nothing but a marketing technique. By putting ‘sounds-good-but–confusing’ words like
    “unique fairness vitamins”, “enriched with triple sunscreen”, “locks in fairness ingredients”, on
    the product cover they purposefully confuse consumers. They make tall claims like “it
    contains revolutionary Tri-fair vitamin complex”. Whatever could this revolution of ‘tri- fair
    vitamin complex’ be?
    Parts of above text adapted from:
    A survey was conducted in 2010 to explore the potential product performance and effects of
    television advertisements for fairness creams in Pakistan. The survey found that fairness
    creams’ television ads overstate the product benefits and cause substantial side effects.
    Dr. Ikram Ullah, Head of Dermatology Department, Pims, explained: “Skin whitening creams
    usually contain skin bleaching chemicals such as steroids, mercury salts etc.
    Products that use substantial chemicals, it is ethically incumbent upon advertisers not to
    make false or misleading claims and also to mention all possible side effects. But given that
    most manufacturers of such products are simply in the business to make money, such full
    disclosure cannot be expected without strict law enforcement by the government.
    Awareness is the key to fight this problem. While regulation of such misleading
    advertisements is ideal, the consumers themselves should investigate the authenticity of the
    product before exposing themselves to such strong chemicals.
    Parts of above text adapted from:
    Advertisements for fairness creams have over the years been accused of being
    discriminatory, sexist, racist, but rarely do we realize that they are guilty of something that is
    far more serious, misleading and completely false propaganda. Dermatologists will tell you
    that no cream has the magic to alter the natural colour of your skin. And yet, there are far too
    many creams to choose from, often recommended by friends, family, even casual
    "Not all the so-called branded 'fairness creams' are dangerous," says Dr. KoushikLahiri,
    editor of the Indian Journal of Dermatology and a consulting dermato-surgeon based in
    "In most of the cases they are harmless and without any effect. The problem arises when the
    cream contains a powerful steroid. Steroid is a chemical which when used judicially (for skin
    diseases like psoriasis) can yield excellent results. But that has to be done strictly under the
    supervision of a dermatologist.
    It all boils down to a simple question we must ask ourselves: Is white skin really worth the
    fuss and the heartache? Perhaps the time has come for us to purge ourselves of prejudices.
    And remember, always approach a dermatologist to resolve any skin problems. Never self-
    medicate, because a little knowledge can truly be a dangerous thing!
    Parts of above text adapted from:
    The Assignment
    Assignment Title: - “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...”
    In Sri Lanka, we too have our locally produced ‘Fairness’ applications. The local companies
    too have established their brands and equally captured their markets for these products.
    With Sri Lanka’s historical Ayurveda recipes and valuable local herbal resources, Sri Lankan
    personal care products have established a loyal customer base.
    Tasks to be carried out for the assignment
    Given the above background, and your own awareness of these products, you are expected
    to take as examples, two (02) Sri Lankan brands of (locally manufactured) Fairness
    Research and study their organizations, products, distribution, branding and pricing
    strategies. You may also need to carry out a survey on consumer awareness, pricing and
    preferences to provide your findings and conclusions to the following:
    Task 1. Driving Brands for Results – DBR
    Brand Equity
    Aker’s Brand Equity Ten, Associations, Awareness, Elements, Equity, Identity, Image,
    Knowledge, Loyalty, Meaning, Brand Resonance Pyramid Model, Resonance, Response,
    Measuring Brand Equity with specific focus on Brand Strength (brand association in the
    customer mind)
    You will need to clearly understand and show:
    Using Aker’s Model of measuring Brand Equity provides your findings for one of the
    You will need to effectively evaluate the brand equity of awareness measures, loyalty
    measures, perceived quality, and Associations/differentiation measures. You are NOT
    expected to find out or discuss ‘Market behavior measures’. Please provide
    recommendations and suggestions where necessary, to support your observations.
    Task 2.Synergysing Marketing Communications - SMC
    Key Words: Deceptive, Puffery, Substantiation, Ethics and Advertising, Social Responsibility,
    Unsafe Products, Offensive Advertisements, Brand Infringement.
    By studying the current communications strategies and understanding the target
    audiencesof these products;
    Recommend an effective Positioning Strategy that in your view could be followed to
    positively affect consumer-perception of the product.
    Show the Perceptual maps for both products along with your analysis and interpretations.
    Recommend and comment suitable Pull – Push Profile to be followed.
    Finally, briefly discuss how the concepts of ethics, morals and social responsibility
    apply to these products, given the background and current thinking. You may also want to
    build this into your research / survey.
    All your recommendations and comments need to be fully justified and backed by
    evidence of research or other analytical studies done into understanding how the
    communications strategy for these products is done.
    Task 3 . Finance for Effective Marketing - FEM
    Study and understand how pricing is done for these products.
    Key words: Price sensitivity, Price Perception, Quality, Intermediaries, Competitors,
    Suppliers, Inflation, Uniqueness, Incomes, Product Range, inelastic demand, elastic
    demand, very elastic demand, price sensitivity, Ethics and substitute products.
    Pricing Decisions:
    Identify and comment on the various factors that could be affecting the pricing policy of these
    Show the product life cycle of these products and relate how the current pricing is done
    according to the PLC.
    Identify and show:
    The price elasticity of demand for these products.
    Show if current pricing is set correctly and;
    Show if you agree with it (and why) – If you do not agree with the current pricing, discuss
    your views and decision on how pricing should be set accordingly–Your views on this should
    be made with justifiable reasoning.
    Task 4. Managing Sales & Distribution - MSD
    Key words: Strategy formulation, strategy development and execution, sales management
    activity, clear mission statement, sales people, sales managers, corporate mission
    statements, simple, communicated, complete.
    Visit the websites of both companies you are studying, check customer reviews, vision &
    mission statements and comment on following with recommendations;
    Corporate strategy and the sales function
    Corporate mission:
    Discuss the Corporate Missions of the organizations – do they provide direction for strategy
    development and execution throughout the organization? Do you feel this has a direct effect
    on sales management of the companies? Are they simple, complete and communicated to
    salespeople? Express company’s values succinctly and easy to understand and adopt by
    Business Strategy and the sales function
    Based on Porter’s generic business strategies as a model, which strategy do you feel
    these companies are following? (Low cost, differentiation or niche?)
    Depending on what strategy you identify, show the competitive advantages that you see
    them enjoying and the effects this could have on the organizations.
    Organizational Structure:
    Choose one organization out of the two you have studied and show what their current
    organizational structure is. Identify the type of Organizational Structure that is being used -
    (Geographic, Product Sales, Market Sales, and Functional Sales Organizations).
    Give your observations, views and any recommendations you may make to either modify
    the structure (if necessary) with Justifiable reasons.


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