This is a guest post by Marc Cosentino, CEO of CaseQuestions.com and author of Case in Point.
The four types of cases that you are most likely to get in a case interview are: entering-a-new-market; profits and loss; pricing and growth. Entering-a-new-market questions can be about an established company entering a new market, or they can involve mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, starting a new business or the development of a new product. So it's not just "do we enter?”, but "how do we enter and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy?".
Your notes should cover the company, the market and how best to enter the market.
Start off with questions about the company. Why does it want to enter this market? What are their revenue streams and trends? What is their current product mix? What are their costs and have they changed over time? What makes up their customer segmentation? And what constitutes success in the mind of the client? Are they looking for a certain market share or increase in revenues or profits?
Next you should be asking about the current market: size, growth trends, customer segmentation, major competitors and their market share, product differentiation and barriers to entry and possibly exit. You should also be considering things like pricing and possible substitutions and risks.
Then if you decide to enter the market, you need to figure out the best way to become a player. There are three major ways to enter a market: start from scratch and grown organically; acquire an existing player; or form a joint venture/strategic alliance with another player. Analyze the pros and cons of each strategy and then make your recommendation.
Click below for a free .pdf file of an “anatomy of a entering a new market case”. This case also appears in the newest edition (8th) of Case in Point, which is available in August.
For the past two decades Marc Cosentino's work has towered over the field of case interviews. The Wall Street Journal calls his book Case in Point the MBA Bible. He is CEO of CaseQuestions.com and a popular and sought after speaker. Over the past 25 years he has advised and coached over 100,000 students and alumni. Case in Point, is not only the number one selling case book world-wide, but is also the number two selling interview book world-wide and the top book in the field of consulting. CIP is purchased in bulk by many of the top MBA consulting clubs including Harvard Business School, Wharton and University of Michigan, as well as top strategy consulting firms. Case in Point is now published in four languages. Cosentino has given workshops worldwide to MBA and college students and has held training sessions for career services professionals. He has consulted with and designed cases for private sector firms, government agencies and non-profits. In addition, Marc has trained corporate and academic PhDs to think like business executives. Cosentino is a graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School and the University of Denver. Marc Cosentino's other books include The Marketing Case Interview (2013), The Harvard Guide to Consulting, The Harvard Guide to Case Interviews and The Harvard Guide to Investment Banking.