The Weather Company has failed to adapt to the evolving macroenvironment. The company has put too much of a focus on technological accuracy. Doing this has caused them to largely overlook the value of creativity and innovation. As a result, company employees have become divided, and a poor corporate culture has formed. To make matters even worse, the company’s decision to expand globally has only impacted it’s culture negatively, and has made their potential to shift focus from technological accuracy to creativity and innovation, even more challenging. In short, these major business problems within The Weather Company, have caused the brand to suffer. Thus, their core objective should be to nurture and strengthen the brand.
Specific Issues and Alternatives:
In order to strengthen The Weather Company brand, the specific issues causing their major business problems as well as potential alternatives to those issues, must be examined. TWC’s first issue is that they are overly focused on technological accuracy. This issue is evidenced numerous times throughout the case, notably on page 6: “Putting science at the center was a part of the Kenny-led transformation happily embraced by the approximately 200 metrologists, who felt empowered by the change.” Alternatively, the company should take this value and make it an integral part of the brand, using innovative solutions and creative tactics.
TWC’s second issue is that they are overly concerned about how to further integrate and strengthen TV marketing efforts. Alternatively, the company should forget TV. They must allow the brand freedom to adapt with the evolving macroenvironment. If marketing efforts focused around TV aren’t improving, yet digital efforts are, simply stick with digital. This will set up for a much more innovative approach to marketing the brand. As noted on page 7 of the case study, “By 2013, the digital business generated half of the company’s advertising revenue. The potential for growth was enormous, especially on new platforms.” To put this alternate idea into context, think about it this way: if parents do not allow their children to experience and adapt to their changing surroundings, they cannot grow. It’s the same with a brand. If a business owner does not allow his or her brand to adapt to the evolving microenvironment, it cannot grow.
TWC’s third issue is that they are torn between whether or not they can localize and globalize at the same time. Alternatively, the company should take a localized approach to a global business effort. In order to do this, the company must work on strengthening their corporate culture. This means integrating business strategies that not only make customers feel welcome and cared for, but allow employees to feel this way as well. The bottom line is that you cannot have happy customers, if you do not have happy employees. Therefore, in order to create a sense of community within the several different TWC locations around the globe, the culture must be improved first and foremost.
Taking the specific issues and their alternatives into account, several strategic solutions in-line with the overall objective to extend and enhance the brand, can be examined. The following outlines two potential solutions:
(1) B2B Solution: One possible solution for extending The Weather Company Brand, is to stick within the lines of the B2B WeatherFX division, yet extend the concept beyond Weather. For example, a service that is focused on providing creative content advice to outside marketing professionals. These content recommendations would be based on accurate data TWC has collected in reference to a given audiences location, the time of year, and ultimately, the weather. At this point, TWC could provide various details pertinent to creating the right kind of content for the given group of consumers, such as:
- Consumers different emotional states during different times of the year.
- Where, when, and how often they travel.
- Appetite changes throughout the year (i.e. major likes and dislikes).
- Attraction to certain colors at various time of the year.
- What they wear, when they wear it, and why.
- The different kinds of activities they participate in during the four seasons.
- The fluctuation of crime rates throughout the year.
- The fluctuation of illness throughout the year.
Moreover, this solution would likely have a positive impact on The Weather Company’s corporate culture. However, utilizing this solution would not allow The Weather Company to extend their brand to the consumer market.
(2) B2C Solution (Recommended): Another possible solution would be to move beyond a simply B2B strategy, and extend the brand into the consumer market. This would entail extending the brand digitally. As stated in the case, from how one feels to what they wear, the weather affects everyone. With this, having a digital content platform catered towards consumers between the ages of 20-30, might serve as an innovative way to strengthen the TWC brand.
Honoring the legacy of accurate data, this B2C solution could happen through providing consumers with real-time information on where, when, and how to travel, what to wear today and/or a week from now, whether or not tomorrow will be a bad hair day, suggested foods for next week's grocery list that are likely to make them feel better given the weather forecast, and so on.
This B2C solution also has the potential to drive ad sales from other companies, looking to promote their products or services on The Weather Company’s digital platform. Even further, an innovative B2C brand extension like this, would allow the creative team to get immensely involved and open opportunity to strengthen corporate culture. Thus, this positive corporate culture would likely create a valuable and engaging consumer culture, surrounding the brand.
Considering the WeatherFX division of TWC already extends the brand into the B2B market, the solution best fit for enhancing the brand is to enter the B2C market. Strategic implementation for this solution would include developing a website and app, fully customized for consumers. These digital platforms would serve as a content and information hub, catered to the different ways in which weather affects consumers. Accurate information would be combined with creative content, in order to provide consumers with lifestyle suggestions based on categories involving travel, health and wellness, style, beauty, and activity. In essence, this solution would allow TWC to create a brand that could truly add value to the everyday lives of it’s consumers.