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Jensen Shoes Harvard Business Case Study

Autor:   •  April 5, 2012  •  Case Study  •  4,428 Words (18 Pages)  •  2,083 Views

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Jensen Shoes: Jane Kravitz's Story

Jensen Shoes, established in 1953, prided itself on being a trendsetter and the leading marketer in the United States of high-quality athletic and casual footwear for children and adults. Kenneth Jensen, the founder, was fond of saying "At Jensen Shoes we value our employees as much as our products. Employees who find their work worthwhile and satisfying do their best. In turn, the company profits while providing high-quality, well-priced shoes to the customer." Jensen managed with an open door policy that became a model for other managers.. Over the years, sensitivity to employee issti.es,both work arid personal, became a hallmark of the Jensen Shoes culture.

For many years Jensen Shoes enjoyed a highly-profitable position, to the point where one manager said, "We only have finance people to count the money." By 2004, it was a $265 million company "Vith , 4500 employees worldwide, It was making significant progress creating a presence in international markets and had targeted offshore growth as an objective. Casual wear made up 45% of company revenues in recent years. Athletic shoes accounted for 30% of the 2003 revenue and children's wear accounted for the other 25%. Return on Equity was 20% in 2003. Although this represented a slight decline from previous years, it was competitive with industry leaders.

Sales had grown steadily in athletic and children's wear during the last decade, but casual wear

. hCJ.d begun to flatten, pecessitating the need to diversify product lines and strengthen long-term industry viability. InJanuary of 2004, Jensen Shoes' executive management asked Sally Briggs, VP of Marketing, to define opportunities for new markets and new products. In turn, Briggs assigned Chuck Taylor, Director of Strategic Marketing, to develop a major marketing strategy within the next six months, just in time for the annual board of director's meeting.

Taylor set about the assignment by reorganizing his group. He established three Strategic Product Managers who would be key to developing the pl(l11 1-Jane Kravitz for casual wear, Kyle Hudson for athletic shoes, and Robert Murphy for children's shoes. As strategic product managers, they would be responsible for developing a marketing plan, including strategies for advertising, new produCt development, positioning, revitalizing existing products, and greater penetration into international markets. Each manager would supervise a team of marketing professionals.

In the area of casual wear, changing consumer tastes demanded a wider selection ofstyles beyond the traditional offerings. Kravitz's strategic performance objectives (s.o.'s) included the completion

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