Companies in this world of capitalism always want more. They want more profit, more shareholder value, and more market share, among other needs. The realizations of these objectives have been attained through the successful initiation, development, and management of brands in most instances. Indeed, the effective development and management of brands have become a major priority for all organizations of all sizes in different industries and markets. “The reasons for brand development are certainly clear; strong brands are positively correlated with customer loyalty and profits” (Rain, Lane, & Steiner, 1991). However, the efficient management of brands can present challenges, especially in the case where managers are unable to accurately evaluate and assess their brand’s particular strengths and weaknesses objectively. One major limitation that has been presented in both academic and empirical literature is on how to deal with the multifaceted issue of products development and multi-channel branding, especially where there is the need for reliance on professional retail distributors engaged in the sale and distribution of competing products. In this regard, companies and business enterprises adopt different strategies to ensure that they not only remain competitive but also develop and increase their market share.
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Palm, Inc. (Palm) is a telecommunication company based in the US; it offers mobile products for both individual users and business customers worldwide. The company serves consumers, by engaging a range of products and services, such as Palm Treo and Centro phones. In addition, the company deals in software, services, and accessories. With the recent global financial problem, the company has not been left out in that financial quagmire. In this regard, the company suffered a decrease in economies of scale, and to ensure that the company regains its good economic performance, the management has adopted a number of strategies that are geared to not only make the company competitive in the market but also reward the customer with the best products and services in line with technological advancement.
The company’s strategy
The company has invested so much in technological advancement to ensure that its products and service remain competitive in the market. In this regard, the company has increased its product and services by adopting the use of technology. Technological advancement in its operation has seen the company increase its product line as well the number of services offered by the company. Furthermore, the company plans to narrow down to specific products and services which it has a greater competitive adventage and hence yield higher economies of scale. All these strategies are geared towards gaining market share by offering products and services which are not only affordable in the market but also of high quality. A close analysis of this the above strategies employed by the company go in line with porter’s differentiation and cost leadership strategy as well as focus strategy.
According to Jex, (2008), “A firm’s relative position within its industry determines whether a firm’s profitability is above or below the industry average”. “There are two basic types of competitive advantage a firm can possess: low cost or differentiation” (Jex, 2008).
Cost leadership strategy, “a firm sets out to become the low-cost producer in its industry” (Porter, 1998). “The sources of cost advantage are varied and depend on the structure of the industry” (Porter, 1998). “A firm which produces at low cost always finds and exploits all sources of cost advantage” (Porter, 1998). “Towards this, a firm can achieve and sustain overall cost leadership, and then it will be an above-average performer in its industry, provided it can command prices at or near the industry average” (Porter, 1998). To ensure that the company achieves this strategy, the management has invested in technological advancements which will make the company products at a cheaper cost thereby earning economies of scale. This input is critical since it makes a firm to be completive by constantly checking production cost as well as operational cost. This strategy will go a long way in making the company competitive in the market.
In a differentiation strategy, “a firm seeks to be unique in its industry along some dimensions that are widely valued by buyers” (Porter, 1998). “A firm may select one or more attributes that many buyers in an industry perceive as important, and uniquely meet needs in the market and it is rewarded for its uniqueness with a premium price” (Porter, 1998).
“The generic strategy of focus is achieved when a company or a firm chooses to narrow its competitive scope within a specific industry” (Porter, 1998). “In this case, the firm selects a segment or group of segments in the industry and tailors its strategy to serving them to the exclusion of others” (Porter, 1998). The need for the palm’s company to narrow down and specialize in specific products highlights the adoption of focus strategy. In this case, the company employs its technical and competitive advantage to ensure that it produces and distribute its products and service at a lower cost as compared to other competitors in the market. The need to specialize is critical since it helps in efficient and faster production and it promotes innovation which is a great impetus to competition and development of the company.
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The inputs at Palm, Inc., consisting of adoption of modern technological operation, specialization, Organizational Environment factors, Internal Resource factors, and Historical Tradition factors are highly congruent with the company’s strategy to improve its performance in the market. Towards this, it is prudent for the management and all the employees to work together to ensure that this daunting task is achieved. This will require a teamwork spirit coupled with unprecedented resilience among the entire family of Palm’s company.
It is prudent to note that upon the acquisition of the company by HP, the organizational structure and management strategies should change to reflect new levels and responsibilities that will usher in the development of new, unique, and competitive product lines. In addition, growth and development are inevitable since it promotes employee skills in technology hence meeting the changing and competitive market. “Modern technology should be central factors in company operation and proper human resource management is one the keys to achieving all the stipulated strategies and plans” (Snell, and Bohlander, 2007).
Strategic management and planning play an integral role in business enterprises and therefore a greater emphasis should be put to ensure that firms are not only competitive in the market but also grow and develop fast. Towards this, Palm’s company has adopted strategies that are geared towards uplifting its competitiveness and enhancing its economies of scale in the market. These strategies include the adoption of modern technological advancement in its operations and specialization which are in line with porter’s generic strategies for the competitive advantage of a firm.
Jex, S. M. (2008). Organizational psychology: A scientist- practitioner approach. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.
Porter, M.E. (1998).Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance: with a new introduction. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Rain, J.S., Lane, I.M. & Steiner, D.D. (1991). A current look at the job satisfaction/life satisfaction relationship: Review and future considerations. Human Relations, 44, 287–307.
Snell, C. and Bohlander, G.W. (2007). Managing human resources. London: Cengage Learning.