Author Archives: Dustin Tysick

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value Analysis

This past semester one of the most valuable tools that I was exposed to was that of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). I was familiar with the concept; however, in my previous job the numbers were always given to me and it was not my responsibility to calculate them. Seeing first-hand what goes into a quality CLV analysis was eye-opening and something that I found incredibly interesting. I have a strong fondness for Excel and analysis so being able to utilize Excel to explore and analyze key marketing concepts is something that really peaks my interest.

Below is a brief excerpt from my analysis on Rosewood Hotels as they were deciding whether or not to switch from a House of Brands model where each resort has a unique identity and Rosewood is kept secondary to a Branded House model or corporate branding strategy where the brand of Rosewood is kept at the forefront for each hotel.

Rosewood CLV

By switching to a corporate branding strategy the average number of visits per year, per guest is expected to increase by 8% resulting in an increase in average guest retention rate of 6.4%. The increase in number of visits per year also results in an increase of $48 gross profit per guest. Even with the $1,000,000 investment required for marketing, the CLV per guest is expected to increase $77 with the corporate branding strategy. Assuming that the number of unique guests is 115,000 with either branding strategy the resulting increase in overall customer CLV is $8.9 million. It is recommended that the corporate branding strategy be pursued; however, there are potential risks.


Potential Risks

One potential risk of changing the branding strategy is that some previously loyal guests may defect to the competition. Assuming 115,000 unique guests with our current branding strategy, it would take 15,000 guests to defect (a retention rate of 17.43%) in order for the overall CLV to be equal in both strategies (appendix D). It is unlikely that the change in branding strategy will result in the loss of 15,000+ guests so this risk is small and can be mitigated further through proper marketing and customer service.

Another potential risk is that the marketing budget will be more than expected. The breakeven point for the marketing budget where the overall CLV for both strategies is the same is $8.65 million or $205/guest (appendix D). This is almost 8 times more than what is expected so there is a lot of wiggle room in the marketing budget.

Other potential risks of switching to a corporate branding strategy are losing our main point of differentiation which is providing unique, one-of-a-kind properties for our customers, and upsetting those who are strongly associated with our current individual hotel brands


The analysis shows that the corporate branding strategy will increase CLV and that the increase in CLV will cover the marketing costs associated with the change in branding strategy. While the numbers look great, it is important be aware of and plan for the service offerings and the overall culture shift that is necessary to successfully change to a corporate branding strategy without losing the overall brand identity and points of differentiation.

Spare a Square – My Small Business


The Beginnings

GinghamE-commerce is an ever-growing part of the retail marketplace and something that I find extremely interesting. Before starting my MBA journey at Sauder I really wanted to experiment with the entire gamut of e-commerce from website creation, to monetization, to social media marketing and all the way through to order fulfillment. I also have an interest in fashion and at the time I had a small men’s fashion blog. I wanted to combine these two interests so the natural progression was towards a men’s fashion e-commerce site. However, with having to save my money in order to pay for my MBA the initial investment had to be minimal so I would have to handle everything on my own and even create the product. What can I possible sew myself having never used a sewing machine? I asked my fiancee this as she has been sewing for years and she suggested pocket squares & bow ties. After a brief intro and tutorial on the sewing machine I decided to give it a shot and Spare a Square was born in May 2013.

The Process

Denim Bow Tie

Wanting to learn as much as possible and needing to keep the initial costs down led to a sole proprietorship where I did all of the steps in the following process.

  • Create the website – Shopify was used due to the simplicity and built-in cart
  • Pick out and purchase the fabric from local fabric stores
  • Create prototypes of each SKU in order to take pictures for the website
  • Advertise via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google AdWords
  • Create all marketing material and packaging
  • Fulfill the orders
  • Manage the website

Experience Gained

Throughout this process I gained a lot of valuable experience such as:

  • An understanding and familiarity with both paid and free social media marketing methods
  • An understanding of various payment portals and the pros and cons of each
  • Website creation and maintenance
  • The effect of promotions and sales on brand identity

Mistakes Made & Lessons Learned

Having started my own small business before my MBA has paid huge dividends during the program as I have a point of reference that can provide context for many of the concepts that I am learning. Looking back, there are a lot of things that I would have done differently.

  • Pricing – The major player for pocket squares and ties is The Tie Bar. They are a company that is often featured in GQ and they provide quality products at extremely low prices. Due to economies of scale and outsourcing, this model works for them. I attempted to emulate their model even though I was offering handmade, unique products that warrant a price premium. Before launching I should have done more research into the market, picked a target market and built my pricing structure around the value proposition of being handmade and unique. That would have increased my margins substantially.
  • Promotions – I started running sales and contests too early on which led to my customer base anticipating sales and thus not purchasing as often at full price. Of course this lowered my margins.
  • Advertising – Being a very visual product, Instagram ended up being the best form of advertising and generated 5,000 Instagram followers within a few months which led to 80% of my sales coming from Instagram. This advertising was free as I was posting the pictures to my own account and ended up being quite successful. Facebook paid advertising and Google Adwords had a much lower ROI as very few actual purchases were generated through either of them. Further down the road, Facebook paid advertising and Google Adwords could have proved profitable but with such a new brand it was difficult to obtain premier placement on a small budget.

Brita – Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan Presentation


  • Intro to Marketing final assignment
  • Group project
  • 20-minute presentation

Skills Learned & Displayed

  • Issues analysis
  • Market segmentation
  • Target market selection
  • Presentation ability
  • Analytical ability
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Value proposition formation
  • Pricing strategy
  • Distribution channel formulation
  • Understanding the decision making process
  • Communication strategy (the 6 M’s)

Future Applications

  • Segmenting and picking the appropriate target market(s)
  • Utilizing competitive information to formulate a successful strategy
  • Formulating a communication strategy target to your market and the key decision maker(s)

Industry Insights

Why the Video Game Industry?

My background is sales of educational technology so I have years of experiencing selling digital products and it is something that I enjoy. Vancouver has a relatively strong presence in this industry with companies like Electronic Arts and Pop Cap.

Which Trends are Occurring?

Mobile gaming has been gaining steam with the growth of smart phones. Mobile games are often much less expensive and can be created by one person or a small group, because of this there are many new players in the industry (IBIS World)

Another trend, which I experienced when I worked in publishing, is the shift to digital sales. Companies are now encouraging their customers to purchase games directly through their console which lowers the expenses associated with advertising, packaging and distribution (IBIS World)

Due to innovations such as the Wii and Kinect there has been an influx of women and senior consumers. Women now account for 40% of game players and 48% of game purchasers (IBIS World).

Key players in Canada?

Some of the key players in Canada are Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard Canada, Microsoft Canada and Nintendo Canada. Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts hold the most market share with a combined 34.1% between them (IBIS World).

Where Do I Fit?

In the publishing industry I have dealt with the shift from retail sales to direct to consumer digital sales so I am aware of the benefits and detriments of this model. Also, having grown up with video games I have an understanding of the key players, franchises and the changes that have taken place over the years. A key to the success of the video game industry will be finding effective ways to successfully market their products to the changing demographics of their consumers. Years ago it was mainly children and teenagers but now those children are adults and their wives, mothers and even grandmothers in some cases are purchasing and playing video games. I have a strong interest in Brand Management and market research so issues like this are ones that I would love to delve deeper into and come up with solutions for.


My Story

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzu

The Print Shop

In high school I took a program in Graphics Arts and decided to pursue it at a career. I was 18-years-old and working 12-hour shifts at Quebecor. The job consisted of assisting in operating the press, doing repairs and bundling the finished product for sale. By 18-year old standards it paid very well but I did not feel mentally stimulated whatsoever as the job was very repetitive and was essentially manual labour. After one year I decided to enroll in University in order to get the mental stimulation that I was craving. Working at Quebecor taught me a lot about myself. I discovered that I really desire to be pushed mentally and to constantly learn and improve.

The University Years

Psychology is incredibly interesting. Why wouldn’t someone want to study people? At Simon Fraser University I majored in Psychology and volunteered in the Social Psychology Lab for three years. Aside from learning about Psychology I also developed a lot of important study and time management skills. Balancing a job, a full course-load and working in the lab really pushed me and taught me a lot about how to be efficient.

Nelson Education

With my background in psychology, I was immediately drawn to sales. After starting out as a sales rep at Nelson Education and selling textbooks to college and university professors I was promoted to Digital Solutions Manager. In this new role my focus was on online homework and learning management systems. Digital Solutions Managers present to committees of professors extremely frequently and I credit this role for the development of my presentation skills.

What Next?

After spending years dealing with a range of educational technology products and positioning them within the ever-changing educational technology marketplace I have developed a strong interest in brand management. I have spent years in sales and I have developed the soft-skills that can only be learned in the field; however, I lack a formal business background and this is where Sauder can help me bridge the gap.

Why Sauder?

The practical focus of Sauder is one of the most intriguing aspects and is what initially attracted me to the program. The excellent practical experience that the Integrated Project and the required internship provide are exactly what I need. In addition, the mandatory Global Immersion Project provides excellent international experience. Finally, my goal is to live and work in Vancouver so earning my MBA from Sauder will not only increase my knowledge but also allow me to build a local professional network from a well-respected institution. This network will definitely open up new and exciting opportunities for my career development.

All in all, I want to learn and grow. I really want to be able to make an impact on the world and leave my mark. Sauder School of Business will allow me to reach my full potential and help me embark on the career and success that I have always envisioned and strived for. I am extremely excited about the possibilities. This is that single step that begins my journey of a thousand miles.