Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 14th 2014 Contents The following guide is intend-
ed to aid readers in analysing
the case Super Teeze. When
analysing a case, remember
that there are many possible
approaches and solutions
and the goal is to develop
your analytical and problem-solving skills
rather than figure out "the one right answer".
Co-founders Cynthia and Akiel Charles are
in the process of reviewing the marketing plan
to launch their new business selling high-qual-
ity, custom designed t-shirts. A key component
of their business model involves donating a
portion of profits and quantities of limited edi-
tion t-shirts to children s charities which they
can sell to raise funds. Cynthia and Akiel have
some essential marketing decisions to make
before launching the business.
Q1. What are the opportunities and threats
confronting the business?
A major strength of the business is the entre-
preneurial experience of the co-founders who
had previously launched their own small busi-
nesses, thereby demonstrating their ability to
meet the challenges of starting a business. This
suggests that they would be aware of the poten-
tial pitfalls involved in starting a venture such
as Super Teeze and should be well equipped
to scan the environment and identify business
opportunities that are available.
A major opportunity is the fact that con-
sumers have become more socially conscious
in recent years and increasingly supportive of
businesses that are perceived to be engaging
in ethical businesses practices.
The business model that Cynthia and Akiel
are proposing is quite distinctive with a proven
track record of success and should differentiate
them from competitors. This is particularly
true in the local market where there are not
many companies with similar programmes.
This provides an excellent opening for Super
Teeze to adopt a leadership role in popularising
this form of social responsibility.
Aligning the business with children s charities
will also enable the co-founders to generate
widespread buzz about their company and its
products. Customers are likely to view this
alliance quite favourably, which will generate
positive word-of-mouth and considerable con-
The co-founders need to be mindful, how-
ever, of the criticisms leveled against their
business model. They will need to address this
issue with clear communications if they want
to avoid such criticisms arousing consumer
scepticism about their motives and potentially
damaging the brand.
Popularising their business model is also a
double-edged sword, since if it is successful
more companies may adopt a similar approach,
making it more difficult for Super Teeze to
escape the messaging clutter.
The business will thus be challenged to
update its model in innovative ways to stay
ahead of the curve.
Finally, the existence of strong competitors
at the high-end of the designer t-shirt market
poses a major threat to the company s viability.
Super Teeze will thus have to leverage the social
aspect of their business model to attract atten-
tion and differentiate themselves in the mar-
Q2. Which customer group(s) should the busi-
The case clearly indicates that individuals
with higher incomes are more likely to buy
ethical products from companies that they
perceive to be socially responsible. This suggests
that working professionals would be an appro-
priate market for Super Teeze to target. This
target market is not restricted by gender since
both male and female customers would be
attracted to the customised t-shirts. The busi-
ness is likely to be more successful, however,
if it aims for a slightly younger demographic
(perhaps 25 to 35 years) since this generation
has a reputation for being more interested in
social issues than the aging baby boomer gen-
The business can also define its target market
in terms of lifestyle and personality . The cus-
tomers most likely to be attracted to the brand
are those who pay particular attention to fashion
and personal grooming which encourages them
to purchase the latest styles and continually
renew their wardrobe.
They are also more likely to have an inde-
pendent, creative personality with a desire to
give back to their community and are concerned
with issues of social justice.
Q3. What tactical marketing decisions would
you recommend for Super Teeze?
The decision about which product to launch
has already been made so the focus is on the
promotion, pricing and distribution strategies
that should be pursued. The target market of
young professionals with high disposable
income suggests a social media based promotion
campaign would be effective in reaching this
audience. The company can use platforms such
as Facebook and Twitter to engage with cus-
tomers in an interactive and creative manner.
Unconventional vehicles such as hosting a
contest where consumers can submit designs
for the limited edition t-shirts provided to the
charities will foster customer engagement and
generate buy-in to the company s business
This initiative could be expanded to allow
customers to customise their t-shirt with their
own unique design for an additional fee. This
would add value to the product and further
differentiate the company s products.
Providing free samples to popular local enter-
tainers and athletes would be another way to
generate free publicity and emphasise the fact
that fashion forward individuals preferred the
company s products. This is consistent with
the trendy, stylish image that the co-founders
are trying to project for their t-shirts.
Targeting high-income professionals suggests
that a high price comparable to what is charged
for imported t-shirts would be warranted.
While this price point would make the product
less affordable in the short run, it would support
an image of exclusivity for the company s prod-
ucts which could attract members of the target
market who want to stand out from the crowd.
The higher price would also cover the higher
cost of production and with sufficient volume
provide higher rates of return over time.
The large investment required to open a
retail outlet makes this an unattractive strategy
at this point in time. The business would be
better served by creating an e-commerce site
and trying to get selected high end boutiques
to stock their t-shirts. An online site would
cater to the busy lifestyles of young professionals
and provide convenient access to the company s
products. This form of distribution is however
constrained by the need to efficiently ship
items to customers, which in the local market
is somewhat of a challenge.
Online sales can thus be complemented by
getting select high end retailers to stock the
company s t-shirts. This will not only allow
customers to physically examine items on dis-
play but Super Teeze can consider shipping
items bought online to the retail outlet for cus-
tomer pickup, thereby circumventing the ship-
ping constraints. Work on the e-commerce
site should begin immediately so that the time-
line for launching the business is not delayed.
Dr Barney Pacheco is a lecturer in the Depart-
ment of Management Studies at The University
of the West Indies, St Augustine
SBG14 CASE STUDY
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt SEPTEMBER 14 • 2014
Case Study: Super Teeze
Strength in owners'
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