Lawson Cosmetics Case Study

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Harvard Business Publishing (2003)
in "Harvard Business Review"
THIS CASE STUDY INCLUDES BOTH THE CASE AND THE COMMENTARY. FOR TEACHING PURPOSES, THE REPRINT IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN TWO OTHER VERSIONS: CASE STUDY-ONLY AND COMMENTARY-ONLY. Espoir Cosmetics has received a tantalizing offer: sponsorship of the sequel to the Hollywood hit Diana's She Devils. For Natasha Singh, the US-based company's global marketing officer, the movie is an ideal vehicle for global brand building. As the film is released in each country, Espoir can launch tie-in lipsticks and nail polishes. But some of Espoir's regional executives don't see it that way. One of them - Vasylko Mazur, the head of Eastern European operations and Tasha's old friend - is particularly upset. 'Tasha,' he says, 'you don't realize how different Eastern Europe is from the rest of the world. Movie-based promotions won't do anything for my sales.' Tasha understands his point of view. When she was Espoir's marketing head in India, she had to fight for her unconventional local initiatives. But she has come to believe that tastes are changing rapidly all over the world. From Eastern Europe to the smallest towns in India, customers want the products they see on TV, in the movies, and in international magazines. Should Espoir take its new branding initiative global? Offering their perspectives on this fictional case study are Peter M Thompson, president and CEO of PepsiCo Beverages International; Jennifer L Aaker, associate professor of marketing at Stanford Business School; Harish Manwani and Simon Clift, executives of Unilever; and Masaaki Kotabe, professor of international business at Temple University.
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