Messilor Inc. - MyConsultingCoach
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Case

Case prompt

Our client, Messilor Inc. manufactures contact lenses. They operate in the U.K. market and wish to increase their market share over the next 2 years. They have hired us to help them formulate a plan. How would you help them through this process?


Detailed solution

Paragraphs highlighted in orange indicate hints for you on how to guide the interviewee through the case.

Paragraphs highlighted in blue can be verbally communicated to the interviewee.

Paragraphs highlighted in green indicate diagrams or tables that can be shared in the “Case exhibits” section.


Suggested case structure

Key question: How can the company increase its market share?

Brainstorm with the interviewee on a possible structure to solve the case.


Below would be the steps to solve the case:
  1. Context: The candidate should attempt to understand the products, sales and distribution mix of the client.
  2. Market/Competitor analysis: The candidate should try to understand the competitive dynamics, growth outlook, market size etc.
  3. Customers: The candidate should try to understand the target customers, their buying behavior, preferences etc.
  4. Recommendation: The candidate must give a concrete recommendation on the basis of the above analysis.


1. Context

The interviewee should at the outset try to understand the company's products, sales mix, distribution penetration etc.

Allow the interviewee to think aloud and lay out the list of information required in order to understand the the client's current business.

Share Exhibit 1 with the candidate if he/she enquires about the product mix and share Exhibit 2 if he/she enquires about the geographical distribution of sales.


Exhibit 1 

 

Exhibit 2 

 

Share the following information with the interviewee if enquired:

    • The company primarily operates in the U.K.
    • The company manufactures disposable and normal lenses. These are made in traditional and cosmetic styles.
    • The market for disposable lenses is growing faster than the market for normal lenses. The market for normal lenses is saturated, as most of the young generation prefers disposable lenses.
    • The market for traditional lenses is growing faster than the market for cosmetic lenses.
    • Messilor's sales are the lowest in the Eastern region as it has limited presence in that region.

Key insight:
  1. The company could try to increase its distribution presence in the Eastern region in order to increase sales and market share.
  2. The market for disposable lenses in traditional style seems to be growing faster than the other categories. This sales in this category for Messilor are still low. It could explore increasing the product range in this category in order to grow market share.


2. Market/ Competitor analysis

The interviewee must now try to gather information about the competitors, market size, growth outlook etc.

Allow the interviewee to think aloud and lay out the list of information required in order to understand this aspect.

Share the following diagrams with the interviewee if enquired:

    • Exhibit 3 if she/he enquires about the lens users as a percentage of population in different age groups.
    • Exhibit 4 if she/he enquires about the split of lens users by gender.
    • Exhibit 5 if she/he enquires about the distribution of lens users by region.
    • Exhibit 6 if she/he enquires about the expected growth outlook by region.


Exhibit 3

 

Exhibit 4

 

Exhibit 5

 

Exhibit 6

 

Share the following information with the interviewee if enquired:

    • The company has two major competitors: B&L and Acuview
    • There are no major differences between the products of these companies and Messilor's products.
    • Outside of U.K., Ireland and France are two major markets with great growth outlook. If Messilor decides to enter these markets, it will have to compete with B&L and Acuview as they are already strong in these markets.

A great candidate would assimilate the information shared so far and would realise that the absolute population in the different age brackets is required in order to estimate the largest category of users by age group. Prompt him/ her in this direction if required. Also, share that the population of U.K. is estimated to be 400 m.  

Share Exhibit 7 with the candidate if she/he enquires about the population distribution across age groups.


Exhibit 7

 

The candidate must now try to estimate the number of lens users in different age brackets by using the below formula:

No. of lens users ( In a particular age bracket) = Total population x % of people in that age bracket x % of lens users in that age bracket

Allow the candidate time to work through the calculation for each age bracket. Also prompt him/ her to calculate the percentage of lens users in each age bracket. If the candidate struggles with these calculations, share Exhibit 8 in order to progress the case.

Share Exhibit 8 with the candidate if she/he struggles with the above calculations.


Exhibit 8

 
Key insight:
  1. The customers in the age groups  <20 and 21 -30 years are the highest. They account for more than 70% of the total lens users and therefore must be a key focus area from a sales point of view.
  2. In addition, female customers form the bulk of lens users (75%). 
  3. Therefore, females who are less than 30 years of age would be the primary target audience.
  4. City and suburbs should be the main focus areas.
  5. In terms of regional distribution, north presents an interesting opportunity. The share of the client's sales in that region is moderate, but this region is expected to have the highest growth over the next few years. South, where the client has a good market, would continue to grow at a moderate pace and should also remain to be a key focus area. The East and West regions will have a slow growth, but East presents an opportunity for the client to increase penetration as Messilor does not have significant presence in the region.
  6. Ireland and France do present opportunities for growth, however given the short term objective of increasing market share (within the next 2 years), the company should focus on its existing market (U.K.). Besides, these markets already have a stiff competition, so large wins in the short term would be unlikely.

3. Customers

The interviewee now try to gather information about the target customers, customer segmentation, their buying behavior, preferences, etc.

Allow the interviewee to think aloud and lay out the list of information required in order to understand this aspect.

Share the following information with the interviewee if enquired:

    • The lens users can be divided into two categories: new adopters and existing contact lens users.
    • New adopters
      • Doctors influence the buying behavior of 'new adopters'. These customers typically purchase the lens from retail outlets as they want to be guided through the process.
      • The choice of brand is primarily influenced by their doctor.
    • Existing contact lens users
      • The existing contact lens users typically purchase refill of the lens from retail outlet or online stores.
      • These customers typically have a brand preference and do not switch brands easily.


Key insight:

Messilor must focus on the 'new adopters' as it is hard to make in-roads into the existing contact lens users segment. Doctors are the primary influencer for this category and retail outlets form a key component of the distribution strategy.

4. Recommendation

The candidate must succinctly lay out the next steps for the client as follows:
  1. The company must focus on early adopters primarily females who are less than 30 years of age.
  2. Doctors and retail stores would be the two key pillars of the distribution strategy.
  3. The company should work on improving its relationship with doctors so that they recommend the brand to the consumers.
  4. In parallel, the company must work on its distribution strategy by focusing on retail outlets:
    1. Outlets in the North and South regions should be a key focus area
    2. City and suburbs should be targeted first
    3. Outlets in areas which are frequented by young women should be a priority (malls, shopping streets etc)
  5. From a product point of view, the company should focus on disposable lenses as they are expected to be the fastest growing category.
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