Honour the past ... invent the future
A BIC case study

Page 0: Introduction

BIC® is one of the global brands whose brand name is closely associated with the company's products e.g. BIC biros. In the modern world, brands can be as important as the products they represent; a well recognised brand with a strong reputation gives consumers confidence. The company launched its first product, the BIC Cristal® ballpoint pen, in 1950. Now BIC is one of the world's best-known...
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Page 1: Challenges

In the highly competitive modern global market place, no organisation can afford to stand still. As global markets are so competitive, large companies can no longer produce hundreds of different products in lots of different product categories. That approach is inefficient and spreads resources too thinly. Big companies recognise the importance of focusing on their power brands, i.e. on those...
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Page 2: Fundamental values and company structure

A company's values are the guiding principles that determine the way it behaves. BIC's values relate to its products, which ensure they are: functional: designed to perform a specific function well e.g. to draw a line, produce a flame, shave hair. The key to achieving functionality is to adopt the most appropriate design, engineering and technology. affordable: achieved by using appropriate...
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Page 3: Customers/consumers

BIC's customers (retailers) are not the final consumers who buy from retailers. The Group has therefore built up strong relationships with its retailers to ensure that its products are placed in the most attractive and suitable shop locations, and that the products are attractive and eye catching. This suits both parties; retailers want products to sell well too. Today, markets in most advanced...
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Page 4: Segmentation

When marketing a product category, firms need to identify the different market segments. Segmentation involves identifying sets of characteristics that distinguish particular groups of customers from others. For example this may be based on: Demographics, i.e. to divide up the population into groups based on age, gender etc. BIC uses this approach to some extent, recognising that different...
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Page 5: Conclusion

BIC sustains its leading position by communicating and adhering to some fundamental business principles and practices. By focusing on its three product categories (stationery, lighters and shavers) and by identifying the various market segments the company is able to produce relevant products, some of which combine tried and tested products e.g. the BIC Cristal, and others that are genuinely...
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