Cascades Tissue Group: Sustainable Growth?

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CASE STUDY. In October 2006, Ms. Suzanne Blanchet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades Tissue Group (CTG), was pondering how much weight should be given to products sold under the CTG brand compared to those sold under distributors’ or retailers’ private labels.

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Cascades Tissue Group: Sustainable Growth?: Abstract

In October 2006, Ms. Suzanne Blanchet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades Tissue Group (CTG), was pondering how much weight should be given to products sold under the CTG brand compared to those sold under distributors’ or retailers’ private labels.

The fourth largest tissue paper producer in North America, CTG was one of the four divisions of Cascades Inc.: a giant in the Canadian pulp and paper industry. The distributor and retailer private label market offered an attractive prospect for growth, but at the expense of CTG’s own brands, which were more economically viable. However, developing a brand required sustained resources and investments, especially in marketing, which CTG’s plant managers were still reluctant to support. Furthermore, her decision had to take into account the opportunities and threats related to the arrival of producers from emerging countries.

Teaching objectives

This case has the following objectives:

  • Do a wrap-up of the strategic analysis model
  • Examine the implications and the strategic issues that could arise following a decision that was initially benign: a supply contract from a customer requiring that the company set aside its own private brand in order to focus on the customer’s private label
  • Examine the link between daily decisions and management of the company’s corporate strategy
  • Discuss the challenges facing a company that is continental in scope, in its transition towards the status of global player in an increasingly globalized industry
  • Examine the threats to its competitive position and the competitive advantages of this company
  • Discuss the tensions caused by the transition between the scope of the strategy and the organizational model of the company: does this organizational model support such a transition or is it an obstacle?
  • Examine the challenges that emerging countries such as China and Brazil pose, both in terms of market opportunities and competitive threats
  • Examine the role, the challenges and the limits of the divisive moments in a diversified company that favours decentralization and the autonomy of its business units

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Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre for more information.

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