The online site thecasecentre.org, which houses the largest case study catalog in the world, has published the list of its best-selling cases for 2016. In the ‘entrepreneurship’ category, Ashok Som, Professor at ESSEC Business School and Director of the Management department, was honored by being ranked among the top fifteen best-selling case authors.
Entitled ‘Coach: To be or not to be luxury?’, Ashok Som’s and Stephanie Masson’s case focuses on the American maker of luxury leather goods Coach which attempted, at the end of the 2000s, to widen its appeal to a larger consumer base. The affordable luxury brand expanded into new markets, notably in Asia. It also developed online sales and began to propose its unsold articles in discount outlets. This steadily led to it losing its position as an affordable luxury brand. Sales increased but revenue and margins decreased. The company therefore had to reposition itself and quickly redefine its strategy. Ashok Som’s case indeed studies how Coach changed strategic direction, position on the market and brand DNA, and how it met the challenge of new, increasingly renowned competitors such as Michael Kors or Tory Burch.
In 2014, the case was a prize winner in The Case Centre annual ‘Oscars’, entrepreneurship category.