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Marvel Entertainment Strategic Analysis

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Sharifuddin H. Abdul Aziz

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of Marvel Entertainment Strategic Analysis

Strong Brand Equity

Longstanding Market reputation (1982-2015)

Competitive Products and Services

Wide range of products and Services (Comics, Movies, Videos, Games, TV, Online Shopping, etc.)
High Rate Film Production (Positive Reviews and rating,
Ex. Story line and Visual Effects)

Numerous Achievements

Bizarre Hugo Awards Ceremony
OSCAR Awards
Positive Customer Reviews

International Licensed Firms Corporation

Streamlined operation focused solely on entertainment, licensing and publishing
Well Established network

Domestically and Globally Diversified

Reach and Visibility
Well established distribution

Monotonous Theme

Characters Imitation from another comic company
Manipulation and Sabotage
Horizon previously sent Marvel a cease-and-desist letter claiming the poster for IM3 two years
Licensing Weaknesses
Marvel Entertainment’s fourth-quarter net income dropped to $11.7 million, or 14 cents per share, from $25.9 million, or 26 cents per share, last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 9 cents per share, according to reports.

Lack of female leads

In November 2011, it was announced that Marvel was canceling “X-23” comics series. X-23 was written by arguably Marvel's most recognized female writer. Marvel will no longer be featuring a comic where a female character in a central starring role. The only women in Marvel’s titles are ones on teams, now
Expensive comic book

The average price for a Marvel title comic book is about $3.99 and the actual story content of the comic is shrinking. These comic books are considerably more expensive in other countries. To deal with these prices, people have either continued buying, switched to digital comic, decided to wait until the issues they want are available at discounted prices or have simply stopped buying all together.

Acquisition by Disney
Product Line Expansion
The current successful of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows the opportunities of the merchandise sales to be increase
Started drastically when the 2012 The Avengers boost up the popularity of Marvel superheroes to a wider range of demographic ages, gender and region.
Variety of product can be sell based on wider range of ages
Licensing being given to create a variety product
Innovation Ideas
Many subsidaries under the Walt Disney Companies help to generate new ideas
Partnership between subsidaries can ease the burden of production needs
For example Pixar can help produce very high quality animation for the Marvel animated shows or movies with their experience and knowledge niche

Promotional Activities
Upcoming Marvel movies help to generate the hype of the customer to anticipate the new movies and at the same time help to promote their merchandise into sales
International releasing of the movies normally follow by region as in Russia, Asia, Europe, Africa and lastly in the America region

New Generation Interest
The 2012 Avengers was one of the high grossing movie ever in the world that create a new generation of superheroes and Marvel lovers.
The phenomenon of the Avengers movie started the Marvel Cinematic Universe and shows no stopping at the moment as the company already planned their movies line till the year 2020.

Intellectual Property
The strictness of Marvel in guarding their IP has limited of using any characters, products, comics or any sort of media towards any users
Registed in WIPO
Many fake items, online pirating, and characters usage are widely being done without the concern of Marvel
Can cause profits for Marvel as licensing product is one of the main business.
Fan Base
Fan base war between the comics company which more likely happen between Marvel and DC Comics
Can hurt sales as a new fan would choose side rather than being interested in the comic itself
Hardcore fan will do anything to discourage people not to buy any particular comics or interested of any superheroes character.
Movies Cinematic Universe
Marvel Cinematic Universe started with the movie Iron Man without really planned it to be at first
DC comics started the movie hype with their Batman trilogies by Christopher Nolan
DC plan to make their own Cinematic Universe starting with the Man of Steel movies in 2013 which shows a new competition in the superheroes movie franchises and also already set up the movie timeline till 2020
TV Shows Battle
Competitors and Rivalries
Environmental Analysis
Competitive advantage
Comic Book
The primary target market for Marvel’s comic books consisted of males from 13 to 23 years old
Extended to adults whose age is 30-somethings.
5 hundred thousand readers in US.
Two categories of readers.

Marvel`s box office revenue since 2000 reach up to 5.7 billion dollar

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Example: Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk, Deadpool
Well known characters
Iron Man Marvel
Batman DC
Justice League DC
Avengers Marvel
Green Lanter Corp DC
Nova Corp Marvel
Flash DC
Quicksilver Marvel
Shares of the Marvel closed Monday down 95 cents, or 3.1%, at $29.96.

Marvel was partly helped last year by the video-game maker Activision paying a hefty fee of $50 million to make games with Marvel characters. But Marvel was also hurt this year by higher costs and lower revenues.
Revenues in Marvel’s toy and publishing segments were up, but its licensing division slammed the brakes on earnings. Its fourth-quarter net sales were $25.5 million, down from $81.7 million the year-ago period.
Marvel’s joint venture with Sony for the Spider-Man franchise added sales of only $600,000, down from $4.3 million a year ago.

Marvel Entertainment become world’s renowned character-based company over 70 years
Succeeds under The Walt Disney Company
Created over 8,000 characters varieties
Example: comics, movies, videos, games, tv shows and online content
Provides advertising and licensed for apparel, collectibles, toys and snack food

Mission & Vision
Leaders as producers, entertainment providers and information
Utilizes company portfolio of brands
Example: Pixar, Touchstone, Walt Disney Studios and Marvel
To gain competitive advantage with their content, consumer products and services

Developing creativity, innovation and profitable entertainment experiences and product
Outsource its distribution to its partners
Marvel own and control intellectual property and create content
Marvel partners will produce, package, market and distribute content

Marvel Partners
Marvel competitors
DC comics: famous for Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and others
Dark horses comics: published Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Conan, Predator, Spawn and others
Image comics: published Witchblade, Invincible, The Walking Dead, Savage Dragon and others

Company Background
Started in 1939 as Timely Publications
By 1950s become known as Atlas Comics
Country of origin is United States
Founder: Martin Goodman
Publisher: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and many others
Comic Books
Online Reading
Television Shows
Animated TV Shows
Real Life TV Shows
International license product
“Marvel`s The Avengers” reached 200 million US dollar in domestic box office

“The Dark Knight Rises” earned 160 million US dollar
Marvel Comics' share in comic stores amounted to more than 36 percent in 2015.

DC Entertainment with a share of more than 25 percent.

Best Graphic Story: Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson; art by Adrian Alphona & Jake Wyatt (Marvel Comics)
Best Dramatic Presentation – Long: Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short: Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”

Should excel themselves in terms of the ideas, creativity, and even production to continuously capture viewers’ attention.
More aggressive as compared to its competitors to dominate the industry.
Higher barrier of entrants for new comers
Reduces the intensity of rivalry.
Media franchises
Collaboration of media partners to form a whole movie as well as merchandises
Cross-marketing which allows both parties to achieve their goals such as profit, and extend the commercial existence among society
Portray many assumptions:
Argument between parties
Non-beneficial terms
Parties did not achieve the intended/forecasted profits

Remains good relations with their media partners/franchises
To avoid any misunderstanding from public
May boost the company’s reputation
The reliability of the company that may draw in more potential investors/shareholders

Scout for potential actors (especially the new rising-stars) for their future movies
Placed them a permanent role instead of switching actors around for the same role
Lesser cost than hiring current-existing famous ones which may result in attaining lesser profits
Did not consider a long-term point of view in the movie
Might have to remake the movie

Recommendation & Justification (Enhancement)

Ability of stimulating viewers senses with looks, sound quality, high-definition (HD), precise and detailed props and edits

Conclusion and Consequences
Market Expansion Strategy
Seek for potential actors and place them in a permanent role for Marvel’s future movie

Quality and Creativity Strategy
Excel themselves in terms of ideas, creativity & even production

New Product Development Strategy
Remains good relations with their media partners/franchises


Contrasting ideas, such as different point of views and opinions. This may lead to disagreement or even disputes that could effect their relation


A clear objectives must be set between Marvel and the media partner as so they are clear about their roles and what they want to achieve


Other competitors are also getting hands on potential actors, therefore the potential actors such as the rising stars will go with the company that offers higher pay. For example, Dakota Johnson from 50 Shades. The more famous the actors, the more demanding they get


Attract actors by designing better plots of movies. Movies that can convince them will excel in the movie industry. This can be done by making good story lines, plots and future developing series


Takes up more time, thus time constraints may occur due to the presence of competitors. Customers demand something more unique. For example, Transformers in terms of robots and Avengers in terms of superpowers.


Marvel can opt for strategic alliance with other media company. Collaborate to create more interesting ideas and plots to capture audience attention

The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel entertainment in 2009
At the same time Walt Disney Company had acquired some others production and company
Immediate animation benefits
An industry expert to guide their franchises
A single home for their films
A wider world of cinematic universe or comic
Cross medium appeal
DC Comics have more sophisticated artwork,better storyline and the pioneer of the comic book and superhero industry
Darkhorses comics has more mature story and more towards mature reading and characters
Image comics has a big fan base and famous story such as the Walking Dead and Spawn
DC: Arrow and The Flash
DC TV shows currently have better storyline and fanbase rather than Marvel TV
DC sticks to the real sources of the story rather than Marvel make a new storyline to ensure it connected to the movie cinematic universe
Marvel: Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Daredevil
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Strategic Analysis
New Product Development
Market Expansion
Quality and Creativity
Quality and Creativity
Market Expansion
Marvel has expanded its’ market through :
Long term planning career for their characters ( Spiderman 1&2)
Franchise for merchandise ( Key chains, Cups, Shirts etc.)

New Product Development
Current Business Strategy
Marvel has made progress in product development after launching movies based on the characters in the comics. The targeted market is widen from teenagers & young adults to possibly everyone that is exposed to movies, televisions and videogames
Comic Book
Marvel Movies
Based on the content how Marvel presents its’ characters to the audiences

Based on the characteristics of each and every characters. For example, Iron man that is mainly presented in a sophisticated armor suits and Thor acting under god’s super powers.
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