Maintenance of Competitive Advantage in a Transition Scenario: A Case of the Danish Printing Industry. KLS PurePrint. From Conventional to Sustainable Based Brand Equity

Emily Krygell Schrøder & Frederikke Busk Kristensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The business environment is ever-changing and has been affected by three major market forces for the past ten years. Thereby, creating new marketing behaviors, opportunities and challenges, which require businesses to be more adaptive than ever before. The three trans-formative forces are: technology, globalization, and social responsibility. An industry which have been challenged on all three forces is the Danish printing industry. Therefore, many companies within this industry have had to rethink their business models to secure survival. An example of a redesigned business model responding to the increased fo-cus on Corporate Social Responsibility is the SME, KLS PurePrint. This dissertation will therefore investigate how the case company KLS PurePrint have conducted a transition to be-come more sustainable by obtaining the silver level Cradle-to-Cradle certification. In order to obtain the certification, businesses must ensure that products are upcyclable or biodegradable to secure eco-effectiveness. This usually demands large expenditures on R&D as a company’s existing business model has to be completely redesigned. The case of KLS PurePrint has been investigated on three levels: market, organization, and individual, and to answer our research question, existing theories are combined with collected qualitative data. Individual interviews with selected informants who represent different de-partments and levels inside KLS PurePrint is serving the purpose of creating an understanding of their strategy development. Moreover, the interviews combined with observations made at the office revealed a lack of focus on employee satisfaction and engagement. Lastly, focus group interviews were designed to shed light on KLS PurePrint’s brand equity and level of customer loyalty within the industry. The aim of the findings are twofold. Firstly, it will evaluate existing theories and literature and discuss potential areas of improvement. Secondly, it functions as a guide for other SMEs and managers who are facing the need for a transition in order secure survival by adapting to new market realities. Thus, presenting both potentials and pitfalls of becoming Cradle-to-Cra-dle certified or pursuing other ambitious sustainability strategies.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages130