Rebuilding the 'Martha Stewart' Brand

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG133
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2001-2006
Organization : - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Media, Entertainment, and Gaming

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Martha Everywhere!

Efforts to salvage Stewart's image had begun in early 2004 itself, even before she was convicted. In early March 2004, Stewart had met Charles Koppelman (Koppelman) who was something of a freelance advisor to celebrities in trouble. People like Michael Jackson and Steve Madden had sought his advice. After a lengthy discussion, Koppelman advised Stewart to take greater control of her business. This went against the approach MSO had been following since June 2003, of 'de-marthasizing' the company. Apparently, Stewart herself was not happy with the company distancing itself from her name, but had had to give in to Patrick, who had succeeded her as CEO.

With Koppelman's support, Stewart decided to change tack. This was easy enough for her as she was still the major shareholder in the company, owning 60 percent of the stock at that point. The first step she took was to reconstitute MSO's board and bring in more of her supporters.

In June 2004, she also replaced Patrick with Lyne, a former president of ABC Entertainment. She then persuaded the new board to renegotiate her employment contract which was due to expire in October that year, and succeeded in ensuring that her pay and perks remained unchanged.

This put paid to any expectations that Stewart might retire from the company after her contract expired. Instead, it indicated that she was preparing to assume a larger role in the company...


EXHIBIT I: MSO's Business Interests
EXHIBIT II: Some of Martha Stewart's Honors and Accolades
EXHIBIT III: Revenue and Income of MSO 2000-2005
EXHIBIT IV: MSO's Share Price in the Early 2000s.

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