Spirit of the Lake Native Boutique Case Study

49 Teachers Resource

Course Fit

By analyzing the information presented in this case, students are able to conduct research into topics such as Indigenous businesses, unique marketing challenges faced, approaches to create brand identities, product selection, pricing, marketing affiliates as well as marketing opportunities, and relationship building. Students will suggest marketing strategies that can overcome challenges from the past and keep SOTL successful. By analyzing this case, students will be exposed to the following marketing topics:

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing Research
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Location Challenges
  • Brand Identity
  • Product, Price, Place, and Promotion
  • Indigenous Business
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Destination Marketing
  • Retailing
  • Positioning
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Decision-Making Processes
  • Marketing Communications

Analysis approaches based on the information provided in this case fit any advanced marketing course, whether graduate or undergraduate, assuming students have had exposure to basic marketing courses as well as specific marketing topics such as marketing strategy, marketing research, retailing, and consumer behaviour.

Suggestions for Use

The information in this case is suitable for specific assignment questions in multiple marketing areas. Instructors using this case may provide students with their own questions, based on the topic of their courses and the content they have covered. Below are some suggestions on the topics that can be covered through an analysis of this case.

Consumer Behaviour:

  • Apply decision-making concepts and steps to a typical purchase at SOTL
  • Apply attitude models to this situation and target audience
  • Apply concepts of cultural values and reference groups to this case
  • Identify suitable subcultures to be targeted
  • Identify cultural influences on the behaviour of SOTL’s customers

E-Commerce:

  • Investigate the benefits of spending time and money to start e-commerce operations
  • Research the objectives and components of an improved website
  • Research opportunities to tie into other e-commerce operations based on target market
  • Assess how e-commerce operations would fit with the Indigenous focus of the store
  • Identify competitors in a potential e-commerce setting

Advertising:

  • Determine appropriate information to be included on highway signage
  • Identify suitable print publications for advertising
  • Evaluate research on the effectiveness of radio advertising for local businesses
  • Design an advertising plan and budget for social media ads (e.g., Facebook, Google)
  • Investigate additional directories that could be beneficial for SOTL

Tourism Marketing:

  • Suggest ways to attract and reach visitors to the area
  • Identify networks SOTL could enter to promote the store to tourists
  • Determine appropriate channels for marketing to potential out-of-town customers
  • Research inventory expansions with an Indigenous focus that attract tourists
  • Compare SOTL’s offerings with other attractions for tourists in the Okanagan
  • Investigate current trends in tourism marketing

Teaching Notes

Below, please find some select marketing ideas that students can be prompted to identify and research, especially if the case is used in a classroom setting:

  • Using the website to sell higher priced items, providing customers the opportunity to research before a visit
  • Including references to popular products in ads, commercials, or other materials
  • Working with tour companies, such as wine tours, cruises, or rail tours
  • Connecting with the local ski area to offer tours to the store during the winter months
  • Establishing ties with other tourism attractions in the area
  • Working with other stores within the Westbank First Nation (e.g., museum, cafes, etc.)
  • Participating in the Kelowna Farmers’ Market after expanding the food selection
  • Offering custom products by working closely with local artists

Sample Instructions for Students

Using the information in this case study as a basis, your task is to apply marketing concepts to recommend a marketing strategy and approach for Spirit of the Lake Native Boutique. Please note that the goal is not to find out what was actually done but to research options, explain your decisions, and elaborate on your chosen marketing approach. The emphasis is on justifying your choices by utilizing your knowledge of marketing theories and concepts, as well as supporting your choices with academic sources.

Time frame: 2 years

Budget: CA$ 5,000 per year

Components: Marketing channels, messages, timing/schedule, brand personality, target audience

The goal is to increase sales, exposure, and brand recognition for SOTL by applying marketing concepts in various areas (e.g., consumer behaviour), keeping in mind the limited human resources available. Students should also focus on suggestions that create brand loyalty and form long-term relationships for SOTL with customers and suppliers.

All recommendations should be based on a detailed analysis of the target audience, including creating a persona. Key performance metrics should be recommended and justified. Benefits and challenges for any suggestions and recommendations need to be clearly stated. Students are expected to research marketing concepts, assess brand positioning, analyze competitors and supply options, and justify any product strategy modifications. Recommendations should integrate multiple marketing channels with a combination of mass communications—such as advertising, promotions, or events—as well as personal communications—such as direct marketing or word-of-mouth referrals.