Business Case Studies, Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study, Whirlpool’s Product Innovation and Brand Building Strategies in India: Re-creating the Lost Magic?

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Case Title:

Whirlpool’s Product Innovation and Brand Building Strategies in India: Re-creating the Lost Magic?

Publication Year : 2009

Authors: Deepti Srikanth & Priti Krishnan

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics

Region:India

Case Code: BBP0108

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Abstract:
This case is written to debate and discuss on the issue – In the presence of focused and determined competitors, even a well-known and established player is capable of making all the possible incorrect strategic moves. Established in 1996, Whirlpool of India Ltd. (WIL) set out to capture the Indian market with its customer-centric approach. The company gained leadership in the direct-cool refrigerator segment with a significant share in the washing machine market. However, with the entry of the Korean conglomerates – LG and Samsung, WIL’s rise to success came to a halt. Competing for the same market space, these Korean players offered a host of technologically superior products at affordable rates through a strong countrywide network. Promoted aggressively and backed by a customer care service to please Indian customers, these products took away the market share from WIL in less than a decade. The Korean companies redefined the customer service in the home appliances segment. To make a come-back into the Indian market, WIL, under the direction of its new vice president, Marketing, Shantanu Das Gupta, geared up to focus on offering innovative products. To create a brand recall, the company hired celebrity couple Kajol and Ajay Devgan as brand ambassadors. After 3 years in the red, WIL finally witnessed a net operating profit in 2008. However, with its market share still trailing behind its competitors, the case questions the sustainability of WIL's turnaround.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the nature of the consumer durables market in India and to analyse the critical success factors in this market
  • To understand the reasons for WIL’s rise and fall in the consumer durables industry
  • To suggest alternatives for WIL to become India’s ‘Best Home Appliances Company’.

Keywords : Competitive strategy, Product innovation, Brand building, Branding, LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Consumer Durables industry, Marketing, CSFs, Competition, India, Turnaround

Contents:

  • WIL: The Rise and Fall
  • Competitive Threat to WIL
  • WIL's Turnaround Attempts: A Sustainable Effort?

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