The paper "Thorntons plc: Corporate & Business Strategy" is a good example of a business case study. This assignment constitutes the analysis of business strategy at Thornton PLC which is the largest manufacturer and retailer of specialist chocolates in the UK. The company is involved in making different types of chocolates, in various types of packaging. The analyses undertaken for this assignment are based on the strategy identified as undertaken by the company along with the key drivers that lead to the same; value addition is done in a unique manner, which is a differentiating edge for the company.
During analyses, sustainability has been kept as a prime factor for the underlying study. About the Company The company was established in the late 1990s, and by far, claims to have served millions of customers, spreading the word from one customer's heart to that of the other. Their target market includes any and everyone who wants to send a message of love and affection. The product line includes, but is not restricted to, chocolates, toffees, and flowers; it also includes champagne, hampers, and so on.
The headquarters of the firm is located in Derbyshire and has about 200 employees. The company bears a good market value associated with its name, and demands are pretty much there throughout the year. The company has a strong brand image in the minds of customers and enjoys stable brand equity which erects barriers to entry for the new entrants. Brand Positioning of Thornton ‘ A unique, reliable brand that delivers the message direct from the heart’ is what the customers perceive this brand to be. The major aim of the company to sustain this position is by means of constant improvements in the quality of products and services that it provides to its customers.
The gracefully created masterpieces of Thornton are what truly differentiates it from its competitors, and this differentiation makes the brand stand out and lovable for the customers. The true aim of the brand, in other words, is to deliver a personalized message from hearts to hearts. Transformation at Thornton There took place a transformation at Thornton where it took command of its own supply chain; Thornton being a retailer, entered into the industry with its own manufacturing facilities.
This was a demonstration of the corporate strategy implementation as a part of the long term impact of the vision of the company. Thornton not just sells its products itself but also sells to other retail outlets as well. Competitive Positioning Competitive Positioning needs to be unique and sustainable; the uniqueness provides the differentiation advantage to the product or service in the competitive world today while sustainability ensures that the customer gets a consistent output from the product over a longer period of time rather than inconsistent performance.
Thornton transformed its positioning by developing its distribution channels and using the multiple channel strategy to ensure that the product, the company, and the brand reach places where the company itself cannot take it through its own retail outlets. Competitiveness of a firm should also be strong enough to survive the market forces especially the competition and the ever-changing industry dynamics. Thornton did so by allowing other retailers to sell their product line for example Marks & Spencer. Alongside these, the convenience stores, supermarkets, grocery stores, and so on were also targeted to ensure that the masses are reached in the least possible cost combination.
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Thorntons plc Annual Report (2005) Available from