This case study was awarded a prize by the EFMD in 2015 http://www.efmd.org/research/awards/case-writing-competition-winners-2015 . What made it deserve the accoloade?
According to co-author Pierre-Xavier Meschi: “Students must first grapple with market segmentation issues. How to understand the olive oil segment in terms of different criteria: technology, products and services offered, financial ratios, end-user pricing, market penetration, distribution channels. This abundance of segmentation criteria in a relatively short case study means many different paths for students to explore with their teachers.”
For co-author Philippe Chereau: “Part of the attraction to the case may be that olive oil is considered somewhat of a luxury product, and has flavorful traits. Also, there are global lessons that can be learned from the case on marketing perspectives.” Although not a luxury item per se, the high end positioning of olive oil within the oil sector offers a change from insight into the usual luxury suspects, such as fashion, cars, or watches.
“A wide range of topics is covered in the case. It offers both an industry-wide view, and the micro company-level view. All are related to strategic management,” explains professor Meschi. “Most published case studies are either macro or micro views, whereas here we cover both angles.” From various sets of data, the students must try to create homogenous segments.
“Most importantly,” pursues professor Chereau, “students need to then understand how can the company make money. What is the business model for a highly differentiated producer? Students must grapple with the conundrum: a strategy may exist, but what is the right business model to implement it?”