Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Scream!

As if we haven't had our fill of ice-cream, guess what we were plied with today for our Marketing exam? That's right. Yet another ice-cream case.

Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. It all started with a little Russian ice cream company...

Back in mid march when the second period at INSEAD was kicking into high gear, our Strategy professor (a certain Argentinian of much pomp and gesture) decided that the best way to "learn strategy" was to have us analyse the Russian ice cream market and do a strategic proposal for Ice-Fili (its an actual Russian ice cream manufacturer).

Well what did we learn from all that? Besides the obviously useless knowledge of how ice cream was manufactured, there was a Porter's 5 Forces analysis of the industry, a market sizing (you're supposed to do one for the present case and a forecast for the future), a value-chain analysis which revealed that distribution was the key problem for Ice-Fili. Furthermore, there was the ubiquitous Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) vs. Cost Advantage analysis, plus a detailed analysis of Ice-Fili's competitive advantage over its rivals.

Oh and it wasn't just a case of delivering the report and being done with it. It wasn't that easy - the Argentinian of dubious distinction decided that we also have to critique each other's reports. And the critiques must come with a sincere and frank analysis of why their analysis works / doesn't work and where it is lacking. Wow - in addition to having piles of assignments from Finance, Marketing, Process Operations Management, Managerial Accounting and OB, our Strategy professor wants us to READ the nonsense we produced, and DO his job for him.

How fun.

So we did. Sometime in early April. Then what?

So the Argentinian Aardvark (at this point, I'm not even certain he's Argentinian. Maybe he's Spanish but who cares? Let's assume he's Argentinian. On a side note, "Argentinian is a damn hard word to type. Damn that Argentinian) tells us that what we've produced was of 'tremendous quality', and we should 'leverage on the incredible learning opportunity', and that we had 'collectively learnt an enormous deal'. And so on with the bombast.

Then what?

Then the Argentinian (ah... I discovered copy-paste!) with his Hand of God decides that our strategy exam is going to be based on... you guessed it!... the Russian ice cream market, with particular emphasis on that hated 2 syllables: ICE-FILI!

By this time, we were going to riot. The worst was that he had the cheek to say that what we had produced in our reports was IT. Like in, 'go read your COLLECTIVE WISDOM and DISTIL IT into your exam answer'. Like hell that is helping anyone because nobody had any idea which report was good, and which was bad in the first place.

Ah well... Some changes took place and we now have a saner strategy examination - but it was still about Ice-Fili, like anyone really cared anymore. Everyone was sick of Ice-Fili, Russian ice cream and anything remotely related to ice-cream.

Oh, until today. Our marketing professor decided to join in on the act and gave us an exam case on - you guessed it! - ice cream!

But heck, I found it fun though. How do you segment the ice cream market in the UK? How do you position Delice as the ice cream sandwich of choice? What is the advertising strategy you'll employ?

I wrote and I wrote till my wrists hurt. And none the worse after coz I think this exam was a breeze. And what's there to do to celebrate the end of it?

I headed to the bar and ordered some ice cream. Yeah.....


Anonymous said...

This particular entry reminds me of my marketing course. Ahh...sounds so familiar... Michael Porter's Five Forces model, competitive advantages, market sizing, etc...:P

cbk said...

Sorry that's me previously... forgot to leave my name

kosina said...

hey if you have done the ice-fili case analysis ..y not help me with it:( save me the pain of soing it on my own..

Victoe said...

hey if u did a case analysis of ice-fili, i'm just doing some personal research and I was wondering if you could pls send it to me... it would really help me out. Thank! My e-mail address is or kosina if he gave it to you, can you please send it to me? Thank!!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE if you guys have the analysis PLEASE PLEASE senf it to (double P)