Competitive Strategy for a Fast-Paced Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :



Cost leadership

Attracting more customers and gaining financial advantage over the competition as profits would increase

4

Forces the company to drastically reduce costs, meaning that product quality could suffer demises

-4

0

6.

Focus strategy

Can achieve either of cost advantage or differentiation

4

Addresses a niche market

-4

0

7.

Differentiation strategy

Product uniqueness which allows for the charging of a premium price to cover for the additionally incurred expenditure

5

Additional costs which will reduce overall financial gains (they will however be recuperated from the premium price)

2

3

7. Description of the Selected Strategy

Based on the analysis conducted at the previous stage, it becomes obvious that the most adequate course of action at this stage is that of implementing differentiation strategies. These actions basically translate into the promotion of new products onto existent markets, meaning that Porter's differentiation strategy is the analogue of Ansoff's product development strategy. The table above even reveals that both these strategies have received the highest scores, meaning that they are the ones which combine the advantages best desired by the organization and reveal the limitations which are not that threatening for the chocolate manufacturer.

The differentiation strategy is defined as an "an integrated set of actions designed to produce or deliver goods or services that customers perceive as being different in ways that are important to them" (Kotelnikov). It is one of the most important pillars of marketing success in the modern business community and leadership within any industry cannot be achieved without differentiation. Its importance is given primarily by the ever changing demands of the customers, combined with the growing competition. Furthermore, it is extremely feasible and competitive given the current context. The diversification strategy is as such the most adequate means of ensuring that the growing sales are maintained as the customers are satisfied and also increasing in number.

8. Action Plan for Implementation

The first step in ensuring a triumphant implementation of the differentiation strategy is that of ensuring that the organization possesses those skills and techniques which are compulsory in succeeding. These basically incorporate the ability to manifest competitive advantages, a skilled and creative team in charge of product manufacturing, a leading R&S team, strong sales teams, and a strong organizational brand and reputation (Quick MBA). The Real Chocolate Company possesses all but one of the previously mentioned characteristics -- a leading team of scientific researchers. In this order of ideas, the first step will be that of creating this team of scientific researchers to help it with the development of new recipes. The necessity of this team is given by the growing role of chemistry in the kitchen (Discovery Channel, 2009).

Then, once the R&D team has been formed, there is a necessity to research the market in order to identify new consumer demands, as well as new products developed by the competition. Having identified these, ideas for new products will be presented and discussed, with one or two new products being selected for manufacturing. Decisions of packaging, promotions, product placement, pricing and so on will be made and the new product/s will be launched within the market. Studies will be conducted in order to identify customer responses to the product, identify and address concerns or dissatisfactions.

9. Conclusions

The Real Chocolate Company is a reputable American brand present within the market for more than two decades. Launched as a small family business, the owner's commitment to quality, combined with the development and implementation of the most adequate marketing and manufacturing strategies ensured its stable growth through the years. The company operates in a highly competitive environment, in which demand is strictly pegged to consumer preferences. Throughout the past years, the company has followed a constantly ascendant trend in terms of products sold, customers attracted and revenues registered. The managerial team is however worried that the future stability of this growth might be unsustainable. In order to address this concern, it is best to implement the strategies of product differentiation.

References:

Kotelnikov, V., Differentiation Strategy -- How to Survive in the Era of Hypercompetition, 1000 Ventures, http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/differentiation_strategy.html last accessed on July 2, 2009

Kowalski, M., August 14, 2007, Chocolate Prices On the Rise, Business Week, http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/aug2007/gb20070814_776262.htmlast accessed on July 2, 2009

Rupani, S., August 31, 2007, The Sweet Business of Gourmet Chocolate, Business Week, http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/aug2007/db20070829_846210.htm last accessed on July 2, 2009

2009, Euphoria Chocolate Company, Hoovers, http://hoovers.com/euphoria-chocolate/--ID__122582,FRIC__ -- /free-co-competition.xhtml last accessed on July 2, 2009

2009, Kitchen Chemistry, Discovery Channel, http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/science/kitchen_chemistry / last accessed on July 2, 2009

2009, Porter's Generic Strategies, Quick MBA, http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/generic.shtml last accessed on July 2, 2009

Ansoff's Matrix / Market Matrix, Tutor2U, http://tutor2u.net/business/strategy/ansoff_matrix.htm…

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