Business-Level and Corporate-Level Strategies
All organizations require business- and corporate-level strategy to succeed and guarantee the highest possible above-average profits. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched Apple Inc. in 1976, and what began in a garage has become a multimillion-dollar corporation (Terrell, 1). The business-level tactics of Apple will be examined in this essay. Which operational procedure is crucial to Apple’s success? We will decide on Apple’s corporate practices and a strategy to help the company succeed in the long run. Although Apple has many rivals, this article will focus on its biggest competition. The most significant competitor will be used to compare Apple’s strategy regarding market overlap, resource similarities, competitive conduct, and competitive dynamics/actions/responses. The company with the most excellent chance of long-term success will be identified following the comparison and evaluation. The paper will also discuss the slow and quick cycles in two markets.
Business-level strategies assist organizations in setting up initiatives to deliver value to customers and acquire a competitive edge by exploiting particular core competencies (2). Core competencies are created to satisfy consumer needs (2). Business-level strategies can be categorized into five categories: integrated cost leadership/differentiation, focused cost leadership/differentiation, focused cost leadership, and focused differentiation (Hitt, 3, p. 108). When a company competes with rivals based on the lowest cost, it is said to practice cost leadership (Hitt, 3, p. 110). Customers want to spend only a little on a good or service they can acquire for less money at another business or brand. Apple devices are pricey; although it is anticipated that the cost of earlier generations of phones would drop once a fresh model is released, even this price is still beyond the means of most consumers. The second tactic, known as differentiation, is when a company offers clients goods or services that are distinctive from those provided by rival companies rather than competing solely based on price (Hitt, 3, p. 115). When businesses want to make sure their products stand out from other brands, they should offer high-quality goods, features, excellent customer service, rapid product innovation, and appealing designs (2). To deliver goods and services, focused cost leadership competes on price and in niche markets (2). A specific buyer group, various product line components, and other geographical markets are a few examples of little pieces that a focus strategy can target (Hitt, 3, p. 118). Focused differentiation strategies compete by being unique in specific niche markets that need goods (2). The integrated low-cost/differentiation method, in addition, generates returns that are above average (Hitt, 3, p. 120). In Apple’s instance, the differentiation strategy is crucial to the company’s long-term success, making it a wise decision. Because Apple products differ from those of rival companies, they stand out.
The similarity of competing smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and laptops makes Apple’s differentiating strategy a great choice. Computers from Dell and HP, for instance, are similar. Due to its unique features, MacBooks cannot be compared to other laptops. Customers who own a MacBook or a Dell computer can communicate with friends or family members who also own Apple products using iMessaging on a Mac computer with additional software installed. Since its inception, Apple’s differentiating approach has been characterized by its product design (Hanks, 4). There were no comparable consumer electronics products when Apple first presented its products (Hanks, 4). Apple’s fundamental competencies are innovation, marketing, excellent customer service, and stable financial performance (White, 5).
Apple innovates to provide its customers with what they want. Promoting the brand always helps. Apple makes much money thanks in part to its ads. The secret to retaining consumers is providing excellent customer service. Whether in-person, online, or over the phone, Apple offers its clients top-notch customer service. Apple’s extraordinary financial success enables it to spend money on R&D to provide customers with better goods. Apple can compete in niche product marketplaces because its effects are unique from those of the competition. They also compete by focusing on a particular gender and age range of 22 to 55 (6).
A corporate-level strategy is a company’s plan to obtain a competitive edge by selecting and managing various businesses that compete in other product marketplaces (Hitt, 3, p. 164). Product differentiation, single-business diversification, dominant-business diversification, related constrained diversification, link diversification, and unrelated diversification are examples of corporate-level strategies (Hitt, 3, p. 165–168). Product differentiation is the most important at the corporate level for Apple. Apple products use nearly identical design principles across various platforms without requiring format changes (7). There aren’t many global retailers who use computers as their primary business model. One of the few businesses with locations outside of the US is Apple. As noted, Apple provides current and future consumers with excellent customer service. Apple will replace a customer’s phone if it has a problem within the first year of purchase (7). Apple’s current business model is effective. As many people can see, despite criticism, the business is still around, and customers are once more purchasing its goods. Apple alters various products through internal processes, traditional corporate innovation, and product innovation (8). For instance, one of the original Apple products was the iPod. The iPod’s internal design process ensured that the inside design met client requirements. Apple’s internal innovation made the iPod one of the first electronic gadgets to support music downloads, including iTunes and an App Store (8). Apple’s brand and image have been boosted by its innovation precision and straightforward yet effective design among consumers and businesses (7).
Apple has a wide range of rivals in its various items. Samsung is Apple’s main rival because they are the two most well-known brands in the electronics industry. As a result of having products like TVs, surround sound systems, printers, and wearables that Apple does not, Samsung has a broader range of products than Apple. Market commonality refers to the number of markets in which the firms and rivals participate and the relative importance of each firm to the market (Hitt, 3, p. 138). Again, the top two brands in the technological markets are Samsung and Apple. When a company’s tangible and intangible resources are equivalent to its rival’s, this is referred to as resource similarity (Hitt, 3, p. 138). Apple and Samsung use research and development to enhance their goods and meet consumer demands.
Regarding their product designs, they both possess unrivaled intangible resources, and the technical aspects are similar. Consciousness, drive, and aptitude all have a role in competitive behavior (Hitt, 3, 1.139–140). Apple and Samsung are racing to release the most excellent products because they know their rivalry.
Apple’s activities and business practices demonstrate a similar strategy for attracting a diverse client base. Regarding patent ownership in the US, as of 2018, Samsung is ranked first (Manners, 9). One of the critical pillars of Samsung’s competitive advantage has been identified as new product capabilities (Dudovskiy, 10). A firm’s strategic response to a competitor’s competitive action is known as a competitive response (Hitt, 3, p. 141). Because of how well-known Apple is, when a buyer buys one Apple device, they are virtually compelled to purchase another. Since the software and programs are the same across all Apple products, using them is simple. The lifespan of Samsung products is very long, and they produce a wide range of product types (White, 11). Because of its effective marketing tactics, Samsung rose to the top of the technology industry (White, 11). Because they anticipate client wants, Samsung has excelled in innovation (White, 11).
Both businesses’ long-term success is the goal, but Samsung cannot dethrone Apple for some reason. Apple would be the business to succeed in the long run. Because of its simple organizational structure, Apple continuously enhances its internal sales and marketing capabilities (Hirsch, 12). Samsung also relies on a subsidiary business named Samsung SDS for various internal sales and marketing capabilities, which creates many issues and causes the company to lag behind Apple (Hirsch, 12).
There will always be competition if there are multiple brands in a market. Fast and slow market cycles are the two types of market cycles. When a company’s competitive advantage is shielded from imitation over a long time (Hitt, 3, 1.48), it is in a slow-market cycle. The contrary is true for fast-market cycles since, during these times, a firm’s capabilities help it gain competitive advantages that are not shielded from imitation (Hitt, 3, p. 149). The products of Apple and Samsung ought to be protected from competition from other businesses. In a slow-market cycle, people would no longer need to purchase Apple’s more distinctive products because the market would not be looking for anything new to be released. Customers who are satisfied with their present purchase may stick with it. The decision Apple made would remain the same in the quick market cycle. As was already known, Apple offers incredibly cutting-edge equipment. Apple and Samsung are direct rivals because they produce goods for the modern era. Innovation is essential if you want to stay competitive in the fast-paced market. Both businesses identify with the fast-market cycle.
To sum up, Apple adheres to precise tactics to guarantee the company’s long-term prosperity. The business-level strategies were covered in this essay, and the differentiation strategy was one of the most important ones employed by Apple. Product differentiation is part of Apple’s corporate strategy since, to differentiate a product; it must go through the innovation process. The main rival of Apple is Samsung. The faces of technology are both Apple and Samsung. Samsung tries outperforming Apple but needs help while carrying many items. A comparison of Apple and Samsung’s strategy at each level and their shared markets, resources, competitive tendencies, and competitive dynamics, actions, and responses are also included. It highlighted how Apple differentiates in the two market cycles—slow and quick. If businesses copy Apple’s business practices, they will succeed in the long run. Even though Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs, passed away, the company continued to innovate under the leadership of the man who came after him.
That demonstrates the company’s strength and how shrewdly they choose their workers to work for them.
Ellen Terrell. 2008. Apple Computer, Inc. http://www.loc.gov/rr/business/businesshistory/April/apple.html
No Author, No Date. Business-Level Strategy https://www.albany.edu/faculty/es8949/bmgt481/lecture4.html
Michael Hitt. 2011. Strategic Management and Strategic Competitiveness. p. 108, 110, 115, 118, 120, 138-141, 165-168.
Walter White. No Date. Distinctive Competencies: Examples & Pros and Cons. http://inevitablesteps.com/business/distinctive-competencies/
No Author, 2018. Positioning of Apple | Apple Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. http://heartofcodes.com/positioning-of-apple/
No Author. No Date. Final Project on Apple. https://stonybrook.digication.com/final_project_on_apple/Corporate_Level_Strategy
No Author. 2018. APPLE’S CORPORATE-LEVEL STRATEGY. https://essaymondo.com/blog/71C/apples-corporate-level-strategy
David Manners. 2018. Samsung No.1 US patent holder. https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/business/samsung-no-1-us-patent-holder-2018-04/
John Dudovskiy. 2017. Samsung Business Strategy and Competitive Advantage. https://research-methodology.net/samsung-business-strategy-competitive-advantage-effective-exploitation-market-readership/
Walter No Date. Samsung Marketing Strategy: The Master Brand. http://inevitablesteps.com/marketing/samsung-marketing-strategy/
Guy Hirsch. 2018. Why Samsung doesn’t beat Apple where it matters. https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/why-samsung-doesnt-beat-apple-where-it-matters/
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Week 8 Assignment – Business-Level and Corporate-Level Strategies
In this assignment, you will use the corporation you selected for Weeks 3 and 6 positions. You will examine business and corporate-level strategies and their impact on corporate success comparable to the competitive environment. This assignment requires using three or more quality resources, including your textbook. Use any or all of the following resources to research the chosen corporation:
- The corporation’s website.
- Public filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Filings & Forms page.
- Strayer University’s online databases.
- The Nexis Uni database.
- Other credible sources, such as the corporation’s annual report, often provide insights that additional resources may not include.
- You are expected to use your textbook as a resource for this assignment.
- Read the Assignment Formatting and Tips [PDF] before starting the assignment. Refer back to this document as needed.
- Review the course guide’s scoring guide (rubric) before starting the assignment.
- Download and save the Business-Level and Corporate-Level Strategies Template [DOCX].
- Use the template to write a 4-6 page academic research paper in which you include the following:
Step 1: Assess one business-level strategy you believe is most appropriate for the corporation’s long-term success. Support your position with specific evidence. Step 2: Assess one corporate-level system you think most suits the corporation’s long-term success. Support your work with clear evidence. Step 3: Analyze the competitive environment to determine the corporation’s most significant competitor. Include a comparison of the business and corporate-level strategies for both corporations (your selected corporation and the competitor.)
- Based on your analysis, conclude which corporation (your selected corporation or its competitor) will most likely succeed in the long term. Support your determination with at least three pieces of evidence.
Step 4: Determine whether your corporation or its most significant competitor would differ in slow-cycle and fast-cycle markets. Support your position with specific evidence.
- Use three or more quality sources, including your textbook, to support your writing. Choose seeds that are credible, relevant, and appropriate. Cite each citation listed on your source page once within your assignment. (Note: Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as academic
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