Marketing, branding, strategic management, online retailing, and entrepreneurship.
Postgraduate courses in: strategic management; marketing management (branding); and entrepreneurship.
The case describes the founding and the first year of an Estonian internet start-up, the “deal-of-the-day” web site Cherry.ee. The focal topic of the case is the analysis of alternative scenarios for the further development of the company after the first year in business: selling the company, entering into a merger with similar businesses, or continuing to develop the brand independently. The case gives an example of creating a new market, introducing a new business model and launching a brand with substantial use of social media marketing. The successful business model was quickly copied by a lot of followers creating a fierce competitive environment and raising a question of sustainability of the competitive advantage. The case provides an opportunity to discuss how to strategically handle the development of a growing start-up company in an increasingly competitive market environment.
Expected learning outcomes
Understanding the critical success factors and potential pitfalls for an internet start-up; developing skills to critically analyze the concept of sustainable competitive advantage; comprehension of the main factors influencing the strategic decision on whether to follow a growth, cooperation, or exit strategy; and awareness of the relative advantages of online and offline marketing and understanding how social media strategies can be used to build a brand.
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