Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s Strategic Alternatives

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Marta Stewart Living Omnimedia is a large corporation specializing in the segments of publishing, broadcasting, merchandise, and e-commerce for nearly three decades. The SWOT analysis demonstrates that over these years, the brand image of MSLO has shifted from being one of the most popular and respected companies to a contradictory enterprise with constants top management appointment modifications and legal endeavors.

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For this reason, it is safe to say that reputation is currently no asset to the MSLO. Moreover, the company’s embodiment in the image of Martha Stewart remains an area for improvement due to both her reputation and relevance within today’s target audience. Finally, the poor operating system and lack of a definite corporate culture due to frequent management reassignment affect the company’s outcomes negatively. As far as the strengths of the firm are concerned, cost leadership, customer loyalty, and platform reach could be identified as the most prominent ones. Indeed, reasonable pricing policies, middle-aged women as a target market with high retention rates, and the existence of a media platform to reach new customers puts MSLO at a considerable competitive advantage.

As a result, the primary objective for the corporation at this stage is to ensure the active utilization of its assets and risk mitigation policies. The two alternative strategies chosen for this scenario both concern horizontal integration and include merger and product redesign, namely, reconsideration of the current broadcasting framework for the sake of better reach and financial performance. As far as a merger is concerned, the primary advantages of such a strategy would be a partial delegation of responsibility, relative simplicity in implementation, and possibly fewer financial risks for the company. However, on the other hand, the merger would mean losing brand identity and recognition and less control over the operating structure. Product redesign, for its part, secures better customer reach and higher profitability both from sales and commercial integrations.

The drawbacks of such an alternative address complexity in terms of time and effort, as well as the cost-inefficiency related to either hiring a new creative team or retraining the existing one. The strategies outline may be perceived better with a table below:

Merger Broadcasting Product Redesign
Advantages
Shared responsibility Customer reach
Time-efficiency Long-term profitability (sales + advertising integrations)
Disadvantages
Brand image loss Time- and effort-demanding
Less control Cost-inefficiency

Having meticulously considered both alternatives, it may be defined that the second strategy aiming at redesigning the product is more promising and viable in the long term. To begin with, the current broadcasting framework of the MSLO accounts for significant investments in broadcasting. As of 2021 along, MSLO has launched two new TV-reality series streaming on HGTV, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video: “Martha Gets Down and Dirty” and “Clipped” (IMDb, 2021; Rotten Tomatoes, 2021). As of now, both series have proven to be unpopular with the audience, relying solely on the loyal fans of Martha Stewart herself (Amazon, 2021). Among the current shows broadcasted by MSLO, “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,” launched in 2016, remains the most relevant and popular. The relevance of this show is mostly explained by the presence of various cameos and the unexpected hosting duo of Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog.

Simultaneously with investing in semi-successful TV shows, MSLO’s YouTube channel has more than seven hundred subscribers (Martha Stewart, 2021). The only type of content currently produced is the upload of daily episodes of the “Martha Bakes” Internet show. Since this show only concerns cooking, its reach is rather limited, which is demonstrated in the number of views for each video. Once a proper content plan is created, including various aspects of lifestyle, the company’s products overview, and relevant topics for all audiences, the reach will increase drastically.

Such a transformation allocates perfectly with the MSLO’s mission to be not just a company but a lab for ideas and a community celebrating the art of creative living (Comparably, n.d.). MSLO’s competitors, including such popular firms as Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, do not have a media platform that would allow them to reach new audiences without significant investments. Thus, it may be concluded that by defunding the shooting of new reality TV shows and allocating these funds to the relaunch of the firm’s social media presence and content on YouTube, MSLO may gain a significant competitive advantage in both financial benefit and popularity with the market.

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In order for MSLO to promote its culture and mission within the corporation, the company should come to terms with its initial definition, as currently, there is no public data on the firm’s values and pursuits. The only data available on the web include the approximate definition of the mission and online survey results that indicate that 50% of the employees who participated in the survey clearly understood the culture and values behind the business (Comparably, n.d.). Thus, to create an encouraging environment within the organization, it is vital for a servant leader to listen carefully to the concerns of the employees. The leadership initiative, in this case, should concern the organization of meaningful employee supervision and evaluation of the current employees’ perception of the workplace in order to later analyze the data and introduce changes to the corporate culture.

References

Amazon. (2021). Martha gets down and dirty. Prime Video. Web.

Comparably. (n.d.). Martha Stewart Living mission, vision & values. Web.

IMDb. (2021). Clipped! Web.

Martha Stewart. (2021). Martha Stewart bakes with stone fruits | Martha Bakes S11E6 “Stone fruits” [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Rotten Tomatoes. (2021). Martha gets down and dirty. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Strategic Alternatives'. 8 September.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Strategic Alternatives." September 8, 2022. https://business-essay.com/martha-stewart-living-omnimedias-strategic-alternatives/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Strategic Alternatives." September 8, 2022. https://business-essay.com/martha-stewart-living-omnimedias-strategic-alternatives/.


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BusinessEssay. "Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Strategic Alternatives." September 8, 2022. https://business-essay.com/martha-stewart-living-omnimedias-strategic-alternatives/.