Fiat Stilo is a multimedia case study that has been designed to show the analysis that should be followed for positioning a new company product. In the case there are two opposing positions: the marketing department point of view and that of the sales department.
Before the preparation of the case, the professor divides the class into two groups: one half takes on the role of the sales director and the other half take the role of the Marketing Director. Depending on the role adopted, students’ decisions will be different.
The first few minutes of the class are used to discuss the problems that Fiat is facing at that particular moment; both sides of the class generally agree with each other about this stage. However, as the class progresses the two roles start to emerge and different points of views/interests start appearing, provoking a confrontation of ideas and achieving an excellent debate. At the end of the class, professors guide students through the conclusions.
As Professor Miguel Costa comments, “this experience allows us to analyse a product launch from a wider perspective, to develop the positioning concept with interactive tools and playing with different scenarios, to understand two different points of view (Sales Department and the Marketing Department) of the company and how all these things will condition the decision making of the launch. The case allows students to take two different roles, to practice with the different possibilities of specifications and optional equipment, and to defend them in class. On top of all this, students love it.”
Students also appreciate the value this case brings: “I particularly liked being able to play the part of one of the directors and then compare how I did with the other results. The possibility of role play (Sale Manager vs. Marketing manager) helped me in defining my positioning strategy”
As many students commented, it brings them closer to real life; not only through the decisions made but also because of the way the class is structured.