Case Study of Fixer Upper: Expanding the Magnolia Brand

Executive Summary

Fixer Upper: Expanding the Magnolia Brand is a case based on a married couple who has built a network of businesses through various strategies. The couple entrepreneurs Chip and Joanna Gaines are the individuals behind the famous Home and Garden Television (HGTV)’s ‘Fixer Upper Tv series that is based on flipping houses. This analysis is based on the sustainable competitive advantage that the couple has relied on in building their company. The business established in the college town of Waco, Texas was Magnolia Inc. and other several brand extensions that include the Silos and Marketplace, the Magnolia Journal, Magnolia Table café, Hillcrest Estate, Magnolia House inn, and vacation home rental, all of which contribute to the economy of the town. Most of the enterprises were captured in the five years HGTV series Fixer Upper which came to an end in the spring of 2018 after five seasons.


Renovation experts, Chip, and Joanna Gaines have never let their studied careers prevent them from venturing and succeeding in their ambitious fields. The two through their TV series Fixer Upper came to fame by building a business empire in 2003 (Brunson &Reed, 2018). The couple while building their brand, believed that home was important since it marks the beginning of everyone’s story. It is in homes where various activities in life do take place, for instance, it is where dream, unplug, connect and spend time with families, therefore they believed in dealing with real estate. Several individuals especially those who watched the Tv series were inspired by the couple’s brand and involved creativity, redecorating, restoration, and repurposing of various homes beyond the limits. Through the TV series, the couple has created awareness of their brand and at the same time entertain various audiences. To experience general upward navigation in terms of expansion and conquering the Waco market, ever since its establishment, the brand has creatively gained a competitive advantage in the area.

SWOT Analysis


Magnolia brand has become successful by being supportive of Waco’s mission, “Do good work that Matters.” The couple established several brands to avail various services to the individuals of Waco town, for instance, making good use of two rusting silos that were located downtown Waco. This led to the availability of seasonal flowers, herbs, and seeds. The couples availed products such as cookies, biscuits, and classic cinnamon to the Waco citizens.

Magnolia enterprises had organic growth in the various businesses that were launched and managed under the same brand. The couple first began with the house flipping in 2003, they bought deserted and poorly maintained houses at a cheaper price, and they later renovated and sell at a higher profit gain. In the same year, the couple was able to set up a retail store at Magnolia market. They set up a TV show, the pilot of upper fixer, the show formed a great form of advertisement for the brand and generated capital for building more brands.

Additionally, the restaurant attracts several tourists, 30,000 every week to Texas. Having gained popularity and presented the bests out of their brands, the couple’s businesses such as the Magnolia Stay and Magnolia Table were one of the most visited places. Additionally, Silos were estimated to be able to attract up to 1.6 million visitors on an annual basis (Trust, 2019). The visitors were both from the local areas of Waco and outside of Texas.

Lastly, the company has been making a lot of revenue, especially from its previously ended Tv series Fixer Upper. The show served as a great breakthrough for the brand as through it they were able to gain publication and at the same time financial gain where they were paid an estimated amount of $30,000 per episode. After 5 years the amount that compounded out of the 5 seasons was $ 2,220,000 excluding the hidden service fee that was paid during the renovations of homes of various people (Brunson &Reed, 2018). The gain in the revenue was a boost to the expansion of the Magnolia brand.


The primary driver of the brand, the Fixed Upper Tv show was canceled. The show that acted as a source of revenue and publication came to an end in 2018. This could be a great blow as the company will run on the capital obtained from other smaller outlets that are now in jeopardy in the range of their revenue streams. The company will start incurring the cost of advertisements, running several adverts to keep on popularising its brand as before.

The enterprises that are under one brand are located only in one geographical location, Waco Texas. Even since it began, the brand is not popular within the United State because it relies on one geographical location. The number of visitors to the region might seize and that may put the whole Magnolia brand in jeopardy. For continued success, the company should consider expanding to various parts of the United States and beyond.

The company relies on the owners and co-founders who do not have a succession plan. This means that the company has got no right leaders who are in place to take over if in case any change occurs. Lack of succession planning places the company at risk of failing to adapt after the two are not present. Succession planning entails several critical concerns that the successor should know before becoming the overall leader, therefore the couple should identify a potential successor.

Lastly, the company does not have an apparent long-term mission or vision of the company. Lack of long-term vision will make it hard to direct, grow and strategize the activities of the business. With a lack of the company’s mission, the employees are likely to be confused concerning their job and to some extent, they may not take their tasks seriously. Therefore, a lack of mission and vision is likely to lead to discouragement among several, especially among ambitious employees


Silos at Magnolia market draw a large number of visitors of up to 1.6 million on annual basis to Waco town and with this big number, the company is in a position of expanding. The business has got a high chance of ensuring that it retains high volumes of customers who visit the Silos and the Magnolia market. One of the strategies for customer retention is through re-engaging the customers through marketing automation personalization of communication and offers to various writers.

The establishment of another TV series that would be based on the designs was a great form of popularising the brand in the field of designs. This would be a complement to the Fixer Upper Tv show. Popularising the field was a great step in attracting customers and teaching the public about the best kinds of design Joanna used to design. Therefore, the company should consider the program and ensure that it is maintained.

The company has been receiving residual incomes from the streams of the HGTV series and the rentals. These revenues are significant to the business and they can incorporate them in building and expanding its brands to other areas outside Texas. The company has got an opportunity of carrying on with the renovations and buying of several homes with the amount obtained from the rentals and the streams.

Waco’s property values increased by a bigger margin, the increment was significant and is positively impactful to the economic status of the town. The influx of the visitors to the town was due to the Magnolia brand, this lead to the increment in the values of the properties in the town. As long as the brand company is still gaining value in the region, the increment in the value of the properties including the Magnolia renovated homes.


The higher costs of parking which sometimes go up to $10 is a challenging issue in the Magnolia market near Silos. This issue may drive away potential customers, especially visitors who come from very far places as in some circumstances they usually come for a longer stay. This issue is a threat that should be solved by the company to prevent the loss of potential customers both local and outside Texas.

The complaint about the increased traffic by locals is a threat to the business that should be addressed with all possible means. This issue when elevates my lead to shutting down the company’s major brand in the Silo area and the Magnolia market. This issue should be solved by the owners of the company by establishing some other branch of the business at the Silos in other parts within and outside Texas to reduce the traffic.

The economic downturns and the recession in the housing and traveling markets negatively affected the business. This was because the business majored in housing, it, therefore, meant that the company incurred loss and if such scenarios would repeat themselves, then the brand would be severely affected. Such situate, therefore remain a threat to the business unless a counter solution is adopted such as investing in other places outside the same Texas.

The termination of the popular TV show Fixer Upper, a program that played a significant role in the running of the brand. Since the show was the major platform that acted as both an advertising platform, revenue-generating, and an informative and educative platform, shutting it down negatively impacted the business. If any other strategy of advertisement that is memorable in the audience’s eyes is not adopted, the company is at risk of losing customers.

Summary of the SWOT Analysis

The Magnolia brand should consider the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and Threats that the company is facing and act accordingly towards them. Some of the key strengths that the company should consider include making good use of the high revenue from its various branches and supporting the vision of Waco town. Some of the weaknesses that should be addressed are the geographical location and the company should be expanded to other locations. Some of the opportunities that should be considered include, making proper use of the high influx of visitors in the Town. Lastly, threats such as the high cost of parking should be solved by renting ample space for the customers.

Key Elements of the Fixer Upper Strategy

Key elements include offering low cost upon conversion of the property and targeting specific groups through the Tv show. Furthermore, the company sought to diversify into tourism, charging high pricing for meals and housing that were suitable for the Waco market. According to Dunkel (2019) out of the five generic competitive strategies, Mattel majors in the practice of broad differentiation, whereas the Toy industry has broadened its product lines, whereby approximately 50% of its products are manufactured by its facilities.

Competitive Analysis

Magnolia Inc.’s competitive analysis can be achieved through consideration of its competitive strength over other companies including Ballantyne and Old-time pottery

Table 1: Magnolia Inc. and its Competitors

Magnolia Inc. Ballantyne Old-time pottery
The measure of the strength Importance weight Strength rating Score Strength rating Score Strength rating Score
Relative cost position .10 5 .50 7 .70 9 .90
Company’s reputation image .10 8 .80 6 .60 8 .80
Financial resources .30 6 1.80 7 2.10 10 3.00
Technological skills .50 7 3.50 9 4.50 5 2.50
Network distribution strategies .50 6 3.00 8 4.00 6 4.00
Summation of important weights 1.50
Overall weighted strengths 9.60 11.90 11.20

The two companies are the strongest rivals of Magnolia Inc. this is because both enterprises slightly surpass Magnolia Inc. by several key success factors.

Table 2: Mattel Toy Company and its Competitors

Mattel Inc. GTX Corporation Vtech
The measure of the strength Importance weight Strength rating Score Strength rating Score Strength rating Score
Relative cost position .10 9 .90 5 .50 7 .70
Company’s reputation image .10 9 .90 6 .60 8 .80
Financial resources .30 10 3.00 6 1.80 8 2.40
Network distribution strategies .50 6 3.00 8 4.00 6 4.00
Summation of important weights 1.00
Overall weighted strengths 11.80 10.90 11.90

Vtech manufactures is a close competitor to Mattel Inc. toys company.

Financial Analysis

Table 3

Year Net Sales
Gross profit
2014 14 Episodes $420,000
2015 14 Episodes $420,000
2016 14 Episodes $420,000
2017 14 Episodes $420,000
2018 18 Episodes $540,000
Net Income $2220,000

Core Values and Vision

There are several core values that Magnolia Inc. exhibits and that make it a special place to work these include the company being user-focused, heart-centered, and focused on excellence and integrity. The core values of Magnolia act as the company’s compass as it is what drives the brand. Additionally, the company’s brand believes in uplifting its employees as it believes in human kindness and encourages the spirit of working together.

Strategic Issues and Recommendations

For the company to maintain its profitability and revenue, the company should consider several strategic issues that include the expansion to several parts of the US, it is through this that it will be able to completely outdo Old time pottery company and Ballantyne (Ballantyne Endodontics (n.d). The leaders of the Inc. should evaluate the amount of revenue and the stability it will gain on expansion. Mattel Toys should consider expanding to various parts of the US and beyond to surpass its competitors.


Some of the recommendations that should be considered include bringing back the Fixer Upper HGTV show. This will play a significant role in ensuring that after the expansion of the company to several regions of the US, the show will play a major role in its advertisement. Secondly, the couple should consider involving themselves in the organization into charitable and philanthropic. This will contribute significantly to the public eye who will love to purchase from the brand. Thirdly, the company should consider advertising through celebrities, a great move to draw a specific class of customers to the brand. Lastly, the couple should consider identifying proper successors of the company, if in case any emergency occurs, the identified group will take over to maintain the company.


Ballantyne Endodontics (n.d). Our Practice. Web.

Brunson, Rochelle,R &Reed, Marlene,M. (2018).Fixer Upper: Expanding the Magnolia Brand. Mc Graw Hill. Connect

Dunkel, I. (2019). Emotional and psychological marketing content used in branding, Case: Mattel; He-Man & the Masters of the Universe toy line. Web.

Trust, Smith B. (2019). The Magnolia appeal: Why we love Chip and Joanna Gaines. Robert. H. Smith, school of business. Web.

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