Personal Applications

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Introduction

The personal application paper is a collection of weekly writings that apply concepts learned from each week to past or present organizations in which employment was held at. The PA assignments each week required deep reflection into the organization to see how well the company was performing. From this PA assignment each week correctly identified bebe’s areas of weaknesses and strengths in various areas such as communications, marketing strategy, and the company’s positioning. Discussion between classmates also provided another depth into the assigned areas that provided additional insight into the practices of the organization.

The first PA assignment was an initial introduction to the organization; the PA addresses specific introductory information to familiarize peers with its purpose. Additionally, the PA is starting to address fundamental marketing questions such as who are the customers? And how is customer satisfaction measured? Below is the week 1 PA solution.

Week One

Bebe was established in 1976 in Brisbane California after founder Manny Mashauf realized retailers did not cater apparel to young woman ages 21-35 (www.bebe.com). Mashauf then launched bebe, a retail store specializing in offering contemporary, fashionable clothing for young women (www.bebe.com). Since opening, bebe quickly has become a known fashion brand and has established more than 250 stores in the U.S and internationally (www.bebe.com). Bebe distinguishes itself from brands by being a high end retailer and offering stylist, who are ultimately responsible for customer satisfaction. Stylist’s gather details such as personal style preferences to develop customers into clients and utilize this data to increase customer satisfaction. This relationship is the way bebe monitors customer satisfaction by seeing repeat purchases or a stylist with multiple clients. Outside of this measure bebe doesn’t measure its customer satisfaction on a consistent basis it merely relies on its reputation and branding to keep clients returning to the store which is an interesting concept. This method of measuring customer satisfaction is not an adequate method, to receive an accurate assessment of customer service a company actually needs to obtain actual feedback from the customer instead of employees.

Classmate feedback for PA submission was encouraged from classmates below is an excerpt from a submission from Jennifer.

Erica,

I’ve been in a Bebe store maybe twice in my entire life. It’s got a really good selection of clothes (albeit expensive). I find it very interesting that your store doesn’t really measure customer service because both times I was in the store; the sales associates were very friendly and helpful. To me, that say volumes about how a retail establishment ensures their customers keep coming back. But whatever the corporation does to train their employees, they need to keep it up. I was indeed quite pleased and satisfied with my experiences.

Jennifer

Week Two

Week two provided insight into bebe’s stance on innovation, how they measure it, and actual attempts to apply innovation to their organization. Additionally this PA answers the critical question of how roles of an organization affect innovation, and whether or not innovation is necessary for organizational success.

Question one:
Bebe defines innovation as any new idea or concept the organization utilizes to improve the goal of maintaining and improving profits. Prior to the recession of 2009 innovation wasn’t really a high priority, but once the recession hit and bebe started showing loses and it was forced to close stores the brand started looking to innovation to improve profits.  

Question Two:

Bebe’s first attempt at innovation began in 2009 in an attempt to engage a different type of consumer by offering fitness wear through the store PH8. PH8 was a brand bebe implemented to...
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