Case 2: Carnival
Carnival Cruise Lines: This company has had its image damaged severely by mishaps, bad publicity, angry customers, etc. Competition is stiff and in a shock to Carnival management, people have more money than they ever had before and demand better and better service. Customers are also smart! Slick advertisements are not going to convince them that a product has high quality. The Super Bowl ads may not have been effective. Revenue was strong, then the corona virus undercut the entire industry. Now, profits are tight and competition stiffer. The situation is very serious.
On the other hand, this is an opportunity to think strategically. Consider yourself an MBA working for the company. How could you propose a strategic solution to its challenging situation? Please consider the following:
Things to keep in mind:
Things to avoid:
Other Important Directives:
1. Read the case five times to understand your role. You must work hard on this problem.
2. Go to the Wall Street Journal and other credible business sources to learn about the industry. Do not use Wikipedia, Investopedia or blogs.
3. Find out strategic ideas that seem to work for others. Learn the problems your competitors face. Look for proposed solutions.
4. Do not use blogs or opinions. Get the facts.
5. Develop sound ideas for a detailed plan. The plan should spell out timing and cost.
6. Apply concepts from the course: Driving Force, real capabilities of the firm, etc.
7. Do not write a paper saying that you cannot choose a direction or otherwise failing to present a solution. Management looks at you as someone who has learned about corporate strategy and grappled with business problems.
A few tips for sharp MBAs:
1. Remember that you are working for company management. Do not set yourself up as smarter than they are. Do not fall into the trap of telling them to shift direction without solid evidence. This would not be smart or strategic. They do not have the money or skill for such a shift.
2. Avoid expressions such as “I think” and “I feel.” This is a Master’s level course in a business program. Personal feelings are less important than FACTS and the ability to protect the company.
3. Begin to work on your paper well before the deadline. It would not be a good idea to react to the case. Think about it; understand the issues involved.
4. It is strongly advised that students grasp the central problem in the case. This is the single most important issue the company is facing.
Keep these ideas in mind for all papers in the course including the Integrative Project.
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