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Thread: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    I would describe the relationships that exist in MJ as mutually beneficial rather than parasitic.

    A parasite must be in intimate contact with its host to derive any benefit. I can only think of one MJ incident that could possibly be described as parasitic. Years ago an outfit organising a MJ event put flyers on cars parked outside a Ceroc freestyle in London. For the record, the event being touted was well over one hundred miles outside London, i.e. only those really into MJ would be likely to attend.

    If I buy a car from a dealership and take it elsewhere for servicing is the dealership entitled to regard all the other service providers that I use as parasites because they donít bring any new cars onto the road?

    Would car dealerships like to have a monopoly on car servicing?
    Would Ceroc like to have a monopoly on everything MJ in the UK?
    Do bears defecate in the woods?

    The whole point is that itís a free market

    If Ceroc puts more money into marketing than independents then thatís their choice. Everybody knows that large organisations can afford more extravagant advertising campaigns. When a large business spends a huge amount on advertising it is known that other businesses selling similar products will also receive a slight Ďliftí. Does anybody think that the other businesses owe anything in return?

    Like DS I canít help thinking that some posts seem to imply ownership of dancers. This attitude annoys me. Why? 1. Iím a human being, not an object. 2. I paid a lot of money for the classes I attended

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Unfortunately,these days I have very little to do but sit in front of my PC and trawl thro the sites that I enjoy.This happens to be one of them.
    Having just read most of this thread it occurs to me that if this was a typical example of a thread of this or any forum I can see why some people would think 'oh sod it this gets on my chimes-I'm off'.
    I wont name which is which but you can draw your own conclusions.
    Here you have three posters-two opinionated argumentative types and one level headed,rational observer.
    The two awkward ones are going at it as usual,one has the ability of keeping me interested with his turn of phrase,wit,not letting it get too heavy,call it what you like,the other one just seems to have that knack of creating a somewhat pointless discussion to a level that I get bored.
    Then along comes our level headed observer who puts the discussion back to a level that I can understand and agree with.
    Please dont tell me that if I dont like what is going on in the thread then why do I bother because as I said at the beginning I have nothing else to do and I actually like the site.
    Anyway I am bored.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    JA saw an opportunity to run them in the North, but as with everything else, it was not a business idea they created.
    I never said it was - they created a product in the North that became very popular. The holiday dance model was the plot of Dirty Dancing don't you know, so your examples are only the tip of the iceberg.

    Sure, you can survive without creating your own customer base, but you'll always be looking over your shoulder.
    Well that depends on your product and whether it offers something better, regardless of customer base. We may see this soon with Ubuntu Linux, it is in many ways superior to Windows and is likely to compete directly with Windows 7 - yet most of its customers will be ex-windows users. Does Ubuntu "owe" Microsoft in anyway ? No!



    Quote Originally Posted by Bubble View Post
    Like DS I canít help thinking that some posts seem to imply ownership of dancers. This attitude annoys me. Why? 1. Iím a human being, not an object. 2. I paid a lot of money for the classes I attended
    Indeed, and thats my only real criticism with the tone of Rockys posts.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Mods ... a thought?

    Can we split off the Rocky/DS debate into a 'sticky' thread titled something like "JA v Ceroc - the Battle for your Dance Soul". Thereafter, whenever this standard argument breaks out again we can just move it into this thread .....

    and this may leave the ORIGINAL () debate about opening up a CLub in an area of Ceroc dominance.

    I think we've previously had debates about Ceroc doing the same to established Independants. Why should a Ceroc club succeed in doing this whereas Independants seem to fail ... or is there evidence to the contrary?

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubble View Post
    I would describe the relationships that exist in MJ as mutually beneficial rather than parasitic...

    ..The whole point is that itís a free market

    ..Like DS I canít help thinking that some posts seem to imply ownership of dancers. This attitude annoys me. Why? 1. Iím a human being, not an object. 2. I paid a lot of money for the classes I attended
    What's 'implied' is entirely subjective - but it's still odd to see your response especially as I have taken the time to state that never on this forum has anyone involved with Ceroc that I know of said that Ceroc 'own' dancers. Lots of people have said that that's how they feel, but guess what, they are just being provocative. Same as me using the word 'parasitic', I knew it would push DS's buttons and he responded accordingly - like Pavlov's Cyber Dog... (or should that be Rocky's Cyber Smurf..)

    And for the record, in business terms you are an object and a number, and I know it's not a nice warm fuzzy thing to think about but you can easily be manipulated by marketing. By and large groups of social networks will respond to any given stimulus within certain parameters - that's why marketing works.

    Please don't take this as an attack, because it's not - and if you choose not to think about it or believe otherwise that's fine, but it doesn't change the fact it's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Well that depends on your product and whether it offers something better, regardless of customer base. We may see this soon with Ubuntu Linux, it is in many ways superior to Windows and is likely to compete directly with Windows 7 - yet most of its customers will be ex-windows users. Does Ubuntu "owe" Microsoft in anyway ? No!
    I think you might be missing the point here. Yes, it's a free market, and yes Ubuntu (or whoever) have the right to run their business anyway they want. But if you are a reseller or a niche marketer running on the back of someone else's product, brand, service or customers you are vulnerable. I know nothing about Ubuntu and Microsoft but just from what you've said it seems to me that Ubuntu run the risk of being bought out, being forced into a partnership with a bigger fish or being put out of business altogether if MS feel like flexing their muscles.

    And that's all I'm saying as regards this thread. If you run a business in an ideal World you are best advised to source and to continue to source your own customers. You then need to build brand loyalty by continuing to innovate and by providing the best service and product you can. This helps put you in control of your destiny to some degree.

    That said, it's still not an absolute guarantee of success, but at least you can't be accused of going in with your eyes closed..

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    I suggest we take off and nuke them all from space, kill em all and let God sort em out.

    Seem's reasonable or IS IT ME?

    DTS aka cpl Hicks

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    But anyway, the JA things been done to death (literally) so I'm sure every one's sick of it
    On that subject I'm not about to leave unchallenged any statement I strongly disagree with.

    But I'd prefer the statement wasn't made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    ...But they made the mistake of viewing SP as a short term cash cow ...
    So Jive Addiction are in a position of knowing they can sell out their Southport weekenders which are extremely popular and well thought of.


    Do they lower the level of the workshops they offer, when they could lower it an awful lot and still far exceed the level of the competition ?

    No, not from the record.


    What do they do when they lose one of the 4 class / freestyle dance areas within the venue . Note that even with the lost area they're still better off than any competitive weekender.

    No, they create a better one, that more than replaces the one lost.


    That doesn't sound like treating it as a cash cow to me.

    Ceroc, by contrast, don't find it worthwhile to create a level floor in one of the remaining venues.




    It might not help your argument but while I'm here:-
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    ... now that Ceroc have chosen to expend into the weekender market more, people do find that they are getting what they need from Ceroc.
    Well some do. Many don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    now Ceroc is in the position of, particularly because they have the Southport venue, of having a parasitic relationship with JA. JA provided and built a successful weekender market that Ceroc are taking advantage of. Oh the Irony.
    To a degree. Largely Ceroc have promoted it to and brought in their own dancers / introduced them to the weekend.

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    Commercial Operator Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    On that subject I'm not about to leave unchallenged any statement I strongly disagree with.

    But I'd prefer the statement wasn't made.

    So Jive Addiction are in a position of knowing they can sell out their Southport weekenders which are extremely popular and well thought of.

    Do they lower the level of the workshops they offer, when they could lower it an awful lot and still far exceed the level of the competition ?

    No, not from the record.
    Err... the level of workshops on offer is what helped to make them popular so lowering the level would make them, ummm...less popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    What do they do when they lose one of the 4 class / freestyle dance areas within the venue . Note that even with the lost area they're still better off than any competitive weekender.

    No, they create a better one, that more than replaces the one lost.
    If you're talking about the marquee, everyone I spoke to about it hated it, so I'm finding it difficult to see how that's better..

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    That doesn't sound like treating it as a cash cow to me.

    Ceroc, by contrast, don't find it worthwhile to create a level floor in one of the remaining venues.
    Dancers feedback is generally that they like the original floor, just as they do at Camber, and having two floor types in one room means people have a choice based on what best suits their footwear. I thought that listening to customers and offering choice was a good thing, but clearly it isn't in The Shire..

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    It might not help your argument but while I'm here:-
    Well some do. Many don't.
    Umm... many do and some don't I think is what you meant to say..

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    To a degree. Largely Ceroc have promoted it to and brought in their own dancers / introduced them to the weekend.
    In any event I'm not going to continue with a JA debate as I was only using them as an example, which taken with the rest of my posts, you will note WAS relevant to this thread - but suffice it to say that if they had been looking long term they would still have SP - and they don't do they, so go figure..

    Now, any thoughts on how you take on an established business and create longevity with a new venture in MJ?
    Last edited by Rocky; 29th-October-2009 at 11:41 PM.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    If you're talking about the marquee, everyone I spoke to about it hated it, so I'm finding it difficult to see how that's better..
    Strange that.

    It was beautifully lit in the evening, had a clear space without pillars for teaching, increased the available dance space and choice of music at any one time.

    Plenty to hate there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Iancers feedback is generally that they like the original floor, just as they do at Camber, and having two floor types in one room means people have a choice based on what best suits their footwear. I thought that listening to customers and offering choice was a good thing, but clearly it isn't in The Shire..
    At Camber the original floor is of good size and quality.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Now, any thoughts on how you take on an established business and create longevity with a new venture in MJ?
    Absolutely. Start with a successful (even unrelated) venture. Treat it is a cash cow. Make enough money to persuade Ceroc you're not vulnerable other than to better quality offerings in the long term. Then apply the various prescriptions such as Philsmove mentioned to create a quality night.
    Last edited by frodo; 30th-October-2009 at 12:26 AM. Reason: Added last bit

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    What's 'implied' is entirely subjective - but it's still odd to see your response especially as I have taken the time to state that never on this forum has anyone involved with Ceroc that I know of said that Ceroc 'own' dancers.
    Other peoples opinions are not "odd", they are just opinions. Do you ever wonder why people consider you arrogant ?

    Lots of people have said that that's how they feel, but guess what, they are just being provocative.
    No, sometimes they are just pointing out something you are clearly oblivious to. You are like one of Pavlovs failed experiments, the dog that tried to eat the bell and died from hunger. Listen and understand.

    Same as me using the word 'parasitic', I knew it would push DS's buttons and he responded accordingly - like Pavlov's Cyber Dog... (or should that be Rocky's Cyber Smurf..)
    You say the same things, I respond with "yes, but..." and bring back the same response because I think it is accurate...

    Anyway, I didn't think 'parasitic' was provocative, just innaccurate for the JA example, but it's telling that you said it to be provocative.

    Then again - maybe I'm just saying that to be provocative.



    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Well some do. Many don't.
    Can't please all of the people all of the time
    Last edited by Dreadful Scathe; 30th-October-2009 at 01:00 AM. Reason: alter the hobbit

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Strange that.

    It was beautifully lit in the evening, had a clear space without pillars for teaching, increased the available dance space and choice of music at any one time.

    Plenty to hate there.
    Well I hated it!

    I can't be bothered to find my review but I think I said something along the lines of.. it lacked any form of atmosphere, there was no bar and if you did manage to bring a drink over, there were no tables to put it on.
    there were hardly any chairs, so people had to stand around the edge and the few chairs that were there, were loaded up with coats and bags.

    To get into the Marquee, one had to cross an extremely muddy piece of grass, which meant changing your shoes.
    And, I clearly remember that during the designated WCS slots, most of the westies remained in the Blues room, (for the above reasons) which seemed to annoy a far few people.

    But credit to JA, they did 'try' to solve a problem but I'm afraid, it didn't work!
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Originally Posted by todd
    I'm now about to open up a second venue and all the above marketing activity with, this time, yes - busking as this time I have the base of dancers and support to pull this form of promotion off... Opening night is 6th Oct: Will let you know if the marketing activities work or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    So ... has it gone well?
    Hi Straycat - okay, sorry I haven't posted for ages...! The opening night of the new venue couldn't have been better! To give an idea the size of the hall is big enough to host around 80-90 people on a standard lesson night without being too cramped. On the opening night we attracted over 130 people! It was some what tight for space to say the least. Being too busy is a nice problem to have, but one that I was sure was a one-off. This has been proved right in that the numbers have settled to a more managable and realistic 70 ish per week. Still early days and still lots of work to continue to improve and develop the venue, but all in all a very very promising start.

    In relation to the original topic/thread - considering that over 90 of the people who turned up on the opening night were brand new to any form of partner dance, it would appear that my marketing efforts worked a bit too well..! Of course, this time round a huge shout out has to go to my team who helped out with things like busks and leaflet distribution, etc.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    Well I hated it!

    I can't be bothered to find my review but I think I said something along the lines of.. it lacked any form of atmosphere, there was no bar and if you did manage to bring a drink over, there were no tables to put it on.
    there were hardly any chairs, so people had to stand around the edge and the few chairs that were there, were loaded up with coats and bags.

    To get into the Marquee, one had to cross an extremely muddy piece of grass, which meant changing your shoes.
    And, I clearly remember that during the designated WCS slots, most of the westies remained in the Blues room, (for the above reasons) which seemed to annoy a far few people.
    It wouldn't have had much atmosphere without the tables, all the way down both sides.

    You must have been talking about the first time they had the area.

    Surely the later one is the one that matters when discussing success or otherwise, and telling people it didn't work.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    But credit to JA, they did 'try' to solve a problem but I'm afraid, it didn't work!
    Exactly what problem didn't they solve

    • It had no bar, but neither did the room it was replacing.


    • It provided the space to keep the same range of classes running, allow the same number of people to attend classes. For class purposes the visibility of the teachers was much better than in the room it replaced.


    • It provided the space to keep 3 modern freestyle jive rooms running, and still provided space for Tango / WCS etc. So more dance space and music variety.


    The floor was good. The sound quality was very good. It certainly had atmosphere (with the tables and the lighting).

    *****
    If the 'problem' they're trying to solve is only about WCS:-

    It was certainly busy with WCS at times, though granted at other times it wasn't busy at all.

    But that isn't specific to this dance area. For example it might be applied to Ceroc's WCS sessions.


    I'm disappointed not to see a bit more balance in your comments.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    You must have been talking about the first time they had the area.

    Surely the later one is the one that matters when discussing success or otherwise, and telling people it didn't work.
    Yes, you're right, on both counts

    But, if I'm totally honest, the first time turned me off so much, that I had to force myself to go over there the second time

    But I did go and here's 'MY' experience, I was at a party in a chalet and suddenly noticed the time and realised I was missing a Milonga, so I left the party and rushed over, only to find there was only a handful of couples dancing and quite a few ladies standing out.

    On other occasions, I went to the WCS sessions and yes, sometimes they 'started off' busy
    Exactly what problem didn't they solve
    IMHO, they didn't solve the problem of finding another room/space, that people wanted to dance/stay in, to alleviate some of the crowding in the Blues room.
    If my memory selves me correctly, the WCS dancers, still preferred to dance in the Blues room, even when the designated time slots were on.

    It had no bar, but neither did the room it was replacing.
    That room was horrible too

    It provided the space to keep the same range of classes running, allow the same number of people to attend classes. For class purposes the visibility of the teachers was much better than in the room it replaced.
    I'll give you that one!

    It provided the space to keep 3 modern freestyle jive rooms running, and still provided space for Tango / WCS etc. So more dance space and music variety.
    IMO that's the bit that didn't seem to work very well

    It certainly had atmosphere
    Well, not the kind of atmosphere I like, otherwise I'd have stayed.


    It was certainly busy with WCS at times, though granted at other times it wasn't busy at all.
    People seemed to start off over there as a meeting place, then they drifted back to where the bar was.

    I'm disappointed not to see a bit more balance in your comments.
    I'm sorry but I can only speak as I find I liked the Pub and I didn't like the marquee but as I said before, credit to JA for trying!
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    ... that JA were very vulnerable if their core customers were given other opportunities because that had no way of generating new customers...
    I still say this makes little sense for the same reason as before: in an advanced market it is normal for labour to be increasingly divided, and for all involved to be increasingly interdependent.

    Most companies are dependent on exterior factors to create demand for their product. The companies that drill oil are dependent on the companies that make cars so people need to buy oil. The companies that make cars are dependent on the companies that pave roads so that people want to drive. Each company is dependent on others to generate a market for their product.

    Modern Jive schools cater to the Ďdonít know how to dance and want to take weekly classesí market. This market was created by a huge variety of complex trends that no one has much control over.

    Their success created the ĎI know how to dance and want to do it somewhere else for a weekendí market. This market is created by hundreds of small schools that normally, no one person has control over.

    What is unique in the Modern Jive scene is that due to Ceroc owning such a huge market share, when they moved into the weekender market they did actually have a larger degree of control over their source market. They can guarantee access, and go a long way to limiting marketing access to competitors.

    In other dance scenes, very few dance holiday companies 'generate new customers' if by that you mean 'teach them to dance from scratch'. And almost no company controls a significant number of dance schools.

    This means that Tango, Lindy and Salsa weekenders can happily operate for years without ever teaching weekly classes or ever being vulnerable to a large organization that does.

    Basically my contention is that in the MJ scene any vulnerability organizers might have is due to Cerocís dominance over the teaching market. If your business mainly caters to modern jivers and Ceroc decides to compete with you, youíre vulnerable whether you were Ďgenerating new customersí or not.

    My flowers call.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    . If your business mainly caters to modern jivers and Ceroc decides to compete with you, youíre vulnerable whether you were Ďgenerating new customersí or not.

    My flowers call.
    But presumably you would agree that you would be less vulnerable if you had your own customers?

    And you need to move your petunias to the left a little...

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    But presumably you would agree that you would be less vulnerable if you had your own customers?
    I think if you are selling something to people, those people are your customers. Just because they were previously someone else's customers makes no difference, and goes a long way to showing you are meeting a need the previous company wasn't. (Or you have outmanoeuvred the previous company to prevent them from providing their product.)

    My point is just like advanced classes, dance shoes, dance music and dance magazines, weekenders are a related but separate market. If I sell any of the above it would obviously be advantageous to have taught so many new comers I only needed to market to existing customers.
    But that is an inefficient and unrealistic approach for anyone that considers their main strength to be in one of the above areas. To reuse a tired example, it would make no sense for a university to waste time and energy creating all the primary schools from which it will later source its students. Its only possible for Ceroc since they have achieved such incredible dominance in the beginners dance teaching market, something unlikely in any other dance style or time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    And you need to move your petunias to the left a little...
    Its comments like this that make this forum such a nasty place. Stop the personal attacks for once and stick to the debate.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    But presumably you would agree that you would be less vulnerable if you had your own customers?
    There you go again - its that "ownership" thing. See that three letter word you wrote there ..."own". Are you missing Amirs point entirely? If you offer a product and people buy it - those people are your customers! Previous experience they may have with other products is neither here nor there.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    To reuse a tired example, it would make no sense for a university to waste time and energy creating all the primary schools from which it will later source its students. Its only possible for Ceroc since they have achieved such incredible dominance in the beginners dance teaching market, something unlikely in any other dance style or time.
    Well that depends... If I ran the best University in the Country and year on year saw the standard of available students dropping, what effect would that have on my 'brand'? If all Oxford grads were Deltas what value would there in being one? The University is not in control (which has been my point all the way though this discussion) it's at the mercy of what the system provides it with - sure it can pick the best, but if the best ain't good enough what's it going to do?

    If it were me, I would set up a trust to create a primary and secondary school that had the highest standards in the UK, the best teachers, the best facilities, the best drug dealers etc. etc.

    Then my pre-schools would feed my University and then I would be certain of being insulated from the vagaries of relying on someone else.

    I'm certain you undertstand this or maybe you're being delibrately obtuse or having a bad hair day... You can run your business anyway you like but unless you have control over every facet of that business you will always be vunerable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    Stop the personal attacks for once and stick to the debate.
    Stop bullying me..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Are you missing Amirs point entirely? If you offer a product and people buy it - those people are your customers! Previous experience they may have with other products is neither here nor there.
    No, DS, thankyou.. I fully understand Amir's point, I just don't think it's correct other than in a literal sense.

    Yes if I'm buying a packet of McVities rich tea biscuits (and very nice they are too dunked into my morning mug) from Waitrose, I am both a customer of Waitrose AND Mcvities - but which has the power? Biscuit manufacturers are two a penny whereas dsitribution chains like Waitrose aren't. Mcvities gets ALL it's customers from distrinbution chains like this and if they stopped distributing Mcvities would have NO customers.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    If it were me, I would set up a trust to create a primary and secondary school that had the highest standards in the UK, the best teachers, the best facilities, the best drug dealers etc. etc.
    Hmmmm sound like the classical vertical integration strategy that was all the rage in 60s and 70s .... by companies that now seem to be going bust

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