22 Oct 2019

Five INSEAD case authors rise in Case Centre’s best-selling top 40

The Case Centre , Kim , Mauborgne , Chandon , Dubois , Ulaga , Blue Ocean

Five INSEAD professors have risen up the ranks of The Case Centre’s top 40 best-selling authors of academic year 2018/2019. The ranking is based on volume of sales from the preceding year, highlighting the enduring strength of each professors’ case work.

Professors of Strategy W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute and co-authors of the New York Times Bestseller and a #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing - Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth (Hachette, 2017), and the global bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy (2005, Expanded Edition 2015), were ranked #6 for their cases featuring companies that seek out “blue oceans” of untapped market space, rather than competing head-to-head in “red oceans”. 

Blue Ocean Strategy is recognised as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written. It has sold over four million copies and is published in a record-breaking 46 languages. It is a bestseller across five continents.

Rising one place on the rankings (from #7 in 2018) their top best-selling cases include a two part case study of Cirque du Soleil, The Evolution of the Circus Industry (A) and Even a Clown Can Do It: Cirque du Soleil Recreates Live Entertainment (B) which highlight the circuses’ ability to reinvent the industry and create a new market space by challenging conventional assumptions over circus entertainment and its audience.

Their case on The Marvel Way: Restoring a Blue Ocean explains one of the greatest turnarounds in modern business history when Marvel Comics went from bankruptcy to a $4.2 billion sale to Disney in just over a decade by breaking the cost/value trade-off.

“We are thrilled to be recognised as among the top ten bestselling case writers in the world. It is with great pleasure that we and our outstanding team of Institute Executive Fellows and Researchers at the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute have been able to explore and share exciting cases on blue ocean strategy and blue ocean shift that are resonating with executives and students across the globe," said Kim and Mauborgne.

Pierre Chandon, The L'Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing - Innovation and Creativity at INSEAD, is ranked #10 by the Case Centre in 2019, up from #18 the previous year. His best-selling cases highlight how innovative marketing strategies can create value for companies. His case, Unilever in Brazil (1997-2007): Marketing Strategies for Low-Income Consumers, shows how Unilever approached marketing of detergent to the base of the pyramid. “The value of this case is to show that the basic principles of marketing, which is to make the effort to really understand your customer, can guide them to a solution even in a context—selling detergent to poor Brazilians who don’t own a washing machine—is totally foreign to them,” said Chandon.

Another of his top best-selling cases Can 3G Capital make Burger King Cool Again continues with the story of Fernando Machado, an executive in the Unilever case, who is now Chief Marketing Officer of Burger King. It shows the challenges of redefining and rebranding a 60-year-old fast food giant and how private equity, when it understands branding, can grow both the business and the brand, at a fraction of the cost of traditional competitors.

What makes these cases popular is that they come with a website where students can access the latest information about the companies and watch video interviews of the case protagonists. More importantly, the sites contain additional information only available to case instructors, including a detailed teaching note, a slide deck, additional interviews about what happened and even a video of me teaching the case at INSEAD,” said Chandon

Pierre Chandon has previously won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award in 2016 and Outstanding Case Teacher Award in 2018.

Wolfgang Ulaga, Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, is ranked #15 this year rising 17 places in 12 months with best-selling cases that focus on business model innovation and alternative growth avenues in challenging economic environments. Ulaga bases his research and teaching on value-based marketing, customer experience management, and service excellence in B2B markets.

Ulaga’s top two cases are series on Procter and Gamble’s Tide Dry Cleaners.  Procter & Gamble’s Tide Dry Cleaners (A): Leveraging the Brand to Provide a 'Wow' Experience centres on how a consumer-packaged goods giant disrupts the US dry cleaning business with an innovative franchising concept. In the second part Procter & Gamble’s Tide Dry Cleaners (B): Bringing the Guest Experience to Life with a Disruptive Business Model, Ulaga provides deeper insights into P&G’s Tide Dry Cleaners franchising business model and the subsidiary that runs it, Agile Pursuits Franchising Inc (APFI). It illustrates the differences between P&G’s established corporate values and APFI’s entrepreneurial culture.

“I am very grateful to read that my cases continue to inspire students, executives, and faculty around the globe and help them to exchange ideas and learn about the most relevant marketing and strategy concepts,” says Ulaga, noting that, “Cases like these present an excellent platform for deeper engagement with diverse audiences and help them to exchange ideas and learn about the most relevant marketing and strategy concepts.

This year’s results are highly motivating to continue the journey of creating and sharing cases with our community.”

Ulaga has previously won the Marketing category award for his cases in 2015 and 2016, as well as the Outstanding Case Writer Award in 2016 for his case GE Healthcare India (A): The Marketing Challenge Of Low-Resource Customers.

David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing & Cornelius Grupp Fellow in Digital Analytics for Consumer Behaviour, ranked #29 in the 2019 index up from #37 previously. The core of his research and teaching intersects digital technologies, customer centricity and brand management. His best-selling case, AccorHotels and the Digital Transformation: Enriching Experiences through Content Strategies along the Customer Journey, offers a forum to discuss what it means for a company to engage its digital transformation to foster customer-centricity. The case dissects AccorHotels’ ambitious digital transformation aiming to put the customer back at the centre of its strategy and operations.

Another of his best-selling cases, Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair: Trends of Fads? “Pull” and “Push” Social Media Strategies at L’Oréal Paris, describes how companies leverage big data from search and social media analytics, integrate digital and social media insights into new product development strategies and thus successfully capture and create new value through pull and push dynamics.

His newest case, Digitally-powered Customer-centricity in the Industrial Gas Sector: The Air Liquide-Airgas Merger, merges the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ by engaging students on how Air Liquide - a leader in the industrial gas market - strategically prioritised its technological investments to strengthen unique aspects of its relationships with different customer segments. It describes the organisational steps the company took to implement a new digital marketing organisation and successfully operate its digital transformation. 

“My cases typically break down big concepts or buzzwords such as digital marketing, big data, customer centricity or digital transformation. They show business executives/students how they can concretely implement winning strategies by learning from simple frameworks and real examples of business successes and failures,” said Dubois.

“When writing a case I always have in mind colleagues in other business schools around the world and try to make it easy (and fun) to adopt. Being on this list is a big source of motivation for me to continue developing new cases and contribute to the continuous improvement of the global management education pedagogy.”

Dubois has previously won the Marketing category award for cases in 2017 and 2018.

Ziv Carmon, Dean of Research and Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, added, “I heartily congratulate Renee, Chan, Pierre, Wolfgang and David for their achievement in being among the Case Centre’s top 40 bestselling case authors. That they all rose significantly in the ranking demonstrates their ability to create world-class teaching materials that continually resonate with educators and business professionals. They exemplify INSEAD’s rigour and relevance in teaching and research.”

INSEAD professors and writers have a proven track record of teaching excellence which they leverage to provide case studies of the highest standard.  Using strong stories and multimedia tools, their cases provide business school faculty around the world with interesting and high-quality material that is easy to adopt.