Case Studies

Case Studies :: Esselte Corporation

Esselte Corporation (Oxford School Supply)

Problem: The executive management team at Esselte Corporation wanted to open a new sales channel selling directly to schools. Esselte, the world’s largest provider of office supplies, distributes primarily through large retail channels and are best known for brands like Pendaflex. The company had plans to introduce a new product to help middle school students plan their activities and organize their schoolwork. Lacking brand recognition with educator buyers and having an aggressive early sales goal, the executive management team was wrestling with important questions. The team needed quick answers and expert advice on marketing to schools.

Solution: Focus Marketing studied the market opportunity, including critical issues such as buyers, influences, delivery channels, and pricing. Focus groups, interviews and online searches were quickly organized to discern answers. Providing input to the study were parents in targeted areas, stakeholders in the schools, and education-market experts. Focus Marketing’s findings quickly enabled the Esselte management team to make a "pull the plug" decision and cancel plans for the new product. The company avoided a market blunder and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and marketing expenses.

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