Business competitiveness is attained if the management integrates appropriate managerial skills and makes appropriate decisions with consideration of the nature of products and services offered. This paper examines some of the issues that can contribute to organizations attaining competitive advantage over their competitors in the sports apparel industry. Marketing information helps businesses to realize some of the marketing strategies that can be applied to gain competitive advantage. For instance, understanding the consumer income helps organizations to formulate better pricing criterion to suit the income of the consumers. This paper draws a concrete and comprehensive analysis of the functionality of Adidas Company and Bamboo Bike Studio Company, and how these companies operate to differentiate themselves. In addition, the paper suggests methods that other companies in the industry can apply to gain competitive advantage in the market.
Success and proficiency in business organization are determined by several factors that are inclusive of the internal environmental factors such as the financial status of the company and the management of the firm, and the external environmental factors like competition and the general community affected by the operations of the organization. However, management of business organization is considered the most fundamental organ, and this is to the understanding that it is responsible for the most sensitive obligations and responsibilities such as decision-making. It is the management that determines the nature of operations and activities that need to be integrated in the organization for effective and efficient attainment of the set goals and objectives.
This paper examines the operational strategies employed by Bamboo Bike Studio and Adidas as the leading companies in sports clothing and fashion industry. This will be achieved through a comprehensive analysis of the marketing strategies applied by the companies to enhance their performance, and these are with inclusion of the marketing and promotion strategies, the pricing criteria used, and more importantly the consumer-oriented promotional strategies that these two companies use.
Additionally, approaches in which the two companies can apply marketing information to make a difference in the marketplace by attaining competitive advantage over their rivals will be suggested. For evidence-based rationale to be drawn about the performance of the companies, the uses of consumer-oriented promotions that have positive impacts to the short-term and long-term operations of the companies offering sports apparel will be considered. At the end of the paper, approaches that other organizations in the industry can take so as to differentiate themselves from competitors are recommended.
Companies’ Background and Operational Strategies
Bamboo Bike Studio Company
This is an organization that was launched in 2008, and from its first impression, it seemed more like a non-profit company than a sports apparel organization. This is due to the fact that the company acted under three guiding principles which include authenticity, education and philanthropy. The company donates a portion of all its products to programs offering sports and education opportunities to the youths and children. More significantly, the organization sponsors institutions offering training and education to children with disabilities and varied impairments (Argyris, 2010).
This organization is unique because the products it offers to the consumers are its way of giving back, and its major mission is “to develop a better bike for the developing countries”. This mission is achieved through the establishment of affordable and high-quality bikes that are manufactured from locally-sourced bamboo and labor. The organization is considered to be the founding member of the Society for Useful Arts, which is a collective of engineers and craftsmen who are dedicated and committed in developing tools that are useful and functional from locally available resources.
Methods in Which Bamboo Bike Studio Can Use Marketing Information to Gain Competitive Advantage
One way that the company can use the marketing information is by strategizing its operations in the place where its products are sold most. Considering the place as an operational strategy and using the market information, the company will sell its products through the retail outlets. This strategy will enable the company reach as many consumers as possible from all parts of the world. Moreover, the organization has its own exclusive stores where products and materials are taken before they are distributed and supplied to various dealers across the world. The other mode that the company uses to reach its customers is through the internet or online selling, where the consumers view the products they are interested in and purchase them online (Vollmer & Precourt, 2008). There are three channels of distribution used by the company and these include:
- Manufactures to Adidas Outlets then to the End Consumer
- Manufactures to Distributers then to Multi brand Showrooms
- Manufacturers to Online Fashion Websites or Adidas Websites then to the end Consumers.
The other way in which the organization can use marketing information to attain competitive advantage is by changing the pricing criterion as an operational strategy. The organization can concentrate in offering its products at a relatively low but fixed price as compared to its competitors in the sporting products manufacturing industry. This approach of offering fixed but low prices can be considered to be one of the major competitive advantages that such a company can have. On the other hand, it is evident that products associated with this particular company are found in different places across the globe, an indication that it has branches worldwide.
Additionally, the firm is a concrete distribution and supply chain, and this is to the sense that there are retailers who specifically deal with bikes and sporting accessories from the company. However, with the technological advancement in every part of the world, the company is currently using online avenues to publicize its products through social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Skype. Additionally, the company is currently making sales of its products online, and this has proved to be the most effective way of reaching consumers in different parts of the world (Bourgeois, 2009).
This is an organization that was established with the aim of offering shoes and other sports apparel products. The company’s major objective is to help decrease the environmental impacts and significantly invest in sustainability efforts. This is evident in the organization’s practice of establishing corporate volunteer programs that support healthy communities through various groups of companies (Danskin et al., 2005). The basic aim is usually to establish fitness accessibility to children in underserved regions through school athletic programs. The assumption of these programs is that healthier children will develop a healthier world.
The German-based company views promotions as a key operational strategy, and in that case, it widely markets its products through vehicles, televisions and product placements (Hunt, 2012). Additionally, the company uses its website and social networking sites to market and promote its products. The other technique used by the company to market and promote its products is by tying up with top players across the globe such as Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Christiano Ronaldo, among other celebrities. The company also collaborates with international teams in different sporting activities.
Methods in Which Adidas Can Apply Marketing Information to Gain Competitive Advantage
There are several ways in which the company can use this approach to achieve a competitive advantage. One way is by ensuring that consumers understand the nature of its products and to have an insight of their perceptions towards the products. For instance, the company offers products that are of high quality through its four major subsidiaries. Its products are majorly clothes and footware, golfing clothes, equipments and accessories associated with sporting activities. The major focus of the company is providing the best clothes and footware to their customers through products which are manufactured from a combination of both technology and design. This can be considered as one way of gaining competitive advantage over its many competitors in the industry. The basic focus of the company is to enrich the youths with quality products that suit their lifestyles and fashion in the contemporary world better.
The other way is through utilization of the information from the market to regulate the prices of the various products the company sells to the consumers. Because of the style that Adidas Company applies in the manufacture of its products, its design and promotions uses skimming price and the competitive pricing. The management considers the competitive pricing bearing in mind that other competitors such as Nike, Reebok and Puma have the potential to beat the company in the market.
The firm constantly incorporates skimming prices which are high due to the brand equity of the organization in the apparel’s market. This implies that the company rarely drops the prices of its products, and this significantly helps it to manage the competitors who keep shifting the prices of their products, thus affecting the consumer income plan. This is a significant way of using the market information to gain competitive advantage.
Consumer-Oriented Promotions essential in Companies Offering Sports Apparel
Reflecting on the consumer-oriented promotions that could help the companies in the short and long term for their products, it is usually recommended that the companies use free gifts which include sponsorship of projects and programs that are initiated by the consumers. For instance, in case there are upcoming clubs in the remote areas, companies can consider donating the sporting products they manufacture as a way of establishing good relationships with the consumers. This consequently increases the number of consumers who visit the companies’ shops, thus leading to increment in sales.
The other consumer oriented approach that companies in this industry can integrate in their operations is offering discounts to their products during specific seasons. For example, when there is football league and one of the clubs participating decides to contract with these companies, the management needs to consider offering discounts as a way of attracting the club and sustaining it as a long-term and potential customer. Thus, consumer-oriented promotions are important in promoting the sales that business organizations make within a specified period of time.
Approaches that Can Aid Companies Offering Sports Apparel Attain Competitive Advantage
One of these actions is applying differentiation focus strategy in their operations. This is important in the sense that it allows the companies make their products exceptional and unique from other companies, thus gaining the consumer’s confidence, and consequently increasing their sales. The other action is by integrating modern technology and design in manufacturing and distribution of the products and services that these companies specialize in. Modern designs and technologies are significant in the sense that they help business organizations manufacture sports apparel that are needed by the current generations, and those that suits the youth’s lifestyle.
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