Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Strategic Development of Procter and Gamble into a Global Giant

Procter and Gamble (henceforth P & G) is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of consumer products in the world with a global reach for it 300+ brands of 180 countries. During the 1990’s the company made some significant alterations to its corporate strategy; it aimed to reduce its cost structure and develop its differentiated business-level strategy, in an attempt to increase revenues and profits. The rapid development of international markets and globalisation demanded a corporate “shake up”. Moreover, the reduction of trade barriers and tariffs indicated that to retain a competitive advantage globally the company had to develop an effective International strategy, whilst benefitting from economies of scale.  Cross-functional integration and speed of innovation increasingly became imperative to corporate strategy. In this article I will look at the key development that took place in thus process and turned P&G into such a powerhouse. Read the rest of this entry

[Special] Realism v Liberalism – A Persistent Conflict in International Politics

There are two conflicting schools of thought that still play a leading role in today´s debates about international politics – Realism and Liberalism. In order to understand and discuss them, the term international politics has to be defined and the origin of these two views has to be illustrated. Read the rest of this entry

Everybody can make a sandwich – The question is just how you do it!

The Subway brand, with its innovative service approach, crafty pricing strategy and delicious meals, has in the last years grown massively; not only in reputation but the chain has also surpassed McDonald’s in having more restaurants worldwide. The chain works with the discipline of operational excellence and has a creative and extraordinary business idea that just amazes me and has really changed my perception of the fast food industry. There are so many fast food chains out there today that are incredible in the way they do business; being innovative seeking to get their customers to buy more and more from them; but Subway, according to many, takes the standard of the fast food industry to other levels and is in a class of its own.

If you think about it, the Subway sandwiches and menu’s are not particularly cheap, and the restaurants does not provide an upscale, chic environment that could please a huge crowd like many of the other popular fast food chains. Yet they always somehow provide a sense of personalisation, belonging and a feeling that they listen and indeed, actually care about what you have to say; all this while being very productive with handling customer requests at the same time. Read the rest of this entry

Darty – The Contract of Confidence

Darty is a French firm specializing in electrical retailing. Wholly-owned subsidiary of the UK company Kesa Electrical Pl. Currently, Darty is mainly present in France, with 224 stores. The company is quite famous in France, and had revenues of €2921 million in 2011, with a 4.6% positive change compared to 2010 (Platt, 2011). The interesting point of the company is that it is highly focused on enhancing its relationship with the customers. Darty makes this customer relationship management its main argument for sale.

Today, and since its creation, Darty’s originality comes from the willingness of committing in terms of price, choice and service. This customer relationship management is based on what is called the “contract of confidence”, which represents the company’s promise. It is the pillar on which Darty’s strategy relies. Read the rest of this entry

Fundraising Doors Opening for Small Firms?

Small firms in the United States will soon be able to raise money on Wall Street faster than you can say “jackpot”!

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups bill signed by President Barrack Obama allows small businesses more access to fundraising and investors while providing fewer regulatory burdens which give these new-comers all the flexibility they need to operate in a post-crisis environment.   Read the rest of this entry

CRM in Football – The Case of Manchester City FC

Customer relationship management applies beyond the traditional product and service offerings. CRM has become a core strategic element of sports clubs that recognise the importance of managing and understanding their supporters. For many fans, the football brand is a passion! Due to their cultural ties and emotional appeal, sports clubs surpass organisations operating outside the realm of sports in brand adoration and loyalty. However, this brand craze creates a complex environment and requires careful management and anticipation. This process is especially difficult in the football industry where competition over followers is fierce. It is evident that football without fans wouldn’t be the sport that it is today; a weak fan base leads football clubs to ruin. Fans, as customers, are the base of the football club’s economic model and should not be taken for granted; they fill up stadiums, buy merchandise, and attract sponsorships. Read the rest of this entry

Biket: When business has a deeper meaning

Education is the foundation of development. This fact has not been refuted once throughout the world’s history: from the Pharaonic civilization to the Mayan surreptitious culture, and from the British colonies to the American empire. The story replicates itself over and over again. Any civilization commences as a group of people who can barely feed themselves through primitive ways, and then through accumulative knowledge, they identify new ways to prosper and grow.

The Sub-Saharan African continent is no exception. Countries like Mali are still trapped back by its ignorance-evidenced by the relatively low literacy rates (only 26% literate) – from the rest of the civilized world. Despite the abundance of natural resources that these African countries hide beneath their grounds, they have failed to match developed countries like Japan which is bestowed a small area of non-arable land and some fish! The basic principles of economics are exemplified in this case: raw materials and land remain inanimate, non-valuable objects without the co-existence of labor and capital. Read the rest of this entry

This Must be Africa

With investment levels surpassing $120 billion last year alone, Chinese companies have been increasing their business activities in Africa over the last decade (see graph below). All in all, their involvements have done more to fight poverty than any other country in the world by speeding up economic growth and producing jobs. However in the past few years, Africans have started contemplating whether there is a hidden agenda underneath all the investments. Are all the investments just modern colonisation? And why are Western businesses not as eager to enter the African markets? This article will uncover some factors that determine why Chinese investors find Africa so much more attractive than their Western counterparts. Read the rest of this entry

Foxconn’s Liason with Sharp

A new alliance against the industry’s number one Samsung forms in East Asia. The Hon-Hai group from Taiwan, better known under the name ‘Foxconn’, as the producer under contract of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, bought 10% of the Japanese electronic enterprise Sharp. The stock exchange reacted with a jump on the announcement of the new Sharp president Takashi Okuda, who is supposed to officially take over the lead of the company in the beginning of April. The stock price of Sharp rose 15%. Okuda announced that Sharp’s strategy will change. They had been trying to get along solo but the pressure from competition was too high. Read the rest of this entry

Virgin People

Of the world’s top twenty brands, Virgin is the only one to “challenge” and diversify away from its core competencies. The company has businesses in banking, telecommunications, transport, and so on; whereas, compared to the CocaCola company, their product line, successful as it is, doesn’t stray far from beverages. Therefore, the question that must be addresses is how can Virgin do this? How can it be so prolific in comparison to other giant brands of the world? Surely, one man’s endearing personality cannot turn branding on its head to such an extent that the company’s customers will follow him anywhere!? Read the rest of this entry