Carolina Pad And The Bloggers Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

INTRODUCTION

Carolina Pad, founded in 1945, North Carolina, is a manufacturer of paper products, school supplies, laptop covers and mobile device covers. Joseph K. hall Jr., a former teacher, owned and operated Hall and Morris, which was later transformed into a new company, Carolina Pad that both manufactured and distributed school supplies. In the year 2000, Carolina Pad was the first company to add fashion to school and office products. Its core products are sold to national variety stores, dollar stores, mass retail outlets such as Kmart and Microsoft. The mission of the company is to deliver best products at the best prices to its customers and retailers.

Today, Carolina Pad offers an immense variety of composition books, note book paper, primary tablets, pencils, crayons, binders, planners, calendars, file, folders, laptop covers, Art and Craft supplies and other school and office supplies. The target market strategy of the company is to target teenage girls, by creating a series of design for its notebooks and binders. Carolina Pad pride itself on ever changing, modern and fashion forward. The objective of the company is to provide creative and innovative products and services to its customers, this will lead the company to gain competitive edge over competitors.

April Whit lock, a Duke University graduate, is the marketing veteran with a variety of experiences. The responsibility of the April is to develop national brand and marketing strategy for Mom Corps. Moreover, Mom Crops is the company that recruited talented moms with professional experiences. April Whitlock, understood the importance of internet-based publicity, and decide to introduce the product in the leading social media website such as, Facebook and Twitter. She also develop a product packages for bloggers to review.

 BLOGGING

Modern blogging came into being in the mid-1990s, as nothing more than individuals keeping online diaries of their personal lives. Blogs are used to communication with each other on a personal level such as a conversation of writer to the reader. Blogs is basically a contraction of “web log” or “Weblog”. By 2001, the researchers began to identify the difference between blogging and journalism. The purpose of the journalists, write to be printed with editors cutting and varying their words to capture a conveyed meaning or an opinion.

Blogging provides an opportunity to the people to share their personal views and opinions, which appeal the attention of marketers. In term of payment, a professional journalist is paid to write for someone and then all work is edited by someone else, while a blogger is being paid as an advocate of a product is nothing more than a paid spokesman.However, bold sites sold advertisements at rates that are more than traditional print media. There are several sites that had begun advertising their pay-for-blogging opportunities, such as ReveiwMe.com and PayPerPost.com.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

As the case states, Carolina Pad had received several requests for cash payments from internet bloggers in exchange of product reviews. Whit lock believed that paying the bloggers travel expenses would offer company a higher rate of return on a promotional dollars than the tradition promotional dollars. She also realized that the competitors are receiving similar requests from bloggers, and many of them are already taking advantage for paying such requests. However, this situation lead April Whit lock into dilemma that bloggers did not promised favorable reviews and if it is ethical or would the payment be in violation of Carolina Pad’s Mission and vision Statement.

SWOT ANALYSIS:

According to the case, it is important to conduct a SWOT analysis of the company, in order to drive possible alternative and come up with the best solution.

Carolina Pad And The Bloggers Case Solution

Strength:

A major strength of the company, it offers a wide variety of products and services, such as composition books, note book paper, primary tablets, pencils, crayons, binders, planners and other office supplies. It also offers products at lower prices than competitors, which benefits the company in the long run. Leading brand name is also one of the advantage of the company.

Weaknesses:

One of the weaknesses of the company, is the little differentiation in its product offering and duplication of products may also arise. April hesitate to introduce the product in paid blogging sites. Many competitors are gaining advantage of blogging sites, but this is unethical for the Carolina Pad.

Opportunities:

A company can gain competitive advantages by offering more innovative and creative products and services. Moreover, the company can introduce in the product in the unpaid blogging sites such as Facebook and Twitters, in order to make the customers aware about the product, and get the reviews with low cost strategy.............

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