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Navigating Case Interviews with Maye Zheng, MBB Intern - Ep 3

Case Prompt


Your client today is Dress for Less (“DFL”). They’re a growing eCommerce fashion business in

the Australian online sustainable fashion market. They operate by collecting excess fabric from garment manufacturers and re-creating new pieces of clothing, which are then sold through their online sales channel.


Recently, DFL has been considering entering the accessory market, including hats, jewellery,

scarves etc., to further diversify their revenue streams. They have come to you for advice on

how to proceed.


Q1: What factors should DFL consider to inform whether they should enter the accessory

market or not?


Q2: From independent analysis, DFL concludes that the accessory market is worth entering.

DFL has compiled the following sales estimates and would like your insights into which product category should be their first priority of entry.


Q3: So now that we have prioritised a product category, just a bit of a general follow up on that; If DFL does choose to enter the market, what are some risks associated with this?


Q4: Imagine the CEO of DFL has just bumped into you in the main corridor and has asked you about your recommendation & findings. As they are busy people, you only have 2 minutes to explain. What do you say?


About the Podcast


In this podcast episode, Maye Zheng, a former MBB consultant, now a Junior Doctor at St George Hospital, discusses consulting cases using a case study of Dress for Less (DFL), an e-commerce fashion business considering entering the accessory market. Maye provides insights on market analysis, entry strategies, and the importance of data-driven decision-making in consulting.


Key Takeaways

  • Consulting cases are tools to assess skills like problem-solving and communication, involving steps such as problem breakdown and communicating recommendations.

  • For Dress for Less considering the accessory market, important factors include market size, profitability, competitor landscape, and entry strategies such as acquisition or partnerships.

  • Maye emphasises starting with a broad analysis and narrowing down to specific considerations to assess market entry viability.

  • Market entry frameworks should be adapted to fit specific case contexts, like Dress for Less’ position as an online retailer.

  • Assessing market worth and analysing sales estimates are crucial before deciding on product categories to focus on.

  • Return on investment in the first year is a key factor, with the bags market showing a high return of over 200%.

  • Category growth rate is essential to understand market speed and customer demand, with bags showing significant growth.

  • Competitor analysis in each accessory market is crucial and impacts decision-making.

  • Categorising data like sales, profit margin, growth rate, and investment helps prioritise information effectively.

  • Including insights beyond data, such as competitor analysis, is vital for a comprehensive market evaluation.

  • Potential risks for Dress for Less include marketing dynamics, production and supply chain issues, and financial risks.

  • Maintaining a stable and scalable supply chain is crucial, especially when considering operational risks like increased costs and new manufacturing expertise.

  • Fashion trends pose a risk, and Dress for Less should develop adaptable marketing and manufacturing strategies.

  • Based on profit and growth rates, Dress for Less is recommended to prioritise entering the bags market, but further analysis on various risks and internal capabilities is needed.

  • Providing a structured response with data points and outlining next steps is effective in conveying recommendations in consulting cases.

  • Case leadership involves guiding the interview process with a framework and ensuring a collaborative approach.

  • Individuals from non-traditional degrees should leverage their skills like logical thinking and clear communication in consulting interviews.

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