During Timucin Guler’s decade at OPET, a prominent fuel distributor in Turkey, he transformed the definition of marketing in the company. Under Guler’s lead, OPET, once a local player in the downstream distribution market, became the second largest fuel distributor in Turkey. As assistant general manager, Guler had paved the way for customer-oriented marketing, which helped OPET differentiate itself in the market and become fiercely competitive. However, starting from 2009, changing regulations in Turkey’s highly regulated oil and gas industry limited OPET’s marketing tools, forcing Guler to revisit his marketing strategy. He was concerned that more restrictions were on the way and that these could possibly affect OPET’s loyalty program, in which the company had invested heavily. How should Guler go about revising OPET’s marketing strategy so as to keep up with and possibly foresee further regulatory changes, while trying to stay ahead of the competition? What would be the best way for Guler to optimize the company’s investment in its customer loyalty program?
In 2015, having led Hillside Beach Club (HBC) for 21 successful years, Edip Ilkbahar, HBC’s founder and CEO, was looking over the plans for a new branch in Cyprus. For over two decades, Ilkbahar’s company had enjoyed high occupancy, high guest satisfaction, and high return-visitor rates, not to mention increasing profits from HBC’s single location in Fethiye, Turkey. Although branching out had been on the agenda for a couple of years, Ilkbahar was feeling the pressure to recreate HBC’s culture in a new location to live up to and even surpass its established success. In parallel, Ilkbahar also needed to make sure that employee motivation at HBC’s original Fethiye location did not drop and the employees continued to deliver wholehearted service to live up to HBC’s reputation. 2015 certainly looked like it would be a tough year. How could Ilkbahar both try to extend HBC’s special formula for success to Cyprus while maintaining high motivation at the Fethiye installation? The case describes the forces that shape the hotel industry's structure, raising the issue of how HBC established itself a sustainable niche for competitive advantage. The case provides the context for the students to identify the design elements underlying HBC’s success and helps them explore the link between guest satisfaction and employee training, empowerment, feedback culture, continuous product development as well as social media and marketing. The case challenges the students to ponder what it takes for a company to repeatedly increase customer satisfaction rates and profitability with the same product over the years.
Starting in 1997, Mohammad Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar, has been largely associated with Dubai's most renowned real estate projects: the world's tallest building, largest mall and biggest fountain show. Emaar's pioneering success attracted a large number of private sector entrepreneurs as well as the Government of Dubai to follow in its footsteps. Consequently, land at prime locations in Dubai was not as readily available as it used to be. Emaar tried to venture outside of Dubai, but later faced challenges in choosing the right partners and maintaining control over management. Being 'stuck' between an overcrowded competitive landscape in Dubai and challenging conditions abroad, Alabbar wondered how he could maintain his company's growth while staying prepared for any upcoming financial downturn. He also reflected on the benefits and challenges of being a public real estate developer.
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