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Case of the month

Case of the month

Annie Hockey, a consultant in Bain's San Francisco office, walks us through her recent retail case

Can you tell us about a recent case you worked on?

Recently, I worked on a Retail Co project. After a period of hyper-growth, the company was facing declining sales that were considerably off their projections. Bain was then brought in to execute a thorough growth strategy case. From product innovations to international expansion, new customer segments, and even different sales channels, our role was to help the company evaluate and prioritize growth levers.

Can you tell us about the structure of the case?

The fundamental structure of this case truly leveraged the many resources Bain has to offer. Retail companies have a LOT of data, therefore a member of Bain’s Advanced Analytics Group (AAG) was actually staffed to the team for the duration of the case. This allowed us to make real-time decisions based on immense customer datasets and, better yet, learn a ton from a big data mastermind! We also worked closely with FRWD (a digital marketing firm Bain that recently acquired) to inform our e-commerce and digital marketing recommendations. I had no idea how much I’d learn about SEO, cost-per-click, etc – I definitely feel like I’ve filled in a blind spot of mine.

What was your favorite part about working on the case?

This case highlights classic strategic thinking, and I think that's a great representative of the work we do at Bain. This differs from some of the stereotypes out there that consultants have to do the unglamorous work (e.g., cost cutting, headcount reductions, org restructuring). I spent my days getting to creatively think about the many ways in which a company could try something totally new, and got to witness our clients became energized by the prospect of turning things around! I think this was incredibly energizing for all of us.