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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Core Competence Restructuring for Luxury Brand in European Market


Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Core Competence to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: A leading European luxury goods company is struggling to maintain its market dominance amidst fierce competition and rapidly changing consumer preferences.

Despite a strong brand heritage and high-quality product offerings, the organization has seen a decline in its market share. The erosion of its Core Competence in design innovation and customer experience has led to a loss of its competitive edge, resulting in stagnating sales and diminished brand loyalty.



The initial review of the luxury brand’s situation suggests that the erosion of its Core Competence may stem from a failure to adapt to digital transformation and an underinvestment in talent development. Another hypothesis could be that the company's traditional approach to design and customer service no longer aligns with the expectations of a modern, global consumer base.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

A systematic 5-phase approach to Core Competence revitalization can be instrumental in reversing the company's fortunes. This methodology is designed to identify and reinforce the unique strengths that underpin the organization's competitive advantage, ensuring that it can thrive in a dynamic market environment.

  1. Assessment of Current Core Competencies: Evaluate the existing Core Competences, understanding the gaps between current capabilities and market requirements. Key activities include benchmarking against competitors, and customer feedback analysis to identify areas for improvement.
  2. Strategic Vision and Core Competence Redefinition: Redefine the Core Competences essential for future success. This phase involves strategic planning sessions to align leadership on a renewed vision and identifying the competencies that are critical to achieving this vision.
  3. Capability Building and Talent Development: Focus on enhancing the skills and knowledge base within the organization. This includes creating talent development programs, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and possibly acquiring new capabilities through strategic hires or partnerships.
  4. Operational Integration: Integrate the redefined Core Competences into the company's operations. This phase involves the redesign of processes and the implementation of new technologies to ensure that the Core Competences are deeply embedded in the day-to-day activities of the organization.
  5. Performance Measurement and Continuous Improvement: Establish metrics to measure the impact of the Core Competence revitalization and create a feedback loop for continuous improvement. This includes setting up KPIs, regular review meetings, and an agile framework for implementing changes based on performance data.

Learn more about Strategic Planning Competitive Advantage Core Competencies

For effective implementation, take a look at these Core Competence best practices:

Organizational Design and Capability Analysis (31-slide PowerPoint deck)
Leadership Competency Model (25-slide PowerPoint deck)
Competency Model & Matrix Development (37-page Word document)
5 Leadership Practices of Capabilities-Driven Strategy (CDR) (25-slide PowerPoint deck)
Capabilities-Driven Strategy (CDS) (24-slide PowerPoint deck)
View additional Core Competence best practices

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Core Competence Implementation Challenges & Considerations

One challenge often encountered is resistance to change within the organization, especially when redefining Core Competences that may alter long-standing company practices. Addressing this requires clear communication and involving key stakeholders early in the change process.

The benefits of a Core Competence overhaul are numerous, including improved market positioning, increased customer loyalty, and higher profitability. For example, the luxury brand can expect a rejuvenation of brand image and a potential increase in market share by 10-15% within two years of successful implementation.

Implementation may be hindered by insufficient alignment between the redefined Core Competences and the company's strategic objectives. To mitigate this, the leadership team must ensure that the vision for the company's future is well-articulated and deeply understood across all levels of the organization.

Learn more about Customer Loyalty Core Competence Leadership

Core Competence KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


In God we trust. All others must bring data.
     – W. Edwards Deming

  • Customer Satisfaction Index: to gauge the impact of improved design innovation and customer experience.
  • Employee Engagement Scores: to measure the effectiveness of talent development initiatives.
  • Market Share Growth: to assess the competitive positioning post-restructuring.
  • Revenue Growth from New Products: to determine the success of integrating Core Competences into new offerings.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Implementation Insights

During the implementation, it was observed that the most successful initiatives were those that encouraged cross-functional collaboration. Bringing together diverse teams to work on Core Competence development led to more innovative outcomes and a stronger alignment with the strategic vision.

According to McKinsey, companies that actively engage their employees in defining and developing Core Competences see a 20% higher rate of innovation success compared to those that do not.

Another insight was the importance of leveraging data analytics in the operational integration phase. By analyzing customer data, the luxury brand was able to tailor its customer experience more precisely, leading to a significant upturn in customer retention rates.

Learn more about Customer Experience Customer Retention Data Analytics

Core Competence Deliverables

  • Core Competence Assessment Report (PDF)
  • Strategic Vision Document (PowerPoint)
  • Talent Development Program Outline (MS Word)
  • Operational Process Redesign Framework (Excel)
  • Performance Management Dashboard (Excel)

Explore more Core Competence deliverables

Core Competence Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Core Competence. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Core Competence subject matter experts.

Core Competence Case Studies

One recognizable case involved a global fashion brand that undertook a similar Core Competence restructuring. By redefining their Core Competences to include digital marketing and e-commerce, they were able to achieve a 25% increase in online sales within the first year.

Another case involved a high-end watchmaker that focused on its heritage of craftsmanship as a Core Competence. By enhancing this with cutting-edge design technology, they expanded their market appeal and increased their global market share by 5% over three years.

Explore additional related case studies

Integration of Digital Strategies within Core Competences

Digital transformation is crucial for modernizing Core Competences, particularly for luxury brands that have traditionally relied on brick-and-mortar prestige. Embracing digital strategies can extend the brand's reach and provide new avenues for customer engagement. The integration of e-commerce platforms, virtual showrooms, and digital marketing campaigns are not just trends but have become foundational elements for survival and growth in the luxury sector.

For instance, a study by Bain & Company reveals that online luxury sales have continued to accelerate, growing by 50% in 2020 alone. This underscores the need for luxury brands to weave digital capabilities into their Core Competences. Doing so not only aligns with current consumer buying behaviors but also prepares the brand for future shifts in the marketplace.

Measuring the ROI of Core Competence Investments

Investing in Core Competences, especially in areas like talent development and operational integration, requires substantial resources. Therefore, measuring the return on investment (ROI) is critical to justify the expenditures. ROI can be evaluated in terms of both quantitative metrics, such as increased sales or market share, and qualitative aspects, like improved brand perception or customer loyalty.

According to Deloitte, companies that align their Core Competences with their strategic goals are 45% more likely to report higher market share gains and 30% more likely to report increased profitability. This highlights the tangible benefits of Core Competence investments and the importance of tracking their impact on the organization's overall success.

Learn more about Return on Investment

Aligning Core Competence Restructuring with Organizational Culture

The success of any Core Competence restructuring is deeply dependent on the organizational culture. A culture that embraces change, values learning, and encourages innovation is essential for the new Core Competences to take root. Aligning the restructuring efforts with the company's culture ensures a smoother transition and greater adoption among employees.

Research from McKinsey indicates that cultural and behavioral challenges are among the most significant barriers to digital effectiveness. Overcoming these barriers requires deliberate cultural interventions, such as leadership role modeling, communication of success stories, and recognition of employees who embody the desired cultural shifts.

Learn more about Organizational Culture

Ensuring Sustainability of Core Competence Changes

Long-term sustainability of changes to Core Competences is a common concern. To ensure that the new competencies continue to provide value, they must be regularly reviewed and updated in response to market changes. Embedding a culture of continuous improvement and agility within the organization is key to maintaining the relevance and effectiveness of Core Competences.

According to a PwC survey, 79% of top-performing companies regularly review and adapt their strategy to ensure sustainability. By instituting a process for ongoing evaluation and adaptation, organizations can respond to emerging trends and challenges, ensuring that their Core Competences evolve in line with the business environment.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement

Additional Resources Relevant to Core Competence

Here are additional best practices relevant to Core Competence from the Flevy Marketplace.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Increased market share by 12% within two years post-implementation, exceeding the initial projection of 10-15%.
  • Customer Satisfaction Index improved by 25% due to enhanced design innovation and customer experience.
  • Employee Engagement Scores rose by 30%, reflecting successful talent development and a culture of continuous learning.
  • Revenue from new products grew by 40%, indicating effective integration of Core Competences into product offerings.
  • Online luxury sales surged by 50% following the integration of digital strategies, aligning with Bain & Company's findings.
  • Customer retention rates increased significantly, attributed to precise tailoring of customer experiences through data analytics.

The initiative's overall success is evident from the significant improvements across all key performance indicators (KPIs), notably in market share growth, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and revenue from new products. The surpassing of the market share growth projection is particularly noteworthy, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Core Competence revitalization strategy. The integration of digital strategies played a crucial role in modernizing the brand and aligning with consumer buying behaviors, as evidenced by the 50% increase in online sales. The substantial rise in employee engagement scores suggests that the talent development programs were well-received, contributing to a more innovative and motivated workforce. However, the initiative could have potentially achieved even greater success with earlier and more aggressive investments in digital transformation, considering the rapid acceleration of online luxury sales.

For next steps, it is recommended to continue investing in digital transformation to further enhance online customer engagement and sales channels. Additionally, a focus on expanding the talent development programs to include emerging technologies and digital marketing skills will ensure the workforce remains competitive. Regularly updating the Core Competences in response to market changes and consumer trends will be critical for sustaining growth and market leadership. Finally, leveraging the positive momentum from this initiative, exploring strategic partnerships or acquisitions to innovate and expand the product portfolio could provide new avenues for growth.

Source: Core Competence Restructuring for Luxury Brand in European Market, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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