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Michel et Augustin Cookies: Culinary Adventurers Competing against Food Industry Giants

Published 25 Mar 2014
Reference 5757
Topic Marketing
Region Europe
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Prizes & Awards

2014 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Marketing

Winner of 2014 Case Awards - New Case Writer Category

Summary

The Michel et Augustin case tells the story of Michel de Rovira and Augustin Paluel-Marmont as they set up their company Michel et Augustin in 2005 to brand and sell sablé cookies. The founders have a vision of creating a brand that can prosper in a competitive market dominated by big players and full of commoditized offerings. Michel and Augustin have few resources or connections to the food industry, so they need to think creatively about their brand design and marketing plan.

To learn more about Michel et Augustin please visit the company website.

Teaching objectives

Evaluate the attractiveness of a market. Michel et Augustin competes in a market that is large and growing. Is this enough to consider this an attractive market? The case provides an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of entering a market that has become somewhat commoditized and is dominated by global brands.
Illustrate the challenges of brand positioning and design. The case provides an opportunity to discuss the issues with designing a brand to compete in a crowded market. It is not enough to design a brand with positive associations. A competitive brand design must have unique and difficult-to-imitate associations. In addition, the case provides a context to discuss the link between brand positioning and the marketing mix.
Discuss the challenges associated with gaining distribution with a new product. Students often think that the only challenge to overcome when distributing a new product is getting access to the category managers of the retailers. But the case shows that distribution cannot be analysed without a clear analysis of the pricing decisions. For entrepreneurial firms to survive, pricing has to be linked to the cost structure of the product. In this case, the distribution and the sourcing decisions are linked, highlighting the challenges facing small firms when trying to gain scale.
Discuss unconventional distribution and advertising tactics. The early success of the Michel et Augustin brand was driven by creative solutions to distribution and communication tactics. The discussion allows students to think broadly about distribution.

Keywords
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Food and Drink
  • Startup Marketing
  • Q31314
  • European Competitiveness
  • Europe
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