Strategic Management

Case Study 1: Blockbuster Inc.

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Blockbuster Inc. is the worlds leading provider of game entertainment and in-home movie. It has around 8,000 stores in different locations across the globe including Europe, Australia and Asia. The companys video rental market has been through many changes, and it continues to change with new competition in the market. The main competitors of Blockbuster are Netlflix, Apple and Wal-Mart. The most remarkable innovation in the video rental market is changing to online video rental from store-based video rental.

Question 1

According to Keyes the Companys CEO, acquisition puts them in a digital download business. He states that the companys customers have had a positive reply to the convenient means of accessing movies and entertainment. It has provided Blockbuster with a means to relay movies to computers and televisions straight, complementing online and store operations. However, irrespective of the acquisitions, Keyes states that Blockbuster should be able to keep with its competitors due to its aptitude to leverage the store network, its marketing expertise, and online assets. The company believes that this is good news to content providers and consumers as well. Besides, 1,400 movie titles in the companys movie link catalog gave it a competitive advantage over its rivals as it allowed for digital download through online capacities.

Question 2

With the new CEO, Blockbuster is gaining ground. Since he has made the company go under a myriad of changes in its business-level strategy. The main focus of the strategy was mainly focused on the cost-cutting program, as well as selling products such as DVDs. This is a strategy that has been reportedly important to the company as it has seen the sales of DVDs increase tremendously. It is anticipated that with the change in the leadership of the company and the evolution of the organization culture, Blockbuster will gain more competitive advantage over its competitors, and increase their sales significantly.

Question 3

In the contemporary times, heightened globalization, rapid technological advancements and competitive pressures from rivals in the market place have accelerated the pace faced by CEOs (Plenert & Cluley, 2012). Due to the resulting threats and opportunities, CEOs have been forced to put innovation at the top of their list. For most companies, innovation success has been intermittent at the best. It is recommended that Keyes, the CEO of Blockbuster, should employ the Lean Six Sigma approaches to drive performance and meet its stakeholders expectations. The Lean Six Sigma is a combination of six sigma approaches and lean methods (Plenert & Cluley, 2012). Other scholars refer to the approach as Six Sigma Lean. These approaches are focused on cutting the costs through process optimization. Six Sigma is about meeting the expectations and requirements of the customers and stakeholders. In addition, it improves an organizations quality by measuring as well as eradicating defects. By so doing, Blockbuster will not only cut on costs, but grow. It will also achieve efficacy and effectiveness.

Question 4

By using the above named Six Sigma approaches, Blockbuster will be in a position to improve not only its efficacy, but effectiveness too. The CEO can drive performance by embracing well-known strategies to improve processes and achieve operational excellence in an attempt to meet its customers requirements and the expectations of its stakeholders (Plenert & Cluley, 2012). Keynes can introduce employee motivation to persuade the employees to streamline new ideas for novel products. Besides, he can ensure that the company offers quality services and products to its clientele. It means that measures should be put in place for customers to download movies and games without hindrances. Therefore, Keynes can ensure that his company differentiates its goods and services from its competitors. In turn, Blockbuster will gain a competitive advantage over its rivals in the industry.

Case Study 2: Under Armour

Question 1

There are a number of environmental threats, which can adversely affect Under Armour. To start with, the company is operating in an extremely competitive industry. The largest rivals of the company include Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and Adidas, and they have considerable wider market coverage. Being in the market for many years, the three companies advertise and establish marketing agreements, distribution channels, as well as recognition, and this is a great threat to Under Armour. Another great threat for the company is an economic downturn. Under Armour requires coming up with appropriate strategies to ensure that it is able to deal with economic recessions. Safeguarding the companys differentiation strategy, and retaining a positive brand image are other threats that the company has to deal with.

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Question 2

The marketplace offers Under Armour various opportunities that it can pursue. For instance, the company can put more stress on baseball product line as this would ensure continuous sales and even improvements throughout all seasons. Another opportunity is to leverage licensing partners in order to offer a broader array of branded goods to the clients. This is significant in that it could generate revenues and reinforce the brand; thus, it is a way of adding value to the company. Besides, this does not require Under Armour to develop capacities in the product categories.

Question 3

One of the greatest strength of Under Armour is that it has effectively penetrated the sportswear market through the employment of influence and image of global and domestic Olympians, collegiate teams, professional teams, as well as individuals. This is in accordance to its goal of becoming the premier marketer, developer, as well as a distributor of products.

The company makes use of free endorsements and publicity reach to consumers lifestyle, elite professionals, and regular athletes.

Under Armour has gained broad popularity among sports program and popular athletes. This has made the company to be the premier in the sports apparel industry.

Between the years 2003-2007, the company obtained an upward yearly growth rate as well as operating income. This implies that the performance of the company is impressive.

The company has attained an international presence as its brand is recognized worldwide. It has broken into a mature market effectively. Under Armour provides its branded products through company stores, retailers, and website.

It has been able to make clothing lines for different climates, and consequently, it offers a wider market.

The company has opened outlet and retail stores, and this has amplified its marketing strategies.

The company has been able to develop exceptional products for it consumers and has earned customer loyalty.

It has great leadership, which has been able to lead the company effectively.

It has used marketing campaigns to attain psychological differentiation.

One of the weaknesses of Under Armour is that it lacks patent rights to the materials employed in manufacturing the products.

There is a problem of seasonality resulting to reduced sales at certain times of the year.

The company depends on premium priced goods, which are closely linked. This may result in economic risk.

Question 4

Companies can use their strengths to prevent environmental threats and, at the same time, take advantage of the available opportunities to enhance their success. In this case, Under Armour should use such strengths as psychological differentiation, unique products, efficient marketing strategies, and broad popularity to overcome the threat of competition. It should also take advantage of the available opportunities such as offering baseball products as this would ensure that it is not affected by the problem of seasonality.

Question 5

The company should endeavor to obtain a patent right for its materials. Besides, while issuing licensing agreements, the company should take a lot of caution to prevent the possibility of its know-how being stolen. By striking agreements, Under Armour would reduce the possibility of rival companies providing similar products.

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