• ING Direct USA: Asset or liability for ING Group?

      Thibeault, André; Verweire, Kurt (2013)
      ING Direct USA reinvented banking in the States and in the process rose from a crowd of over 12.000 banks to become one of the 30 largest banks by assets and deposits in the States. Since its inception in 2000, more than 7.7 million Americans have entrusted their savings with ING Direct USA. The company revolutionalised the American retail banking industry with a simple savings bank model, built around the customer. Nevertheless, the company faced a tough period during the financial crisis. What went wrong? Has ING Direct been able to recover? The case study examines why ING Direct USA had serious financial problems and examines the viability of the company's business and financial model. Unlike many other organizations, banks not only need to have a sound commercial and organisational model, they also need to have a sound financial model. Banks that do well on the commercial and organisational strategy dimension do not necessarily perform well financially.
    • ING direct: Rebel in the banking industry

      Verweire, Kurt; Van den Berghe, Lutgart (2006)
      ING DIRECT is one of the six business lines of integrated financial services provider ING Group and active in 9 different countries. The case describes how ING DIRECT USA has become the largest Internet-based bank in the United States, and one of the thirty largest banks of any sort in the country. In particular attention is paid to the strategic positioning of ING DIRECT in the US retail banking industry, and what strategic actions the bank has undertaken to achieve and maintain the unique position the bank has achieved so far. The case depicts how it all started, but also sheds a light on the future challenges of the company. Key Words Strategy, strategic positioning, strategy formulation, strategy implementation, US banking industry, on-line banking
    • ING direct: Rebel in the banking industry - Teaching Note

      Verweire, Kurt; Van den Berghe, Lutgart (2006)
      ING DIRECT is one of the six business lines of integrated financial services provider ING Group and active in 9 different countries. The case describes how ING DIRECT USA has become the largest Internet-based bank in the United States, and one of the thirty largest banks of any sort in the country. In particular attention is paid to the strategic positioning of ING DIRECT in the US retail banking industry, and what strategic actions the bank has undertaken to achieve and maintain the unique position the bank has achieved so far. The case depicts how it all started, but also sheds a light on the future challenges of the company. Key Words Strategy, strategic positioning, strategy formulation, strategy implementation, US banking industry, on-line banking
    • Interpolis: Becoming the most transparent and trustworthy insurance company

      Verweire, Kurt; Kemperman, Jeroen; Op 't Hoog, Jennifer; Maas, Peter (2016)
    • KBC's digital transformation: a cultural and people change (B)

      Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
      This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
    • KBC's digital transformation: a strategic response (A)

      Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
      This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
    • Kipling (A): Monkey Business - Kipling tries to conquer the world

      Verweire, Kurt; Meuleman, Miguel; Leleux, B.F. (2010)
      This is the first of a two-case series (IMD-3-2153 and IMD-3-2154). May 1991. Flying back from Venice, Paul Van de Velde thought back about the strange meeting he and Enrico Boldoni had earlier that day with a potential Italian investor. Enrico, an elegant forty something Italian, was the franchising manager for a major department store chain in Italy. He strongly believed in the Kipling brand, and after opening the first Italian Kipling shop in a mall near Rome, decided to switch into a higher gear - opening the next 25 stores! Enrico had found an investor willing to stake a great deal of money in the development of Kipling's franchise concept in Italy. After a short presentation of the Kipling concept, the man confirmed his interest in investing in Kipling with a minor Italian twist, instead of becoming a Kipling franchisee, he wanted to take over the whole company and become the franchisor! He offered to pay 3.75 million euros for the company. Paul took a deep breath. Was this really what he was after when he entered the Italian market? Would he have to deal with this kind of issue when internationalizing Kipling? Did they really want to depend on this type of character for the future growth of the company? Was franchising the way to go? Learning objectives: Building a brand, globalizing a startup company, professionalizing a creative startup, modes of internationalization, financing growth, managing growth, startup teams.
    • Kipling (B): An entrepreneur in stormy weather

      Verweire, Kurt; Meuleman, Miguel; Leleux, B.F. (2010)
      This is the second of a two-case series (IMD-3-2153 and IMD-3-2154). September 1991. Paul Van de Velde and Xavier Kegels were expecting a visit from their main banker, Mr Meuleman. Paul and Xavier had founded Kipling, a casual bag company, five years earlier, together with a third partner, Vincent Haverbeke, who provided the seed money for the venture. Shortly after lunch, the banker finally arrived. Because he had the habit of visiting Kipling about twice a year to briefly go through the financials, his visit did not seem in any way extraordinary. Unfortunately, this time around the meeting turned out very different. Mr Meuleman had stopped by to announce that his bank would stop providing short-term lines of credit to Kipling. The Gulf War had made the banks jittery, in particular with respect to fast-growing companies requiring extensive bank loans. Kipling belonged to that not-so-exclusive-anymore club. Although the company was steadily heading towards 11 million euros in revenues, the bank had decided not to renew its 1.1 million euros revolving credit line. Kipling had three months to look for new sources of funds. Was this the end of the story or the welcome 'kick in the pants' that would force the young firm to professionalize and address the issue of sustainability? Was this the kiss of death or the kiss of life? It was still a bit early to tell, but the wake up call was nasty. Maybe it was time to step back from the mystique and get their feet back on the ground. Kipling as a successful, fast-growing company had needs very different from Kipling, the startup. Maybe it was finally time to wake up to that fact and give the firm the tools it needed to be really successful. Would they be able to make that transition? Learning objectives: Building a brand, globalizing a startup company, professionalizing a creative startup, modes of internationalization, financing growth, managing growth, startup teams, private equity.
    • Leading the Broadband Access Market in EuropeProduct Strategy Formulation at Alcatel - Teaching Note

      Muylle, Steve; Geeraerts, Pieter (2006)
      As the undisputed market leader in the broadband access market, Alcatel has consistently focused on offering Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology and equipment to incumbent telecom operators in Europe. Clearly, Alcatel closely monitors any change in the broadband access market to anticipate and drive consequent changes in its product strategy. While continuous price erosion and Chinese competition are significant factors, developments in the areas of customer (telecom operators) and end customer needs (residential and (small) business customers), technologies (copper, fibre, wireless), regulation, and new entrants may present new opportunities. Given these developments, Alcatel needs to decide whether and how to adjust its product strategy. . Key Words Product strategy, disruptive innovation, market leadership
    • Ready to take the plunge? Introducing Agfa HealthCare's healthcare IT solutions in Spain

      Debruyne, Marion; Baert, Caroline (2011)
      This case reveals the complexity of making a viable market entry with a complex healthcare IT product and illustrates how a technology-driven company aims at making a strategic transition. In 2005, Agfa HealthCare is an established player in the market for medical imaging, that strives to become a leading healthcare IT player. To break through market inertia and increase market share, the company ventures into the development of state-of-the-art IT solutions. Looking for its next growth opportunity, Agfa HealthCare's attention is drawn towards the Spanish healthcare market where it faces four options for a possible market entry with IT solutions: (1) enter the Spanish market alone, (2) acquire a Spanish player, (3) partner up with a company in the Spanish market or (4) dismiss the move altogether and direct its efforts towards other markets or products. It is up to the strategic decision maker to analyse the pros and cons related to each strategy based on available information concerning the industry, customers, competition, possible partners, acquisition candidates and product characteristics. Therefore, this case is particularly suitable for students of both degree programs and executives interested in market strategy, strategic decision making, competition and product management.
    • Siemens Enterprise Mis(s)Communications

      Muylle, Steve; Devoldere, Bart (2009)
      In December 2007, Danny VandeVyver, Regional Director of Marketing and Communication at Siemens Enterprise Communications, was given a board mandate to introduce OpenScape Unified Communications, a breakthrough concept for integrated professional communications, in his region. Together with a global marketing communications agency, VandeVyver considered three options for successfully unleashing this killer application in the Belgian test market. Based on the learning, the technology would then be rolled out in the South West Europe region. The case highlights the importance and complexity of integrated marketing communications and explores the possibilities of new social media in a B2B setting. Conventional wisdom in B2B integrated marketing communications (IMC) is challenged by novel approaches in which the Web and even a former Miss Belgium play an important role. We found the case to be highly useful for introducing and discussing effective B2B IMC campaign development through which managers and students can learn to identify and integrate key communication sources, messages, media, target audiences, and effects. The case is supplemented with a teaching note, three presentations, and four video snippets that illustrate how the technology works and showcases how the selected campaign was implemented. Key metrics and insights are shared.
    • Strategic innovation in the logistic real estate development business: Eurinpro

      Debruyne, Marion; Schoovaerts, Marie; Boute, Robert (2007)
      Eurinpro is a pan-European provider of tailor-made logistic real estate solutions. The case describes Eurinpro's history towards its current business model that deviates from established industry practice. The case highlights the different aspects of the business model and the unique structure and capabilities that Eurinpro has established to make it successful. The focus of the case is on the customer value model that Eurinpro developed. The question posed in the case is whether Eurinpro can sustain this model to keep up growth in the future.
    • Strategic Positioning at Interbrew: to Beck's or not to Beck's

      Muylle, Steve; Van Doorselaere, Ignace (2003)
      Interbrew, the world second largest brewer headquartered in Belgium, needs to assess whether entering the German market through the acquisition of Beck's is in line with its well-established, successful strategic positioning paradigm. Given the record high acquisition price, Interbrew needs strong argumentation whether the deal would make strategic sense.
    • Strategy and performance management at DSM

      Haspeslagh, Philippe; Slagmulder, Regine; Bloemhof, M. (2004)
      The case describes the strategic planning process and performance management system implemented at DSM, a global chemical company. In particular, it describes how the company's value based business steering system is designed to create alignment between strategy formulation and execution through strategic value contracts. The case illustrates the performance management process in action at one of the business groups. It highlights managers' dilemma between continuing to pursue the current business strategy which is in line with corporate strategy, versus responding to the financial pressures exerted by the new value based management approach which would require a radical change in strategy. The case allows students to discuss the various elements of DSM's value based management (VBM)-inspired strategy and performance management processes, and how they impact one of the business groups' efforts to improve performance. The class can analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the company's approach to aligning its strategic planning and financial management processes by introducing strategic value contracts. Finally, the case shows how DSM distinguishes between performance indicators to monitor strategy implementation, and value drivers to measure economic value creation.
    • Studio 100: A growth story of a showcase in show business

      Verweire, Kurt (2014)
      We analyse the time series properties of the S&P500 dividend–price ratio in the light of long-memory, structural breaks and rational bubbles. We find an increase in the long-memory parameter in the early 1990s by applying a test recently proposed by Sibbertsen and Kruse [J. Time Series Anal., 2009, 30, 263–285]. An application of the unit root test against long memory of Demetrescu et al. [Econometr. Theory, 2008, 24, 176–215] suggests that the pre-break data can be characterized by long memory, while the post-break sample contains a unit root. These results reconcile two empirical findings that are seen as contradictory: on the one hand, they confirm the existence of fractional integration in the S&P500 log-dividend–price ratio and, on the other, they are consistent with the existence of a rational bubble. The result of a changing memory parameter in the dividend–price ratio has an important implication for the literature on return predictability: the shift from a stationary dividend–price ratio to a unit root process in 1991 is likely to have caused the well-documented failure of conventional return prediction models since the 1990s.
    • Surviving digital disruption: The case of Truvo

      Peeters, Carine; Baert, Caroline (2018)
      The case study is set at the end of the year 2014. At that time, Truvo, a traditional yellow pages industry player in Belgium, has already made a number of important steps in its transition from a print directory company to a digital marketing agency for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Different strategic options have been explored, implemented and / or abandoned, illustrating the continuous approach to the company's strategic transformation. In 2014, Truvo's management had to decide on two important next steps in the company's transformation: 1) Should Truvo further accelerate the full exit from print business? 2) Should Truvo extend its digital marketing offering by creating a full-service agency targeting larger clients? In addition to a reflection on Truvo's transformation journey overall, these two concrete questions offer an opportunity to expose students and executives to the difficulty of strategy making when a company needs to radically rethink its existing business model in a context of rapid but also uncertain market developments.
    • Upgrade estate: winning with sustainability

      Verweire, Kurt (2020)
      Upgrade Estate is a successful company in the Belgian student housing market. Although student housing is perceived to be a commodity market, the company has been able to differentiate itself from the competition with a very unique concept. The case outlines how Upgrade Estate has been able to grow in this market and what the company has done to achieve a market leader. It illustrates well how a company can build a successful strategy based on the principles of customer intimacy, and what it takes to implement that strategy well. The Management Team is, however, wondering how to grow the company beyond its existing core. There are several growth options available and the key question is which one(s) to pursue?