Arizona State University Clique Pens

MKT 271 Arizona State University Clique Pens Case Study

MKT 271

Arizona State University


Question Description


You should assume that you have been hired by the leadership at Clique Pens as a marketing consultant and you have been selected to answer several questions related to their marketing efforts. You must advise the company on what to do.

The Clique Pens Writing Implements division of U.S. Home is a manufacturer of a full line of pens, pencils, markers, and art supplies. Despite solid sales, division president Elise Ferguson has seen gross margins drop from 42% in 2010 to just over 36% in 2012 as a result of various discounts, allowances, and other off-invoice deals. She is now considering a move away from these discounts in favor of Market Development Funds (MDF), which would be used explicitly to promote retail merchandising activity for Clique and in theory provide the company with more control of trade promotional dollars to influence consumer behavior. Along the way, Ferguson must consider the structure and problems of various trade promotions and the conflicting needs of her sales and marketing departments. This case introduces you to basic elements of promotion and pricing policy and the challenges of marketing through major mass retailers.

You must read the HBS case and prepare a response.

You should analyze the case and address these questions as a part of your response:

  1. Evaluate the actions taken by Ferguson to date. What errors have been made and what factors should be considered?
  2. If you were to recommend a new promotion strategy, what should it look like? Be sure to include metrics that should be a part of the promotion campaign.
  3. In what ways can Clique differentiate itself from the competition, and how would you promote that differentiation?
  4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your promotion messaging strategy and how will it reach its intended market?