Slate Inc. Case Study

Carlos Chance, the head of branding at Slate, Inc. soon hosts a kickoff web meeting asking for the case team’s insights into the company’s logic on brand strategy.

“Over time, products may become generic showing very little differentiation, like cereals,” Carlos says. “That’s why branding is crucial in differentiating products. Even utilitarian product choices are influenced by branding, and the driving force is competition.

“When competition is intense, all products soon offer functional advantages: me-too products or follow-the-leader strategies. Accordingly, the only sustainable advantage is brand image, which you might recall from Johansson’s work in his book, Global Marketing (2009). That’s why a continuous marketing effort is needed to support the brand or product. Remember Levitt’s (1983) argument that anything can be branded—even something as plain as pasta, like Barilla and Buitoni.

“Do you agree or disagree with Levitt’s statement, and why? Will Levitt’s argument impact your analysis of Slate’s competitors’ branding strategies?”

Contribute your thoughts in the Slate, Inc.’s project team discussion area, and discuss your ideas with your team members.

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