Overview of the Case
Along with the changing business world, customers change as well, becoming more demanding and knowledgeable than before. The consumers of mass communication messages today are active and critical in the simple choices they make. As such, the mere purchase of everyday necessities has proved to be crucial in analyzing the consumer market at present. In turn, company management had shifted their focus on their clients or customers so as to stay successfully in business. The changing world has then placed much emphasis on the importance of communication for effective marketing. This transition meant that organizations have to completely reformulate their conventional business aims and purposes from being process-focused to customer-centered (Lowenstein, 1997).
Haven’t found the relevant content? Hire a subject expert to help you with Business Overview of the Case
$35.80 for a 2-page paper
In this age of globalization and information technology, deciding which brand to choose can be a problem. Competition is evident and intense, and the marketing and management divisions of corporations are surely giving everything they can to establish their brands. Competition forces certain brand names to become stronger than others because of product loyalty and name recognition. As such, all types of communication became more involved in marketing communications, including literature, training, advertising, mail, telephone, product promotions and other contact relevant to marketing communication (Goldberg & McCalley, 1992).
Moreover, consumers tend to buy what is already familiar to them (Mittelhauser, 1997). A fine and well-advertised brand might have a competitive edge from a lesser exposed brand name. But then, a lesser known brand can also have an edge over price, given that they cost less than known brands (Kim et al, 2002). Market researches are most of the time conducted before and after the launching or implementation of an advertising campaign so as to provide generalization or specific definition of the characteristics of the type of people belonging in market category as well as the reactions of the consumers to the product or service being made available (Neumann & Sumser, 2002).
Such practice makes it easier for the product or service providers to predict the outcome of a particular advertising campaign. However, in the end, the decision still lies within the consumers. They are the ones who basically absorb all the messages being disseminated by companies or all the information pertaining to the products, whether they are positive or negative.
The Make It Big company was established by Cynthia Riggs is having some challenges that made her question her skills in leadership and business. She started to analyze her business plans for MIB and the difficulties in decision making. Cynthia hired Bridget in 2001 to help her manage human resources decisions. Bridget left, it just showed how hard to find and maintain the right people inside the company. Since the company is having problems with decision making, they also having problems in marketing and sales. Cynthia needs a good marketing plan. The company needs a good strategic and marketing plan in order to excel the fashion and clothing industry. Finally, the most important problem of MIB is that the leader herself, Cynthia is having doubts on her leadership and decision making skills.
Analysis of the Problem
Perhaps the space between the new organization design and implementing it into actuality is the whole coverage of organization change and development is needed to resolve the problems of MIB. People are adaptive to change. However, certain skills must be present from the initiators of change so as to successfully implement their project. Thus, leaders like Cynthia need to have the necessary abilities not only in detecting what needs to be changed but also how to effectively introduce the change.
But the reliance to the internal resources of the organization will not do if environmental considerations of the company are not likewise considered (Carey, 2001). These include the significant market characteristics that directly and indirectly influence and dictate the strategic business implementation and sound decision-making from the options available. The forecast of subsequent political, economic, and social implications that change will result to also needs to be identified and enumerated in order to ensure the success and development of the organization and the welfare of the public in general.
Business administration and management characterizes the process of leading and directing the systems within an organization by exhausting available resources extensively so as to achieve the objectives of the business operation (Drejer, 2002). It most of the time includes the conceptualization of business plans and monitoring its execution for assessment and evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of the business transactions. Strategic management is the process of identifying and enumerating the aims of the organizations in order to come up with sound business policies and plans from which the profit of the business organization will be fully maximized.
The advances in technology and the fast modernization of the world, in general, opened new and very promising avenues of business opportunities not just in an individual’s locale but also abroad. A lot of business-minded individuals from different countries with different nationalities and cultural orientation have and continuously defied the geographic boundaries that exist between continents (Gilley and Maycunich, 2000). This is evident in the growing number of internationally-operating business firms all over the world run by entrepreneurs of varying race and culture. The information man has successfully rebelled against intercontinental borders and the challenge that confronts him the most, deals with how to fit and blend in the new cultural environment in which their businesses are situated.
The Solutions to the Problem
Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
Understanding the dynamics of the competitors in the industry helps assess the potential opportunities of every business venture by differentiating the similar products or services offered by the company against other business organizations. Considering the factors that directly and indirectly affect and influence the entirety of the business operations contributes to the competitiveness of the whole functioning of the business. As such, it is important to review and critically examine the specific individuals or groups of individuals that manage parts or chains of operations that are relevant to the operations of the company and to realistically assess potential levels of profitability, opportunity and risk based on five key factors within an industry so as to determine the long-term profitability of a market or market segment.
Using Porter’s Five Forces Model, the (a) suppliers, (b) buyers, (c) new entrants and barriers of entry, (d) substitutes, and (e) industry competitors of MIB in the fashion market are examined.
1. Suppliers. An organization that offers products as well as services also depends on suppliers that deliver the company’s raw materials. This condition leads to the buyer-supplier relationships within different industries. Such relationship is directly influence by the changes in the supply and demand variables based on the existing needs of the consumer population (Lee & Billinton, 1995; Katsikeas, Schlegelmilch & Skarmeas, 2002). The influence of the supplier is defined by its ability to dictate price and influence availability of materials. Other strengths of the supplier include their ability to (a) increase prices without suffering from a decrease in volume, (b) reduce the quantity supplied, (c) organize in a formal or informal manner, (d) compete in an environment with relatively few substitutes, (e) provide a product/material that is a critical part of the end product or service, (f) impose switching costs on their customers when they depart, and (g) integrate downstream by purchasing or controlling the distribution channels (Berry et al, 1998; Degraeve & Roodhooft, 1999; Anderson & Katz, 1998).
As such, every company that depends on the services and materials from key suppliers need to be sensitive on the variables that are highly important and considered by the suppliers. In the case of the fashion industry, particularly in the current objectives and plans of MIB, decision-makers of the company should have a clear understanding of the business dynamics in which suppliers are directly involved in (Lowson, 2002). These include the suppliers’ concentration or and core business interests, variety of products and design offered, and the alternative resources that are available for the Group in terms of business partnerships. In this light, it is most appropriate to build win–win relationships with suppliers or arrange the use of multiple suppliers in order to protect the interests of both ends.
2. Buyers. The power of buyers describes the impact customers have on an industry. When buyer power is strong, the relationship to the producing industry becomes closer to market conditions wherein the buyer has the most influence in determining the price (Bowman, 1999). As such the bargaining power of buyers increases when they have the ability to (a) make agreements with other companies providing similar products and services, (b) purchase a product that represents a significant fraction of the expenses incurred by the company, (c) purchase of a product that is undifferentiated, (d) incur low changes in costs when they change vendors, (e) be price sensitive by bearing in mind the options available, and (f) integration to purchase the goods of the suppliers (Baldwin et al, 2002; Bowers, Martin & Luker, 1990).
The study conducted by Greenberg and colleagues (1983) found that product choice, promotions and the atmosphere of the outlets were the most important factors involved in consumer decision making. Basically, based on the factors needed to be competitive in the fashion retail marketplace, branding is the most important and pertinent thing to consider. Because fashion is an aesthetic and cultural representation, it can be said that brands should consider reaching out to different cultures and trends, as well as different perception of beauty. These are just some of the factors that affect consumer behavior. They have been the subject of consumer research for years, for instance, linking them with customer service and customer satisfaction, or the efficacy and persuasiveness of advertisement, etc (Moore, 1995). In the fashion retail industry, these subjects also take place, obviously because the variables that makes the process of buying and selling creates the opportunity for such instances to be possible. These factors should be highly considered by MIB for the successful marketing of their products.
3. New Entrants and Barriers of Entry. The possibility of new companies entering the industry influences the pace of the competition. Thus, the key is to evaluate the methods of entry and exit for a new player to the industry. Although any company should be able to enter and exit the sector, each industry presents different levels of difficulty influenced by economics. These unique characteristics of the each industry are referred to as barriers to entry which may come from different aspects of the business ranging from supplies to technology. They seek to reduce the rate of entry of new entrants which leads to maintenance of a level of profits for the existing players.
In terms of fashion retailing, Birtwistle and Freathy (1998) stated that its market has gained criticism for a lack of differentiation, possibly due to greater degrees of market concentration and the standardization of the fashion retail offer across stores and regions. With the addition of new technological developments, fashion retailers face both a differentiation dilemma and a challenge in maintaining any long-term advantage over their competitors. Competitive advantage is needed, and being unique and persuasive are important in order to attract the attention of customers and create positive consumer behavior that would benefit the company. Davies (1992) stated that four things are needed to be considered in order for retail stores or fashion brands to achieve competitive advantage (Roney, 2004). They are: the ability to differentiate; command a price premium; have a separate existence to the corporation; and provide a form of psychic value to customers. Similarly, these are the significant considerations made by new fashion retail stores in entering the fashion industry market.
4. Substitutes. “Substitute products” as those that are available in other industries that meet an identical or similar need for the end user. As more substitutes become available and affordable, the demand becomes more elastic since customers have more alternatives. The treat of substitutes often impacts price-based competition since substitute products may limit the ability of firms within an industry to raise prices and improve margins. Other concerns in assessing the threat of substitutes include the presence of new technologies that can contribute to competition though more diverse and economical substitute products and services. A segment is unattractive when there are actual or potential substitutes for a product.
Azuma and Fernie (2003) stated that fashion is an aesthetic expression that aims to communicate notions, subtleties, and therefore, as soon as an aesthetic order comes to be generally perceived as a code, then works of art tend to move beyond this code while exploring its possible mutations and extensions. The creative aspect of fashion in general cultivates the numerous ways of expressing oneself through other products available in the market. These include accessories and jewelries, bags, shoes, parlors and salons. Furthermore, fashion is believed to be a cyclical reflection of social, cultural, and environmental characteristics that are unique to a certain point of time in a particular geographical setting, in addition to playing a crucial role in complementing one’s self-image. As such, the never-ending and ever-increasing possibilities of portraying an individual’s self-image through other products available in other mentioned industries pose disadvantages as well as challenge in the entire clothing line of the fashion industry.
5. Industry Competitors. A considerable number of companies have developed into an essential part of the period of global competition, increasing development, improved business paradigms, and corporate reorganization. The continuing transformation from the traditional industrial framework with its hierarchical companies to a worldwide, knowledge-founded financial system and intelligent corporations necessitates business management to realign and relocate its strategies (Mcmenamin, 1999). Along with the intense marketing nowadays, firms are faced with the challenge to maintain their own competitive edge to be able to survive and be successful. Strategies are carefully planned and executed to gain the ultimate goal of all: company growth (Karp & Schlessinger, 2002).
Most companies find it impossible to create any kind of sustainable competitive advantage based on product alone. Since competition is an important factor to consider before entering a business, companies should have successful competitive strategies to be able attract, retain and grow customers. However, before the company can plan and execute these strategies, it should be able to pinpoint its sources of competitive advantage which can be differentiated through products, services, channels, people and image (Kotler & Armstrong, 2001). Indeed, making a business successful in a particular setting demands crucial and detailed studies and examination of the factors that will generate the best results that will serve the aims and objectives of the company.
In this light, owners of big business organizations operating in a competitive business environment should be in constant look out with its competitors and the overall status and events in the industry. Taking advantage of the opportunities and intensifying the strengths while minimizing the risks and weaknesses of a business firm greatly helps in predicting the success of the business enterprise. As such it is important to examine the consequent (a) strengths, (b) weaknesses, (c) opportunities, and (d) threats of MIB clothing in order to accurately illustrate sound business propositions and recommendations pertaining to its aims to expand market share and increase profitability of MIB.
1. Strengths. Compared to the industry competitors of MIB, the company exercises an almost direct access to the market-base. Since the company originated and developed in the free economic zone economy long before its affiliation and subsequent participation in the activities of trade and economy, MIB is highly of advantage compared to foreign entrants in the local market. This gives MIB the experience, skill, and knowledge of the people along with the cultural orientation and social practices in the mainland.
Along with Group’s high similarity and familiarity with the social, cultural, economic, and political setting MIB is also in synch with the international fashion trends since it houses designers and staff from diverse cultural background. This is in line with the company’s far-reaching share in the international clothing fashion market across the Asian region and other parts of the world. In this light, the company offers products and services that do not limit the designers’ talents to local markets. This is highly relevant in increasing the market share of MIB clothing line since numerous expatriates or individuals from foreign countries stay due to the country’s abundant business ventures as well as tourist attractions and international events.
The franchising business expansion strategy of the company likewise proved to be successful in different locations. This enables MIB to balance the centralized and decentralized approaches to business management and operations. The centralized aspect of the Group ensure capitalization of foreign franchisees abroad which results to good return of investments and profits while the decentralized business approach of the franchises extends possible business opportunities for the entire business in terms of product innovation, design, research and development. This makes possible continuous growth of the business enterprise through a pool of creative staff and employees that contribute to the competence, security, image and integrity of the company.
2. Weaknesses. Basically, fashion in today’s modern world is everywhere, with the help of globalization nonetheless. However, the problem with this is that world of fashion has witnessed a dramatic shift in the way in which fashion styles are determined away from an intrinsic interaction between fashion and the regional environmental factors towards the dominance by global fashion capitalism. Fashion is now being considered more of a retail material rather than a medium on which artists can express their artistic ideas to the fullest (Azuma & Fernie, 2003). Globalization has made fashion statements of different cultures available to every individual around the world. Although mass production of fashion is being created with extensive consideration on production budget and marketing research, MIB should be sensitive to the importance of maintaining art in its products and designs so as not to fall into the common retail-crafted clothing line orientation perception regarding today’s fashion.
The franchising strategy of MIB allows continuous product innovation and design as well as more cost-effective materials for manufacturing the companies clothing lines. As such, the development efforts and research initiatives and projects that the company invest in order to maintain continuous operation and competitive position call for wise selection of business opportunities as well as skilled leadership and risk management skills among its decision-makers. The staff and employees of the company should be highly familiar with the fashion existing and upcoming fashion designs in order to take lead in introducing new and future fashion trends. But more importantly, the company should foster tasteful and intrinsic creative designs for the consumers at the lowest possible prices.
The company should likewise intensify its promotion campaigns particularly the big size women clothing line. Advertising and marketing communications tools should leave a good impact to the target market to increase its appeal to the public. Good relationships with the suppliers and other business affiliations for the successful operation of the new clothing lie should be observed. Moreover, technological innovations and facilities in apparel manufacturing and marketing should be fully exhausted in order to serve the economic and aesthetic purposes of the company.
3. Opportunities. Since MIB has long been familiar with the local market, conceptualizations of the value propositions of its products are highly in synch with the lifestyle and fashion trends present in the targeted location. As such marketing and advertising strategies and opportunities come relatively easier to MIB management with its compilation of market researches particularly the buying behavior of the consumers. This situation should be taken advantage by the management to gain competitive edge against foreign clothing fashion companies that are operating businesses.
4. Threats. The competitors in the local as well as the international clothing fashion industry is a major intimidation to MIB since highly acclaimed, recognized, popular and sophisticated companies in the fashion industry can exercise the same market penetration initiatives of the company. In particular, there are highly stable local apparel manufacturers that supply and distribute materials, designs and products to other internationally acknowledged clothing lines. These local manufacturers are also distributing their products and designs in the local market under their own respective brand names. At the international level, European and American designs and products are existent and likewise persistent in increasing market share in lucrative business locations.
Application of strategic material and techniques discussed during the business strategy course
The table contains the implementation plan for MIB for one year, three years and five years.
Finalize MIB’s strategic business plans
1. Reveal results of the Feasibility Study
2. Introduce to the people the new business organizations that will deliver their specific consumer needs.
3. Increase community relations activities to further promote the plans with the local communities
Fully exhaust and maximize the opportunities that will surface among the different production and services divisions of the company.
1. Maintain strong relationship with the fuel suppliers.
2. Establish brand name and product visibility concerning the power generation, transmission, and distribution interests of the business.
3. Improve marketing efforts by highlighting the intensified service plans for the benefit of the consumer population.
Retain market leadership in terms of operations and improve the transmission and distribution competitiveness of the organization.
4. Initiate revolutionary business plans and strategies that will address the necessary approach to improve the transmission and distribution aspects of the company.
5. Continue marketing efforts in all the product distribution
Become the market leader in fashion and clothing industry in terms of generation, transmission and distribution.
1. Increased exploration efforts for more resources of energy generation.
2. Research and development for technological innovations in all the core business interests of the company..
3. Increase product visibility and brand strength over the competitors in the generation, transmission and distribution.
Initially, the understanding of buyer behavior is one of the more perplexing tasks confronting every manager (Schiffman & Kanuk 2000). The difficulty arises from the heterogeneity of buyers, from being groups of individuals who differ from one another. But notwithstanding differences, consumers do share attitudes, opinions, reactions, and desires at various times (Schiffman & Kanuk 2000). Business experience, marketing research, theoretical constructs and models, and trial-and-error methods help to find some of the common denominators.
Market segmentation fully recognizes that buyers of any product or service category need, desire, want and expect different performance characteristics from products or services in the category. It helps the company to position the product properly and prepare marketing strategies to satisfy a more focused range of consumer needs and wants. Furthermore, it is also a factor in effectively using limited marketing resources, identifying unique market niches, improving profitability and helping to retain consumer loyalty. The basis for the market categorizations of clients and customers include the (1) demographic characteristics, (2) the geographical location, (3) consumer behavior, and (4) psychographic characterizations (Kotler & Armstrong, 2001).
Consumers around the world are different in various factors such as age, income, education level and preferences which may affect the way they avail of goods and services. In the case of the initiatives of MIB to penetrate the local market through the introduction of the MIB clothing line, the product or service being offered could be a good start in planning and executing an effective campaign. Knowing the product and its demands in the market as well as the people who will likely avail and take advantage of the offer will open the possibilities for a campaign that will be most ideal in the market. Looking into the characteristics and thought processes of the people still holds as the most significant factor to be looked into by the individuals in the field of sales and marketing. The large scope of market can pose a hindrance to a successful marketing strategy in terms of over generalized definition of the target or niche market.
According to Kotler and Armstrong (2001), consumer buying behavior refers to the buying behavior of the individuals and households who buy the goods and services for personal consumption. This behavior then impacts how products and services are presented to the different consumer markets. There are many components which influence consumer behavior namely: cultural, social, personal and psychological (Kotler & Armstrong, 2001). As such, consumers can either be subjective or objective, testing the persuasiveness of brand names. Retail stores selling the products also play an important role in swaying the decisions of consumers. The whole package or visual appeal of the retail outlet can determine sales, or the service of the sales ladies or the clerks.
Furthermore, consumers may choose particular products/brands not only because these products provide the functional or performance benefits expected, but also because products can be used to express consumers’ personality, social status or affiliation (symbolic purposes) or to fulfill their internal psychological needs, such as the need for change or newness (emotional purposes) (Kim et al, 2002). In this regard, the market segmentation for the MIB apparel products focusing on consumer behavior and psychographics entails the identification of the governing social norms and culture in the local market as well as the general buying behavior of the consumer population. Moreover, the existence of foreign nationals in the country should be likewise taken into consideration fro more effective and comprehensive segme3ntation of the market to identify the target consumers.
Of all the components of a marketing plan, perhaps the most overlooked but most critical element is the definition of the target market. According to Champion-Hughes (2001), it is a homogenous group of people or organizations that a company wishes to appeal to. There are two basic targets for a product or service: the user and the non-user segments. Thus, there are also two business and marketing decisions that the company must decide upon in light of the basic targets. The first is to cultivate the present market alone while the second is to go after non-users. The former can inspire consumer loyalty which is an important factor in the survival of any business. These are among the consumer characteristics that MIB, particularly MIB clothing line, should identify and gain market visibility.
Culture influences behavior through its manifestations: values, heroes, rituals, and symbols (Luna & Gupta, 2001). Since the market for chain convenience store is in the international orientation, the management as well as the advertisers should keep in mind the differences that are distinct between and among the target market from different cultural backgrounds which significantly affect the effectiveness of the campaign. The fact is there may be ideas that will not be applicable across the diverse target market population. Studies on the relationship of consumer behavior and their personal values and cultural orientation as well as their beliefs on certain principles, the dispositions they hold and side they take on political, gender and social problems and issues should be duly accorded.
Moreover, companies now face the challenge of making its target consumers respond accordingly to their marketing efforts and those who understand its consumers’ responses will have a great competitive advantage (Kotler & Armstrong, 2001). As such, there is a need for a common understanding with regards to MIB offers and the needs of its target market in order to initiate market share among non-users and extensive customer loyalty among patrons. This will further the economic gains of the company and the achievement of corporate goals and objectives. Since the MIB clothing line focuses on the marketing of casual wear among the female middle age population of the local Chinese consumers, the company should make it a point to provide marketing and advertising efforts that will most appeal to the targeted market through critical market analysis of consumer preferences and consumer behavior in the locale.
Practically, essential decisions that are taken in developing an effective marketing mix for specific product/service are based in the systematic knowledge of the consumers that make up its permanent target market (Johnson & Mullen 1990). Johnson and Mullen (1990) believe that understanding the behavior of the consumer is the most basic step in helping marketing authorities to visualize and predict future trends, reactions, and changes in the marketing mix. It may also serve as a reference in determining the potentials of new products and its adoption. The identification of the characteristics and buying preferences of the target market will make it possible for MIB garments to strategically conceptualize the value proposition and marketing agenda of the products to appeal to the female population. Conceptualization and developing future products for the MIB clothing will likewise prove easier and accurate to the needs projected by the female purchasers of casual wardrobes.
A. Product Strategy
Cultivating customer loyalty is about establishing a relationship between the company and its consumers (Chow & Holden, 1997). This is emphasized by Michael Lowenstein (1997) who considers that gaining consumer loyalty is a business’s most advantageous strategic purpose because it has a constructive effect on company, culture, development and the bottom-line. However, customer loyalty is not a one-sided arrangement with the company reaping all the benefits. The customers also expect to be rewarded for patronizing the company. Aside from assuring customer satisfaction, the company will also devise strategies that will make the regular customers buy more or try new products of MIB clothing line.
These product strategies include (1) matching the organizational structure to the customers by anticipating and meeting the demands and expectations of the market; (2) extending design and innovation leadership by being sensitive to the dictates of and trends in the consumer demand or buying behavior of the clientele adapting technological means to widen product design and innovation reach; (3) developing leading positions in all major markets by adapting competitive stance that is committed to the aim of the company to excel and best other brands accelerating revenue growth and focus on selected consumer group; (4) achieving excellence in execution through consistent on-time retail delivery, ensuring best quality and the commitment and ability to go the extra mile for the customer along with maintaining the best-practice social and environmental standards, continuous optimization of the own-retail activities to best showcase the brands and products and to improve customer services; and (5) focusing on financial performance through effective management of working capital and generation of significant free cash flow to reduce debt and optimize financial leverage as well as increasing returns to shareholders through share price performance and dividends.
Rather than going after every potential source of revenue, companies eliminate useless assets that do not add value for customers’ satisfaction. Business organizations implement bureaucratic policies and procedures for the benefit of the staff, customers and the company in general. Moreover, Hessan & Whitely (1996) emphasized the idea to take advantage of the competitive situation not just by being better in how that product gets sold, serviced, and marketed at the customer interface. It requires that companies create breakthroughs in how they interact with customers, and design a way of interacting that makes an indelible impression on customers, one that so utterly distinguishes them from others that it becomes a brand in itself (p. 14).
The management initiated product development strategies by marketing their existing products in a new market, exporting products in different areas of the region and thereby advancing opportunities of increasing market penetration and market share through the MIB clothing line. To ensure the success of the product launching in the retail industry as a fast-moving consumer good, the Group should make investments in store promotions as well as multi-media advertising in low-income areas. This will be likewise considered in conceptualizing other advertising and brand strategy schemes to effectively launch MIB clothing line products in the market.
Customer satisfaction is the primary aim of marketing. Most enterprises ensure the best possible chance of attaining long-term stability and competitive standing through comptehensive customer analysis and implementation of marketing communication plans. Marketing makes the basic assumption that customer satisfaction should be the primary aim of the business. Such satisfaction can only be achieved and sustained through the provision of competitive products or services, at competitive prices (Spreng, MacKenzie & Olshavsky, 1996). It should focus on every aspect of marketing, not only on promotion and sales techniques, to persuade customers to buy but also on target market, marketing mix and the effective marketing strategy (Kotler & Armstrong, 2001) because successful marketing results in stronger products, happier customers, and bigger profits.
Moreover, customers recognize the importance of knowledge in relation to the product being purchased. Several consumer behavior researches testified to this fact. Wong (2000) argued that a customer evaluates a product or a service. Such action is based on the customer’s reaction from the using the product or service, which means that the product or service should leave a good perception to the customer’s contentment. Frederick and Salter (1995) explained that it can be ensured that a customer is satisfied by taking into importance the value package, which includes: price, product quality, service quality, innovation, and corporate image. Others also stated the importance of maintaining or establishing a uniqueness of the product, while also understanding customers and what pleases them (Denton 1993). Customers should also understand the product and be allowed to set their own standards in order to be satisfied (Frederick & Salter 1995).
Furthermore, because of the implications for profitability and growth, customer retention is potentially one of the most powerful weapons that companies can employ in their fight to gain a strategic advantage and survive in today's ever increasing competitive environment (Lindenmann, 1999). Aside from having a strategic purpose, gaining customer loyalty is also a key corporate challenge today especially in this increasingly competitive and crowded marketplace because of the eventual profitability it will provide (Chow ; Holden, 1997). Every business wants to have a regular customer base because customers dictate profits and how the customer is treated will reflect on whether the customers will remain loyal with the company or not.
This concept is illustrated by Mittelhauser (1997) in a study about the textile and apparel industry. Competition forces certain brand names to become stronger than others because of product loyalty and name recognition. Consumers tend to buy what is already familiar to them. Thus, it becomes imperative for retailing outfits, especially small or exclusive ones to build a steady base of customers to exist in the competitive marketplace. This relationship becomes mutually beneficial with the company, gaining steady profit and the consumer having the product/s of the said company. Consumers tend to buy what is already familiar to them (Henry, 2000). It becomes imperative for retailing outfits, especially small or exclusive ones to build a steady base of customers to exist in the competitive marketplace.
Fournier (1994) stressed that the relationship of consumers to certain brands are established through the individual’s concept of oneself. However, the company can go a step further and make additional profits by cross-selling as well as save money from having to acquire new or replacement customers. The consumer, on the other hand, can also do the same, by demanding benefits from being a loyal customer that companies would certainly give to maintain them. Previous researches have concluded that satisfied consumers are more loyal to the product as compared to unsatisfied customers (Bailey ; Schultz, 2000). Meanwhile, customers may remain loyal for a number of reasons and may not even be happy with the product or service (Ryan, Rayner ; Morrison, 1999). Customer loyalty becomes evident when choices are made and actions taken by customers (Wansik, 2003).
MIB will be able to overcome their problems and challenges with their leader’s business skills and decision making, through a thorough analysis of the company’s business plans and the industry that they belong. The company will just need to estimate the present political, economic and social changes that their business industry experience. The discussions above have established the external and internal environment on which MIB is functioning. In this manner, the organization’s competitive position is ascertained. In looking into the past literature, the paper has presented specific conditions on which MIB could preserve its advantage over its competitors. It is in this discussion that we found out that organizations have to aspire to recognize the skills and resources they have and that assemble the criteria noted in the discussions above, and to influence such resources to acquire a competitive advantage. For organizations such as MIB that trades globally, there is the additional dimension of the position of such resources, which may possibly be in the home or host state, or both. The conventional international-business literature and the international strategic management literature have recognized that the accomplishment of a multinational organization have the propensity to be anchored on some amalgamation of three collections of advantages, specifically, firm-specific advantages, country-specific advantages, and internalization advantages. In the context of resource, this efficiently amounts to the mixture of country-specific and firm-specific resources given that internalization or coordination can be perceived as a managerial capacity and therefore a firm-specific resource.
Bailey, S ; Schultz, D (2000) ‘Customer/Brand Loyalty in an Interactive Marketplace’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 40, no. 3, p. 41.
Baldwin, LH, Camm, F, Cook, CR ; Moore, NY (2002) Implementing Best Purchasing and Supply Management Practices: Lessons from Innovative Commercial Firms, Rand: Santa Monica, CA.
Birtwistle, G ; Freathy, P (1998) ‘More than just a name above the store: a comparison of the branding strategies of two UK fashion retailers’, International Journal of Retail ; Distribution Management, vol. 26, no. 8, pp. 318-23.
Bowers, MR, Martin, CL ; Luker, A (1990) ‘Trading places: Employees as Customers, Customers as Employees’, Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 4, Spring issue, pp. 55-69.
Bowman, RJ (1999) ‘Logistics in Europe: Tear Up the Old Maps’, Global
Logistics ; Supply Chain Strategies, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 38-51.
Carey, P. (2001). The Internet and E-Commerce: A Hawksmere Report. London: Hawksmere. Retrieved November 29, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o;d=109253245
Champion-Hughes, R (2001) “Totally Integrated Employee Benefits”, Public Personnel Management, vol. 30, 3, p. 287
Chow, S ; Holden, R (1997) ‘Toward an understanding of loyalty: The moderating role of trust’, Journal of Managerial Issues, no. 9, p. 275.
Davies, G (1992) ‘The two ways in which retailers can be brands’, International Journal of Retail ; Distribution Management, vol. 20 no. 2, pp. 24-34.
Denton, DK (1993) ‘Total customer satisfaction: the next step", Industrial Management, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 18-21.
Drejer, A. (2002). Strategic Management and Core Competencies: Theory and Application. Westport, CT: Quorum Books. Retrieved November 29, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=101317940
Fournier, S (1994) ‘A consumer-brand relationship framework for strategic brand management’, PhD Dissertation, University of Florida.
Fredericks, JO & Salter, JM (1995) ‘Beyond customer satisfaction’, Management Review, vol. 84, no. 5, pp. 29-33.
Goldberg, R & McCalley, R (1992) Marketing Channel Development and Management. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Gilley, J. W., & Maycunich, A. (2000). Beyond the Learning Organization: Creating a Culture of Continuous Growth and Development through State-Of-The-Art Human Resource Practices. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. Retrieved November 29, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=91923271
Greenberg, CJ, Sherman, E & Schiffman, LG (1983) ‘The measurement of fashion image as a determinant of store patronage’, in W. R. Darden and R. F. Lusch (eds.) Patronage Behavior and Retail Management, New York, Elsevier Science.
Henry, CD (2000) “Is Customer Loyalty a Pernicious Myth?” Business Horizons, 13.
Hessan D & Whiteley R (1996) Customer Centered Growth: Five Proven Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.
Johnson, C & Mullen, B (1990) The Psychology of Consumer Behavior, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ.
Karp, RS & Schlessinger, BS (2002) The Basic Business Library: Core Resources, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.
Kim, J, Forsythe, S, Gu, Q & Moon, SJ (2002) ‘Cross-cultural consumer values, needs and purchase behavior’, Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol.19, no.6, pp. 481-502.
Kotler, P & Armstrong, G (2001) Principles of Marketing, Prentice Hall, London.
Lindenmann, W (1998) ‘Measuring relationships is key to successful public relations’, Public Relations Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 18+.
Lowenstein, MW (1997) The customer loyalty pyramid, Quorum Books, Westport.
Lowson, R. H. (2002). Strategic Operations Management: The New Competitive Advantage. New York: Routledge. Retrieved November 29, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102807831
Luna, D & Gupta, SF (2001) ‘An integrative framework for cross-cultural consumer behavior’, International Marketing Review, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 45-69.
Mcmenamin, J (1999) Financial Management: An Introduction, London: Routledge.
Mittelhauser, M (1997) ‘Employment trends in textiles and apparel’, 1973-2005,
Monthly Labor Review, vol. 120, p. 24.
Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Retrieved November 29, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24140972
Neumann, E & Sumser, R (2002) ‘Marketing Communications: A Vital Element of Achieving Change’, The Public Manager, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 9+.
Roney, C. W. (2004). Strategic Management Methodology: Generally Accepted Principles for Practitioners. Westport, CT: Praeger. Retrieved November 29, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=107116150
Schiffman, L & Kanuk, LL (2000) Consumer behavior, 7th edition, London: Prentice Hall.
Spreng, RA, MacKenzie, SB & Olshavsky, RW (1996) ‘A Reexamination of the Determinants of Customer Satisfaction’, Journal of Marketing, July 1996, pp. 15-32.
Wansik, B (2003) Developing cost-effective Brand Loyalty Program, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 301+.
Wong, A (2000) ‘Integrating supplier satisfaction with customer satisfaction’, Total Quality Management, vol. 11, nos. 4-6, S826-9.
Haven’t found the relevant content? Hire a subject expert to help you with Business Overview of the Case
$35.80 for a 2-page paper