Cold Stone Creamery
(6 pages of text)
This case describes how Cold Stone Creamery created a business model for a premium customized ice cream experience. It describes the company’s value proposition, growth strategy, and competitors, and poses the question of whether the company could continue to attract new franchisees.
Students will (a) learn and understand how the different components of a strategy combine to create a competitive advantage and (b) appreciate that although competitors may be able to copy one or more parts of a strategy, it is the holistic manner in which the different parts combine that creates the most difficulty for others attempting to copy the strategy. This case is best used in a case discussion format.
This case is suitable for a capstone strategy course or an advanced elective in competitive strategy at the MBA level. We have used the case with MBAs and executives (both in the United States and Europe) in classes dealing with strategic management. Students will note (a) the difference in target markets between Cold Stone and competitors and (b) the differentiation achieved by Cold Stone due to its Ultimate Ice Cream Experience concept. The case is an excellent vehicle with which to develop the notion of capabilities as the means for achieving competitive advantage. This case also helps students develop the COAR methodology.
Accommodation & Food Services
United States; International, Small, 2004
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