Rebuilding the 'Martha Stewart' Brand

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG133 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Media and Entertainment
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2001-2006
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Industry : Media and Entertainment
Countries : USA


Martha Stewart was the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO), a media conglomerate with interests in publishing, radio, television and merchandise.

MSO's main brand was 'Martha Stewart' and all the businesses were centered around Stewart.

Therefore, when Stewart became embroiled in controversy over her sale of shares in Imclone Systems in 2000, her image took a beating, adversely affecting her business.

The case discusses Stewart's and MSO's efforts to revive the "Martha Stewart' brand after Stewart was released from jail in 2005. It talks about the steps taken by the company to improve Stewart's image in public, which had a positive impact on the brand. The case concludes with a commentary on how Stewart's hits and misses were affecting MSO's business and whether the brand could be restored to its past glory.


To study the rise and fall of a major lifestyle brand in the US.

To understand the inherent dangers in closely associating a business or brand with its founder.

To analyze the issues involved in redeeming a tarnished brand, especially one associated with a controversial person.

To highlight the importance of goodwill and brand equity.


  Page No.
The Long Road to Revival 2
Background 3
The Imclone Controversy 4
The Trial and Imprisonment 6
Martha everywhere! 8
Exhibits 12


Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Imclone Systems Incorporated, Kmart, Macy's, Martha Stewart Living, House Energy and Commerce Commission, Blueprint, Brand Revival, Securities fraud, Image Rebuilding, NBC, CBS, Entertaining, The Apprentice

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