Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Answer 1:

Staples is one of the strongest player in the office supply retail industry and has a strong market share to its expectations. The company has the advantage of being the pioneer in the industry that allowed the company to gain access to the best suppliers and inventory to provide the highest quality to their customers. Since its inception the company has been quite successful in targeting the customers and holding a strong market share.

However, with the emergence of the competition and the innovation in technology sustaining the market share became quite difficult. This scenario asked for a rapid advancement or shift in approach for reaching customers and enhancing the accessibility of the customers. This factor gave birth to Staples dotcom, a new retail channel that is highly significant after the internet and dotcom evolution.

Staples dotcom provided a new platform for the company to approach the customers and [provide the customers an easy approach to reach the best office supplies without making any rigorous effort. This channel made the accessibility factor a strength for the company and made it easier to target those clients that are not visiting the Staples retail stores.

However, the competitive landscape of the online retail market made it challenging for the company to sustain and ask for a strong competitive advantage. The company has many strengths that it can create as a significant source of competitive advantage but the company’s management is skilled at gaining feedback for the customers and utilizing that feedback effectively.

This ability of the company of gaining effective feedback from the customers and translating that feedback efficiently to deliver goods can be stated as the major source of competitive advantage for the company as it allows the company to follow a customer centric approach. This approach has some major benefits that formulate this strategy as the source of competitive advantage for the company.

Staples dotcom has a strong history in the form Staples Inc. and the company’s brand name is well established. Thus the company can attract customers and select the target market segments easily. However, with the dotcom invention developing a competitive advantage is quite challenging as identifying the right source and appropriate strength is very important that can be translated into competitive advantage,

Therefore, the management’s ability of seeking customer feedback and translating that feedback into an efficient source of developing products and services is the most appropriate and effective source as it is rarely done by companies in the industry and is quite valuable for the company as well. Besides that it can easily be imitated but the experience is quiet rare and copying such strength is quite challenging for the players.

On the other hand, this advantage allows the firm to become customer centric and design products and offerings according to the needs and demands of the customers. Through this strategy the company can easily identify the expectations of the customers and reach their expectation levels effectively. Thus the customer centric approach provides a great chance of staying close to the customers and achieve the levels of customer satisfaction which is very important to sustain the advantage and sty strong in the market for a longer period of time.

Answer 2:

The company’s strategy to target untapped segments leveraging aggressive marketing techniques to create awareness and increase the market and wallet share simultaneously is perfect and is best suited for the time as well. However, this can be challenging as well but as far as the timing is concerned this strategy is well structured and appropriate. The company has made some very bold decisions and each decision has its own justification

Staples Case Solution

The strategy to add additional services along with the office supplies to cater the small business leveraging extensive marketing techniques is quite essential and appropriate. This strategy will allow to gain significant advantage as the dotcom invention is not completely assimilated by every player in the industry. However, this will increase the competitive landscape for the company and the company will be facing intense competition from other payers as well once they entered the online retail segment.

The strategy is quiet appropriate as far as the timing is concerned as the company will be able to increase its market share rapidly and gaining the first mover advantage will become the first priority of the target segments. Besides that the company with this strategy will become the one stop solution for the small business which will be become the point of difference for the company and it will become easier for the customers to access multiple offerings, products and services at one place. Thus the company will gain significant advantage and will be challenging for the other players to compete with the company at the same grounds......................

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