Case Study on Marketing Strategy: Starbucks Entry to China

Starbucks is one of the largest coffee chains in the World. The company has a unique style and atmosphere in their coffee houses. We chose China because it is the world’s most populous country with over 1.3 billion people live there and second-largest country by land area. After 1978, the country’s economy were underwent dramatic changes which involved such relief as permission for entrepreneurs to start up their own business and opening the country for foreign investment. It is obviously that Starbucks managers decided to take advantage of such opportunity to expand their business into new region. To evaluate Chinese market the company used several steps of analyses.

Who might be interested in buying coffee in China?

To introduce the Starbucks brand the company begun to distribute coffee for free to guests in several Beijing’s hotels in 1994. This initiative indicated that there was a strong demand for their products, particularly among foreigners in China. Local people, who strived to imitate the Western lifestyle, also showed interest for coffee drinking. In addition young generation were enchantment by brands and products from the West. These factors led Starbuck’s managers to learn and understand more about business climate in that Asia country.

Next step for Starbucks was to determine financial and economic conditions of China. Company’s managers were aware that Chinese Gross Domestic Product (GDP) continuously grew approximately 9 % on an average and a GDP per capita was US$3.800. All these factors led to rising income of middle class. That was undoubted advantage for entering Chinese market for Starbucks.… Read the rest

Global Market Models and Concept Analysis

Managers must be conscious that markets, supplies, investors, locations, partners, and competitors can be anywhere in the world. Successful businesses will take advantage of opportunities wherever they are and will be prepared for downfalls. Evidently, successful managers, in this environment, need to understand the similarities and differences across national boundaries, in order to utilize the opportunities and deal with the potential downfalls. In developing appropriate global strategies, managers need to take the benefits and drawbacks of globalization into account. A global strategy must be in the context of events around the globe, as well as those at home. International strategy is the continuous and comprehensive management technique designed to help companies operate and compete effectively across national boundaries. While companies’ top managers typically develop global strategies, they rely on all levels of management in order to implement these strategies successfully. The methods companies use to accomplish the goals of these strategies take a host of forms. For example, some companies form partnerships with companies in other countries, others acquire companies in other countries, others still develop products, services, and marketing campaigns designed to appeal to customers in other countries. Some rudimentary aspects of international strategies mirror domestic strategies in that companies must determine what products or services to sell, where and how to sell them, where and how they will produce or provide them, and how they will compete with other companies in the industry in accordance with company goals. The development of international strategies entails attention to other details that seldom, if ever, come into play in the domestic market.… Read the rest

Case Study: Lenovo’s “PC Plus” Strategy

Lenovo is the largest personal computers (PC) maker in the world as ranked by IDC, but global PC market is a hyper-competitive market with tough competition from competitors like HP, DELL and Acer. The industry also suffers from low profit margins too where Lenovo’s profit margin is around 2% only compared to Apple’s profit margin of 25-30%. Also the PC market itself is declining as consumers are buying more tablets and smartphones which is affecting the sales of desktop computers and laptops. All these factors have pushed Lenovo to adopt a new business strategy called as “PC Plus” Strategy, which covers terminal products like PCs, smart phones, table PCs and smart TVs. Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility’s handset and tablet business from Google, following its acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business, puts the company exactly where it wants to be: at the forefront of the computing and smart devices businesses. Starting with its strong base in the world’s fastest growing market, China, Lenovo has thrived by acquiring, integrating and reengineering leading global hardware businesses. Already the world leader in PC sales and one of the largest tablet vendors, the IBM acquisition made it a major global player in data center hardware; the Motorola Mobility acquisition makes it a major global player in handsets. “It’s a very logical extension of our strategy,” said Gerry P. Smith, the head of Lenovo’s Americas business. “A couple of years ago, we recognized that the business is not just about PCs anymore.” Lenovo has been successfully implementing this strategy as highlighted by June 2013 IDC numbers, Lenovo has a 7% share of the global “smart interconnected device market” — smartphones, tablets, and PCs and the market is dominated by Samsung with 24% and Apple 14% market share, Lenovo is followed by, HP, with 3.6%.… Read the rest

Definition of Globalization

A very commonly used term, globalization can mean different things to different people. At a broad level, globalization refers to the growing economic interdependence among countries, reflected in the increasing cross border flow of goods, services, capital and technical know how. At the level of a specific company, globalization refers to the degree to which competitive position is determined by the ability to leverage physical and intangible resources and market opportunities across countries.

“Globalization refers to the multiplicity of linkages and interconnections between the states and societies that make up the present world system. It describes the process by which events, decisions, and activities in one part of the world come to have significant consequences for individuals and communities in quite distant parts of the globe. Globalization has two distinct phenomena: scope (or stretching) and intensity (or deepening). On the one hand, it defines a set of processes which embrace most of the globe or which operate world-wide; the concept therefore has a spatial connotation…it also implies an intensification of the levels of interaction, interconnectedness or interdependence between the states and societies which constitute the world community. Accordingly, alongside the stretching goes a deepening of global processes.” Anthony McGrew 1992

International trade and foreign direct investment have grown rapidly in the last few years, driven by lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers. This has led to the globalization of production and markets.

  1. The globalization of production has occurred, as firms are increasingly able to disperse parts of their production operations around the world, reducing costs.
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Competitive Advantages of International Business

Competition has always been central to the agenda of firms. It has become one of the enduring themes of our times and the rising intensity of competition has continued until this day thereby spreading to more and more countries. As a result of globalization, most industries with the topics of international business and competitive advantage have received much attention from business executives, public policy makers and scholars in recent years. This; in conjunction with the rise of global competitors has helped to explain why a country’s competitive advantage can be determined by the strength of its business firms. This has resulted in numerous rankings, where industries and firms are compared on a global scale to see which are the most competitive. Most firms prefer to compete in the business environment so that it will help determine the competitive advantage of the country in which they operate. A firm’s ability to deliver the same benefits as competitors but at a lower cost or deliver benefits that exceed those of competing products, then such a firm is said to possess a competitive advantage over its rivals. Today’s development in communication, information technology and transportation technology have enabled firms to market their products and services beyond national borders. This level of involvement has contributed to the concept of firms marketing their products in international markets.

The Determinants of National Competitive Advantage

Global competitiveness occur at the cross roads between international economics and strategic management. Michael Porter, in his book ‘’The Competitive Advantage of Nations’ has introduced a model that helped to determine a nation’s international competitive advantage. Read the rest

Technology Transfer in International Business

Technology is a new variable in the equation of economic relations. Traditional theories of international business assumes that all nations have equal access to technology and, therefore, that there is no need to transfer technology from one county to another. Recent research findings have invalidated this assumption. In addition, they point to  technology differences as primary cause of international inequalities in economic achievements. To reduce the inequalities, technology capabilities of the backward nations must be strengthened. The quickest way to do so is to transfer technology from the developed to the developing nations.

Technology is any device or process used for productive purposes. In its broadest sense, it is the sum of the ways in which a given group provides itself with good and services, the group being a nation, an industry, or a single firm. There is a fundamental characteristic of technology that demands clear recognition. Q unites unlike commodities and capital, technology is not depleted or its supply diminished when it is transferred or used. It is usable but not consumable. Once created, technology is inexhaustible until it becomes obsolete. Therefore; export of technology need not cause the source country to reduce its use of the technology. Indirectly, a decline may result if the recipient country creates an industry large to change the global supply and demand equilibrium of the goods produced by the technology involved. For most technology sought by the developing nations this is not the case.

Contrary to the classical assumption, technology is not a free good but a valuable property, nor is it evenly distributed around the globe.… Read the rest