1. What are the key environmental factors that created an opportunity for Robert Stephens to start the Geek Squad?
During the 90’s there was not much competition in understanding technology, repair of advance technology or installation and programming. Also, with the introduction of high tech equipment, there was a lack of qualified talent which made it easy for the Geek Squad to flourish. Many consumers where highly interested in owning the technology but was not familiar with the details of how it works. Robert Stephens jumped on the opportunity to capitalize on innovation and the fact that it brings constant change and new problems.
2. What changes in the purchasing patterns of (a) all consumers and (b) women made the acquisition of Geek Squad particularly important for Best Buy?
(a) Best Buy had a very high return rate so a full service, house call entity allowed for a decrease of their return rates by 25% - 35%. Service was soon realized to be critical to the purchaser.
(b) Women are becoming more interested in personal computers and other hardware for home entertainment. They also expect personal services during the purchase and installation after the purchase.
3. Based on the case information and what you know about consumer electronics, conduct an environmental scan for Geek Squad to identify key trends. For each of the five environmental forces (social, economic, technological, competitive, and regulatory), identify trends likely to influence Geek Squad in the near future.
Consumers normally don’t bother to read the manuals and most consumers often value punctuality, friendliness and simple explanations to solve their problems. They have a mind-set to buy new electronic products but they do not know how to operate them.
Social trends show that women are becoming more and more interested in technology and electronics and will begin to outspend men.
Economic trends show that the economic will continue