4. International Marketing and Franchising at Marks & Spencer

Ilan Alon

For years, M&S had used a simple marketing philosophy: Produce high-quality products under a recognized brand name at affordable (but not low) prices, and advertise through word of mouth. However, this marketing philosophy has come under attack as the company’s competitive edge has eroded. The move to develop a marketing department was a departure from a long tradition of ignoring marketing in favor of a product-oriented corporate culture. The problem facing James Benfield, named marketing director in 1998 after a 28-year career at M&S, was a serious one: how to help M&S emerge from the slump and reposition itself as a fierce global competitor in the international marketplace? ...

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