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Harlequin Romances Case Analysis Report

Autor:   •  February 8, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,470 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,603 Views

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Case Analysis Report

Harlequin Romances - Poland (A)

The case study of Harlequin Romances shows us the strategies that Harlequin has adopted in its international operations. The case explains the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Eastern Europe, primarily focusing on Poland, and the marketing mix elements necessary for success. With romance fiction novels as its main product and women as the target market, Harlequin Enterprises was a pioneer in mass market paperback novel series and using consumer goods marketing technique as well as branding in book industry. It focused on series and brand rather than bestsellers and authors. Starting as a small Canadian printing house, it expanded internationally by acquiring a British publisher and then one after another competitors, publishers and distributors all over the world. Harlequin’s international market was primarily segmented on the basis of language spoken rather than geography. In 1991, Harlequin sold 193 million books on six continents in 20 different languages. The success of the enterprise was its focus on the romance fiction and application of consumer packaged goods marketing principle to publishing. Harlequin had well defined market segments which were differentiated on the basis of length of the novel, level of sensuality, degree of realism and settings. All the romances series were distinctly positioned and had a specific target audience. The customer value perception of the romance novels were Relaxation, Entertainment and Escape. Women perceived it as a tool to counteract with the pressures they felt.

In 1991, Harlequin expanded its international market in Poland. Poland had just been liberated from communism; this opened the market for foreign goods. Harlequin took this opportunity to enter the Polish book industry with its romance series. With heavy advertisement and promotions, and Arlekin’s strong retail distribution channel Harlequin was able to attain a high market penetration level within six months of its operation. Harlequin has been able to create high barriers to entry in the series market through the development of brand loyalty and excellence in product quality and supply chain management, hence eliminating the competition. It held 90 percent of the Polish romance series market.

Now to maintain this level of market share and to further develop it, management has to make several decisions relating to its marketing mixes. As Harlequin had heavily advertised the romance genre, it was considered to be an easy market in Poland. So there was a fear of new competition as well. Moreover, to increase its sales revenue and adjust to the evolving distribution channel harlequin has to make some important decisions on its marketing elements.

Price Mix Decision

The pricing policy of Harlequin is one of its


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