Discussion / read chapter 1 / around 300 words / answer and comment /

read chapter 1

Business Strategy 21e has the Starbuck’s case and Business Strategy 22e has the Apple case. Use whichever case is in the textbook that you purchased.  However, the 22e is the one being used for this course.

Based on your experiences as a coffee consumer or Apple User

  • Does Starbucks’ or Apple’s strategy (as described in Illustration Capsule) seem to set it apart from rivals?
  • Does the strategy seem to be keyed to a cost-based advantage, differentiating features, serving the unique needs of a niche, or some combination of these?
  • What is there about Starbucks’ or Apples’ strategy that can lead to sustainable competitive advantage?

You can do some research on the Internet to support your responses.

Student 1:

Does Starbucks’ or Apple’s strategy (as described in Illustration Capsule) seem to set it apart from rivals?

According to the illustration capsule describing Apple’s key elements, I believe it does have a successful business strategy that set it apart from rivals. Apple is one of the most famous and profitable companies in technology industry. It puts a lot of contributions as well as spending massive capital on developing creative products that give customers better and easier experiences of using their products. Moreover, the series of Apple’s products such as Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV meet customers’ different needs. Therefore, if customers buy one of Apple’s products, they will probably buy its other technology as well.   

Does the strategy seem to be keyed to a cost-based advantage, differentiating features, serving the unique needs of a niche, or some combination of these?

I believe Apple strategy seem to be keyed to differentiating features. Apple continuously investing in research and development and frequently introducing products, which it masters the most advanced technology. Thus, its users are willing to pay a premium price for Apple products, and this could be one of its major source of competitive advantage. Since it spends upwards of $11 billion a year on its products sufficiently innovation and design, Apple has successfully adopted of a broad differentiation strategy.

What is there about Starbucks’ or Apples’ strategy that can lead to sustainable competitive advantage?

While Apple is currently the world’s leading technology company, many other technology companies have grown rapidly and catch up with Apple’s popularity and profitability. They now have many strong competitors. I think Apple has some great strategies that lead to sustainable competitive advantage, such as focusing on its inimitable value proposition, staffing them with knowledgeable personnel, cultivating a diverse workforce and so on.

Student 2:

Does Apple’s strategy seem to set it apart from rivals?

No doubt, Apple’s strategy seem to set it apart from rivals. As mentioned in the example, the key element of Apple’s strategy is to design and develop its own operating system, hardware, application software and services. The reason why Apple spends so much manpower and material resources to implement its own strategy is that it wants to use the best products to better serve customers; only in this way can it stand out from competitors and better occupy the market.

Does the strategy seem to be keyed to a cost-based advantage, differentiating features, serving the unique needs of a niche, or some combination of these?

From my point of view, Apple’s strategy seem to be keyed to differentiating features. First, for cost-based advantage, obviously, Apple’s strategy will not be cost-based, because this company invests an average of more than $10 billion a year to develop new products and improve its services. Second, for serving the unique needs of a niche, Apple’s products and services are not serve for the niche market. Last but not the least, for differentiating features, Apple’s strategy does revolve around it, because Apple ofter takes it into account when developing products, software and apps. 

What is there about Apples’ strategy that can lead to sustainable competitive advantage?

For apple, their strategy is very good for sustainable competition. iCloud is a tool familiar to all Apple users, and it allows Apple users to log in on different devices, and people can backup things of their devices such as photos and files, which greatly increases the loyalty of Apple users and stimulates them to buy various Apple devices, and such as computers or mobile phones for a long period. Moreover, Apple has always focused on the value proposition of its brand, it deliberately maintains a price premium, creating a halo of prestige and staying sustainable competitive. At the sam time, Apple also has strict requirements on suppliers. It strictly requires all suppliers to ensure safe production, treat workers equally, and does not allow environmental damage; such strict requirements on supplies create Apple’s reputation, which will directly promote the sustainable competition of the company. 

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