Selling to consumers or other businesses, developing an effective sales strategy is the first step to persuading customers to part with their money. In particular, we need to identify which customers to focus the efforts on, the sales methods that will be use to reach them and how we will price the product or service.
In contrast to Borders Group, Barnes & Noble which is a leading bookstore in the US recorded an 11% increase in their share value in the past year with the introduction of their e-book reader “Nook”. It is clear that Barnes & Noble were not “Myopic” in their approach and were able to retain and even grow their customers as well as profits by embracing a new product.
The digital books business eliminated the physical books in the store. Barnes & Noble offered a wide range digital platforms to its customers. The digital system was comparable with Window 8 personal computer and tablets. It also worked well with Apple’s product such as iPad, iPhone and other products like Android smartphones and tablets. The firm continued to stay in a competitive advantage position in the marketplace, even though it had to compete with many powerhouses in the same industry such as Waldenbooks and Crown Books. And yet, Barnes & Noble remains on the top of the leading U.S bookstore chains.
Managers generally consider the rivalry among competitors as a major source for deriving strategy. As explained by the Michael Porter it is a narrow view of competition. A set of other parameters should be evaluated, mentioned in article as five competitive forces, along with industry
Competitive intelligence and analysis is an important part of a business. Competitive intelligence is the art of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors, individuals, concepts, information, ideas or data needed to support executives and managers in making strategic decisions for a business. This includes a broad array from government intelligence to market intelligence to business intelligence (Competitive Intelligence, n.d.).
Competitive analysis main objective is to research, analyze, and compare the competition in relation to the company. Analytical tools used for competitive analysis include the five forces framework, value net, driving forces, strategic groups, competitor analysis, and key success factors are analytical tools. The competitive analysis will enable the trucking company to understand more about the industry and the competition, to be able to develop a competitive strategy that will give the company a competitive advantage by taking into account the actions and responses of the competitions (Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble & Strickland, 2016).
Competitor analysis is a serious part of the organization therefore; Target must identify and address all issues pertaining to the business. Target must pinpoint the tangible competitors, and substitutes, evaluate opponents’ objectives, strategies, strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats, and uncover what opponents Target should take on or stand clear of. Therefore, Target must analyze the company’s economic, sociocultural, technological, political, and future.
After identifying the sales targets, the strategies, tactics and actions to achieve them can be worked on. Gluck (2014), mentions that to identify underlying strategies and increase sales, a business can break into a new market segment by adapting an existing product or boosting the average sale per customer by using add-on sales or upselling premium features. When developing the sales strategies, the market segment, customers' motivations and expectations, and the capacity to meet customers' expectations should be considered.
Barnes and Nobles is one of the biggest bookstores that has a brick-and-mortal store concept. In the past they were know as a “big bully” that drove small book stores to close down because of their aggressive tactics to have competetetive advantage over them. Nonetheless, with the evolving circle of technology they have had a hard time in keeping up with the E-book era. In 2014 E-books increased its reader subscription by 28% compared to 23% in 2013. This number will continue increasing because 50% off American’s have access to devices that are either an e-reader or a tablet. B&N changed its business model to adjust to this new setting before it suffered a
Companies often use a (CPM) – Competitive Profile Matrix to better understand their external environment as well as their competition within the industry they operate. The matrix identifies a company’s key competitors and draws a comparison using the industry’s critical success factors. The analysis also reveals a company’s strengths and weaknesses against its competition, making them aware of problematic areas needing improvement and also areas that are doing well and need to be protected (See Appendix F).
Analyze the competitive environment by listing the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of buyers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitute products and services, and the intensity of rivalry among competitors in the industry (Chapter 2). Summarize your key points in a Figure. (25 points)
Knowing who your competitors are, and what they are offering, can help you to make your products, services and marketing stand out. It will enable you to set your prices competitively and help you to respond to rival marketing campaigns with your own initiatives. You can use this knowledge to create marketing strategies that take advantage of your competitors ' weaknesses, and improve your own business performance. You can also assess any threats posed by both new entrants to your market and current competitors. This knowledge will help you to be realistic about how successful you can be.