What We Know

Branding

Companies sometimes invest millions of dollars in creating brands, which can then acquire financial value. FSG experts have developed techniques to assess the value of this asset and can explain how that value is affected or not affected in a given course of litigation.

Consumer Choice

Consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers are constantly seeking innovative methods of influencing consumer behavior. FSG experts are academic thought leaders in the field of consumer choice marketing, and they also have extensive experience working with CPGs and retailers to develop plans that successfully direct consumer behavior. As a result, our marketing experts are able to accurately analyze the effects of consumer choice marketing initiatives and credibly opine on the results of their analysis in litigation forums.

Customer Confusion

Our team of experts has designed, commissioned and analyzed survey tools that help juries to understand how a trademark, trade dress or any other form of brand infringement might impact customer understanding and valuation of a product or brand. We can provide quantitative rigor in this area, which is all too often left to subjective conjecture. Additionally, our experts are adept at identifying weaknesses in surveys that have been designed or administered by less rigorous practitioners.

Database Marketing

Companies use databases of customers and prospective customers to aim their marketing efforts more precisely. These databases contain information such as consumer shopping behavior, preferences, demographics, and economic status. Accordingly, they can often be instrumental to damages analysis in litigation matters. FSG experts have worked with companies to optimize their use of database marketing and have taught students how to design and implement these programs. Our experts can assess the quality of database marketing campaigns and the information contained in databases.

Distribution Channels

Channels of distribution, the various companies and processes by which products move from manufacture to purchase, have become increasingly complex. At the same time, distribution channels have become a more important strategic component for many product companies and retailers. FSG marketing experts understand channels of distribution and the means by which they add value. Furthermore, FSG experts have designed and helped implement distribution channels in a variety of different industries.

False Advertising

Litigation may often involve claims that an advertisement is untrue or misleading. Our experts have been involved in cases in which the trier of fact is being asked to determine if a communication is false advertising or not and, if so, what the impact of it is. By relying on their technical knowhow and years of analytical experience, our experts are able to provide decisive analyses and reliable testimony in this area. These experts help the jury with this task and help assess what impact, if any, the communication has on consumers and, ultimately, company profitability

Marketing Analysis

FSG experts have extensive experience and skill in performing marketing analyses, assessing the quality and profitability of a market initiative, and determining the likelihood of a given marketing campaign’s success. In litigation, triers of fact are frequently asked to award damages based on the value of a particular market. FSG experts are adept at analyzing markets and marketing activities, and explaining their findings in a clear and convincing manner.

Marketing Strategy

In litigation, marketing plans and particular marketing tactics are sometimes key to understanding the business results of a litigant. FSG experts can provide triers of fact with insights about how companies determine their marketing strategy; moreover, we can provide credible and reliable expert testimony regarding the quality and potential success of a given marketing strategy.

Pricing

Price is arguably the most important of the 4 P’s of marketing, and it is an essential element of brand and product strategy. Moreover, price effects can be critical components of both liability and damages calculations for litigation purposes. Whether it’s price elasticity, price erosion, profitability pricing, competitive pricing or some other pricing issue, FSG experts are second to none. We have the expertise and experience to assist clients across the whole spectrum of pricing issues.

Retailing

The retail environment has undergone dramatic changes, including the domination of big box stores, use of in-store marketing tactics, and the increase of the internet or other technologies as a retail option for consumers. FSG experts have worked as consultants, executives and Board of Director members for retailers. Accordingly, we can provide thought leading consultation to help retailers succeed or can provide impactful expert witness testimony in litigation matters involving retailers or retail business issues.

Surveys

Our team of experts has designed, commissioned and analyzed survey tools that help juries to understand how a trademark, trade dress or any other form of brand infringement might impact customer understanding and valuation of a product or brand. We can provide quantitative rigor in this area, which is all too often left to subjective conjecture. Additionally, our experts are adept at identifying weaknesses in surveys that have been designed or administered by less rigorous practitioners.

Practice Area Contact: Marc Vellrath, Ph.D., CFA, or Jeff Armstrong, Ph.D.

What We’ve Done

  • Performed customer confusion survey and quantified damages in a dispute involving a claim of trademark infringement in the express mail industry.
  • Opined on distribution issues related to a large antitrust matter involving caskets.
  • Opined on the likely and actual causes of membership declines in a case involving a retail co-op suing an accounting firm for damages stemming from a restatement of earnings. Topics included changing retail market, effect of pricing changes on consumer behavior, customer satisfaction and loyalty, retail economics.
  • Studied an opined on issues pertaining to liability in a case involving a CEO that was sued by a retailer for reckless management and malfeasance. Our report and testimony focused on the reasonableness of actions taken by CEO, including retail strategy and supply chain management, among other issues.
  • Performed an analysis and provided expert testimony in a class action involving unfair trade practices in the tobacco industry. Our expert addressed issues such as retail channel strategy, in-store advertising and displays, elasticity of demand, and trade promotion.
  • An advertising and marketing services company sued a larger competitor for unfair trade practices. Claims included bundling, predatory pricing and disparagement. Our expert report focused on how players in the market made decisions, what variables were important, and how the industry was changing. Topics included: retail in-store marketing, trade promotion, consumer packaged goods marketing, marketing mix, and advertising.