Cunard Essay

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Harvard Business School 9-594-046 Rev. August 29, 1994 Cunard Line, Ltd.: Managing Integrated Marketing Communications One of our major challenges in the current economic environment is to balance the strategic need and resources for image-building for the ships (and for Cunard) with the tactical need and resources to continue to obtain passengers for individual ships and cruises now. In mid-1992, Eleanor Leslie, vice president for corporate and marketing communications of Cunard Line, Ltd., pointed proudly to Cunard’s marketing and financial success over the firm’s entire 150-year history, including recent years. Despite this, she articulated some concerns as the company headed into the mid-1990s. Leslie thought that some portion of the firm’s continuing success could be attributed to the high recognition and image of elegance which the Cunard name enjoyed. Yet in the past few years, due to competitive pressures, economic conditions, and also the structure of Cunard’s organization, an increasing portion of funds had been allocated to the marketing budgets of individual ships (rather than in behalf of the Cunard group overall). Further, an increasing proportion of these funds was being devoted to tactical marketing. Thus there had been less and less “left over” for the reinforcement or support of the Cunard brand name. She also thought that prospective internal organizational change might add to these problems. The Company and Its Ships Cunard Line, Ltd., was a wholly owned subsidiary of Trafalgar House, a large London-based conglomerate. It had been in the cruise and steamship business since its founding in 1840. It was widely considered to be the last of the great steamship lines, and had successfully adapted to the contemporary marketplace. Prior to the advent of jet travel, the firm had been an important worldwide provider of travel services, particularly

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