The World of Marketing, a Canadian Perspective
1A) Explain the difference between a sustainable competitive advantage and a non- sustainable competitive advantage.
A long-term competitive advantage is something that is not easily surpassable by your competitors. A non- sustainable competitive advantage on the other hand, is more easily surpassable. To link this to business, a sustainable competitive advantage simply means that your products or services can withstand competition because of proprietary edge such as traded marks and invention. A non- sustainable competitive advantage means that at any time your competitor could have an edge over your company. Sustainable means permanent. With modern technology and the progress we see coming up, it is hard to find competitive advantages that are truly permanent.
1C) 7-up was once the leading lemon-soft drink until Sprite took most of its market share. Find an example of another product that lost its dominance to a competitive product. What competitive advantages did the new leader have over its old?
Let us say we are seeing the results of a competitive analysis – finds the sustainable and non- sustainable competitive advantage for Sony Play Station 3 versus Microsoft X box.
We see that Sony is taking over the position as the lead brand from Microsoft. (Can be discussed...)
The competitive advantages Sony had was the following; Customer loyalty due to better graphics and more exciting programs, Cost advantages due to a much larger volume and a unique selling position through a much wider distribution.
2A) Explain the ways in which competition in the service sector is different from competition in the manufacturing sector. How is it the same?
In developed economies like Canada and Norway, services form an increasing proportion of inputs used in manufacturing. While traditional manufacturing and production act in a very competitive environment, services often operates in a protected market with high entry barriers and a high degree of regulation. Services are more seldom exposed to international competition. It is the same due to the fact that manufacturers add services and customer service to their products to be more competitive. The result is that it is competition in each country or destination on the whole chain – product and services added.
3A) why do some people forget that retail stores are service business?
I think some or maybe many, se retail stores as a one-time shopping experience. They buy a specific product and do not think about the services added, and the customer service that often is included. This will of course vary due to the type of product or service they are purchasing. I also think that people that not see retail shopping as a service business are very focused on price as the most important issue and the main reason for purchasing and do not expect something more included. For obvious reasons most retail stores focus on practising good customer service to enhance sales. Customer service does not end once a purchase is made. That moment a customer tells the store that the sales transaction was a failure, that they found something better, or a better price etc. – is a test for retailers. If this fails, and this is often the case, customers feel tricked and business suffers.
3 B) List the services provided by a favourite retail store. Does the product/service mix affect your decision to shop there? Why or why not.
I am choosing a typical Apple store.
Any store has to provide products that people wants to buy. That’s a fact. If then Apple products were the key to the stores success, why is it so that people flock to the stores to buy Apple products at full price when Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and others carry most of the Apple products – often discounted in different ways? And Amazon carries them all – and does not even charge sales tax!
I go to the Apple store for the experience...