Nissan is a famous automobile manufacturing company which was founded in 1933. After the Second World War, Nissan expanded its operations globally. Nissan was very well known for its advanced engineering and technology, plant productivity and quality management. However, during the previous decade, Nissan management has emphasized on short-term market share growth, instead of profitability or long-term strategic success. Nissan’s designs had not reflected customer opinion. In addition, Nissan managers tended to put retained earnings into keiretsu investing (equity of suppliers), rather than reinvesting in new product designs as other competitors did. These inappropriate strategies combining with the Asian crisis influence on a devaluation of the yen led Nissan to the edge of bankruptcy. Nissan was in need of a strategic partner that could lend both financing and new management ideas to foster a turnaround. Furthermore, Nissan sought to expand into other regions where it had less presence. In order to turn around as soon as possible, Nissan found an opportunity and created a strategic alliance with Renault who was also looking for a partner to reduce its dependence on the European market and enhance its global position.
In 1999 Nissan was incurring losses in seven of the prior eight years, which led to the hiring of a new CEO, Carlos Ghosn, being the first non Japanese CEO, had to face a huge culture clash (French-Japanese) so that he could be able to redefine the company’s structure to ultimately enhance its performance in a maximum period of two years. Although he intensively addressed cultural issues, taking under consideration the specifications about Japanese culture norms, he also incurred few risky decisions that could have worked against the process, risking the employee’s engagement process.… Read the rest
American Express had built its reputation as a prestigious charge card. In 1976 the company began its famed ‘‘Do You Know Me?’’ campaign in which celebrities ranging from dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov to puppeteer Jim Henson appeared in ads that pictured them and an AmEx Green Card bearing their names. In 1987 the ‘‘Portraits’’ campaign followed a similar formula. By aligning the brand with stars, AmEx cultivated the notion that carrying one of its cards was more akin to joining an elite country club than making a financial transaction. As later ads sniffed, ‘‘membership has its privileges.’’ In the 1980s, however, AmEx’s careful positioning began to backfire. According to Brandweek, while AmEx ‘‘clung to its old, elite ways,’’ the credit card industry went through monumental changes. With so many cards vying for consumers’ attention, Visa and MasterCard (specifically, the member banks that comprised the Visa and MasterCard consortia) began to cross-market with various businesses so they could offer incentives to consumers. For instance, by teaming up with airlines, Visa and MasterCard could entice consumers to charge purchases with the promise of frequent-flier miles. Moreover, companies such as AT&T and GM allied themselves with the Visa and MasterCard brands and began to peddle cards that tied in to phone service or car purchases. But while the entire industry became hyper-segmented, AmEx continued to sell itself on its reputation alone and lost market share as a result. Also damaging was Visa’s 1987 launch of an attack campaign that stressed Visa’s global acceptance by featuring countless businesses that declined to take American Express.… Read the rest
In 1987 Eli Lilly and Company won U.S. approval to sell Prozac, the first among a class of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that treated clinical depression by elevating levels of serotonin—a chemical believed crucial to regulating mood—in the brain. Prozac’s effectiveness and lack of side effects compared to existing medications for depression revolutionized not only the way mental illness was treated by psychiatrists but also the way it was perceived by the public. By 1992, when Pfizer and SmithKline Beecham introduced their own SSRIs, Zoloft and Paxil, respectively, depression had lost much of its stigma in the United States. In the following years SSRIs became one of the best-selling prescription drug categories.
For its first several years on the market, Paxil remained in third place among SSRIs, and SmithKline Beecham set its sights on new markets for the drug. In the mid-1990s Paxil won FDA approval for the treatment of anxiety-related conditions like panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Though these markets led to substantial growth for the brand, it was the FDA’s approval of Paxil in 1999 as a treatment for a little-known condition called social anxiety disorder that gave the drug its first significant advantage over competitors. Social anxiety disorder, or debilitating shyness, was a condition that, according to SmithKline Beecham, affected as many as 10 million Americans, and Paxil was the only FDA-approved treatment. SmithKline Beecham was aided in its attempt to reach this untapped market by an easing of FDA regulations in 1997 that governed the advertising of prescription drugs.… Read the rest
Founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, this urban merchant’s bank continued to expand and diversify its services over the next century. The bank changed its name to Citibank, N.A. (National Association), in 1976, following its parent holding company’s change to Citicorp. In 1998 Citicorp and the Travelers Group completed a $76 billion merger to form Citigroup, Inc. Citicorp was at the time the second-largest commercial bank, and Travelers Group was a leading international insurance/investment banking firm. The Citicorp-Travelers merger thus represented a new era of horizontal expansion. Citigroup then began an acquisition spree that included acquiring in 2002 Golden State Bancorp (the parent company of First Nationwide Mortgage and California Federal Bank), a move that added 352 branches and approximately 1.5 million new customers to Citigroup. By then the company was well on its way to having 3,000 bank branches and consumer-finance offices in the United States and Canada, plus an additional 1,500 locations worldwide.
The terrorist strikes of September 11, 2001, initiated changes in American opinions regarding finances. While Americans were left reordering their priorities to allow more time at home with family, Citibank was creating a ‘‘new standard’’ in consumer retail banking. ‘‘In a down economy people want to hear that money isn’t important,’’ said Al Ries, chairman of Ries & Ries, a marketing consultancy in Atlanta, Georgia. Though the market research for the ‘‘Live Richly’’ campaign had been completed prior to 9/11, Citibank, with its simple and reassuring ads, benefited from consumers fears of corporate layoffs and the stock-market instabilities of a down economy.… Read the rest
Bob Parsons sold his first successful company, Parsons Technology, in 1994, and in 1997 he used the proceeds to start a new company, Jomax Technologies. Unsatisfied with the Jomax name, Parsons and his staff came up with the more arresting moniker Go Daddy. As Parsons told Wall Street Transcripts, the name worked ‘‘because the domain name GoDaddy.com was available, but we also noticed that when people hear that name, two things happen. First, they smile. Second, they remember it.’’ After an unsuccessful attempt to establish the company as a source for website-building software, Parsons reinvented Go Daddy as a registrar of Internet domain names, buying unused website names and then reselling them to individuals and businesses in need of an online presence. Go Daddy also offered auxiliary services and products enabling customers to launch their sites after the domain-name purchase, including (as in the company’s early days) software for building sites. Domain-name registration, however, was a burgeoning industry as America became increasingly wired and more and more businesses found it essential to establish a Web presence. By 2004 Go Daddy had sold nearly seven million domain names and was the world’s leading registrar of domain names. Up to that point the company had done little marketing, relying primarily on word-of-mouth buzz and low prices; Go Daddy offered domain names for $8.95, compared with fees of $35 at the industry’s high end.
In late 2004 Go Daddy enlisted New York agency the Ad Store for its first sustained offline advertising campaign. The company announced that the campaign would make its TV debut during the 2005 Super Bowl, a move that drew widespread criticism, partly because of the recent history of Super Bowl advertising undertaken by dot-com companies.… Read the rest
BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft) is one of the world’s leading luxury carmakers. Founded and based in the Germany, BMW group employed over 100,000 people, making and distributing a series of successful, premium-priced passenger cars and motorcycles. In addition to its manufacturing operations, BMW also provides financial services to support its worldwide sales and distribution of cars and motorcycles.
BMW was initially established to build aero engines during the First World War. By 1945, company was still country’s leading aero engine manufacturer. But by 1928, BMW has also started making cars, when it got the license. It was later when BMW became one the biggest automobiles maker in Germany. But after the Second World War, company was laid into ruins. The demand for aero engines subsequently disappeared. Its factories and other capital equipment, which were located in area now controlled by Soviets, were under serious threat. At this point of time company was not sure about its future and started concentrating on automobiles production. But in 1959, company went into financial turmoil, when it faced bankruptcy. In this hard time, company found a savior in the face of Herbert Quandt, who emerged as a powerful share holder by taking over the 50% share of the company. In BMW group’s history the turning point was 1961, when it launched BMW 1500, which soon got BMW brand, the reputation of an excellent engineering company. Now a day, BMW enjoys the ownership of three quality brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce motor cars.
In 2000 BMW posted total sales of $33 billion, a slight decrease from its 1999 earnings of $34 billion.… Read the rest