This case is about a food brand with franchisee stores which has implemented a brand change initiative in the Indian emerging market.
This case is suitable for MBA level students in courses like strategic brand management, marketing in emerging markets and retail management. Issues relate to brand name change management, building and securing channel cooperation in brand change, channel peculiarities in emerging markets and franchisee institutional support systems in emerging markets like India.
The case documents the process followed by Switz Foods Private Limited (SFPL) in planning for and implementing a “brand-name” change across its 150-plus stores retailing fresh bakery products. The switch away from a 20-year-old food brand that had carved out a place in the popular culture of the community in Kolkata was risky. While opinion inside the organization was divided on whether to use mass media to communicate the brand-name change to its customers, the company finally decided to rely only on in-store signage and product packaging. SFPL took into confidence the franchisee retail store owners, a key stakeholder group with whom it enjoyed a long-term trusted business relation, and relied on their support to implement a smooth transition. It shows how in the context of the bazaars in transition economies, trust-based business relations and word-of-mouth reputation can often provide frugal managerial alternatives.
Expected learning outcomes
The three main learning objectives are: planning for a brand name transition, which includes three parts: generating consumer insights and using the data to aid decision-making in choosing a brand name and developing a brand campaign; overcoming network or business partner resistance/uncertainties associated with a brand name transition; managing customer perceptions before and after brand-name transition. Second learning objective included understanding risks in a franchisor–franchisee relationship. Third included appreciating the significance of trust-based relationships in managing transition economies.
CSS 8: Marketing.
Authors listed in alphabetical order. All authors contributed equally.
The authors would like to thank Mr Basu, Mr Ghosh and others at Mio Amore for providing access and insights into this interesting case and the students for sharing their comments and insights.
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