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In June 2001, Ramón Tellaeche, director of products and marketing at Banco Santander Serfín in Mexico, was considering the commercial strategy which the means of payments division should follow over the following months in order to achieve its ambitious commercial objectives. Marcial Portela, general manager of Grupo Santander's Americas Division, had set the objective of doubling the credit card market share in a year and a half, and capturing 250,000 new clients by the end of the year. The management team thought this goal could only be achieved by developing a price-positioned product, with an interest rate 40% below that of the other banks. However, the results of the concept test for the new product showed a low level of interest in the product due to incredulity among potential clients, who suspected that the low interest rates would not be permanent. Tellaeche and his team were reconsidering whether or not to launch this product, and if so, how to launch it in such a way as to minimize responses from the competition.
This case is especially useful for discussing product development and positioning policies. However, it can also be used in segmentation and market selection, commercial planning and competitive reaction modules. It can be used both in introductory MBA courses and in more advanced programs for executives.