1. various cooperative strategies Virgin Group was able to

1. Virgin Group Ltd. is a British multi-national
conglomerate founded in 1970 by sir Richard Branson. The company’s business and
services have been growing ever since and today they offer a range of services
from telecommunications, media, transportation, fitness, travel and many more.
The company started to grow and realise brand extension owning to adventurous
spirit and risky personality of its CEO. 
Unlike other multi-facet companies, Virgin Group tend to use its brand
name in brand extensions which proves to be very successful. Indeed, it’s quite
difficult for other companies to compete with the Virgin Group since its
strategy primarily focuses on product and service quality, competitive price,
differentiation, innovation and brand stretching (extension). Sir Richard
Branson tries to enter every possible market and expand the brand name, which
further helps to enter static markets at a low cost. The corporation creates a
positive customer-based brand equity and attracts customers with differentiated
effect. Virgin’s differentiated product and service range completely drives out
competitors from the market and targets Millennials by offering better value
for money. This is what makes Virgin so unique. Their main
goal is to create a value. They are exploring those areas which they believe
they can bring the value and provide customers with opportunities, products and
services that those specific areas are lacking. One more trick of being a
diversified company is increasing the company’s image. In other words, if they
succeed in a completely new sector, it can increase brand’s reputation and
value. Brand reputation and its loyalty to value enables the company to easily
enter new markets. By implementing various cooperative strategies Virgin Group
was able to horizontally integrate. Employing core competencies of successful
companies to their own advantage, Virgin can also control their own
competencies without taking much risk.  

Nevertheless, directing
investment to so many different areas can be problematic. The Virgin website claims that the Virgin Group is a result-oriented
corporation and moves only to the areas that bring somewhat different to a pure
business opportunity. But in retrospect, not all business ideas and initiatives
undertaken by the Virgin Group were successful. For example, Virgin Cola,
Virgin Bride and Virgin Cosmetics. They had nothing new to offer the markets
and were not competitive.

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The Virgin’s website incorporates all
the existing businesses under the Virgin umbrella. The website enables
customers an easy access and convenience to manage their business without
leaving home. Nonetheless, in spite of the website’s convenience for the
clients and customers, it offers so many options and so many services, that it
started to seem that the company is confused and is about to lose its focus. Another
differentiating point of the Virgin Group is the interactivity of its website.
Unlike other business corporation’s website, virgin.com offers customers
and just random visitors a bunch of interesting opportunities. The target
audience of the website is ranging from a young entrepreneurial, business
corporations, clients and users who are randomly browsing through the website
for business ideas, inspirations and interesting articles. The diverse business portfolio present on the website
makes it possible to build and maintain loyalty in many different industries
and it is evident that the management encourages creativity, competitiveness
and decisiveness at the corporation.

 

Based on www.virgin.com,Virgin Group has a portfolio
with over 35 companies spanning across multiple industries.  The overall corporate strategy is based on
the following businesses:  Travel &
Leisure, Telecoms & Media, Music & Entertainment, Financial Services
and Health & Wellness.  Each of these
areas are operated under the Virgin umbrella. 
The major growth of Virgin is due to its brand name.  The Virgin brand has been leveraged as a part
of the entire corporate strategy.

After reviewing www.virgin.com/company there are many products and services provided by the virgin group.  There is even a section on their website
entitles “Find a Virgin Company”.  Virgin
has managed to extend its brand across many industries including:
entertainment, leisure, health and wellness, travel, and telecom.  In order for the Virgin group to be
successful in all of these areas, their business plan must be well thought
out.  Based on personal marketing
knowledge of Virgin, it seems as if they look at a small piece of an industry
and then expand upon that.  This may
appear as a simple enough tactic and very scalable.  For example, they have expanded from having
an airline to providing an entire holiday planning.  The expansion of the travel component of
Virgin would be considered part of its vertical strategy.

            In
addition, the virgin group can use their diversification as part of their corporate
strategy.  By offering so many products
in different areas, they can attract customers to the Virgin brand.  Later, after the brand has proved itself,
customers will look at different areas of the companies to use for products or
services.  Once a customer is using
several products from the organization, customer retention us much more likely.
The Virgin Group looks at certain opportunities that may at sometimes seem
unorganized in their decisions.  By
looking at the underserved markets globally, Virgin has become one of the
leading companies with regards to global expansion.  The global expansion of Virgin has been
imperative to its success.

 

Even at a company like The Virgin Group,
opportunities are always available for improvement or change.  The expansive nature of and size of the
company enforces the need for the corporate strategy to be well thought
out.  Included in this corporate strategy
is the need to always meet customer requirements and continue to provide
quality products.

 

2.         Amazon.com is the world’s largest retail stores which was founded in
1994 in Seattle, Washington DC. Amazon sells in a vast majority of categories
from books, electronics to jewelry. The online retailer highly recommended
itself in the world and currently is the world’s frequently visited retail
website.

 

Over the years Amazon has been striving to
offer its customers the best shopping experience at a competitive price. Owning
to a far-reaching strategy, Amazon became the most customer-centric online retailer.
In order to become the world’s leading online retailer, Amazon mainly focused
its attention on pricing, vast product selection and customer convenience.
First and foremost, they concentrated on the customer interface trying to make
it as easy and as convenient as possible. Secondly, they tackled delivery by
offering fast and secure delivery from their multiple warehouses all around the
world. As a customer-centric company they were eager to get customers feedback
about their services and added customer product reviews in order to make it
easier for other customers to compare products. They also seized this option to
improve their service quality and offer their customers better experience in
the future.

 

When it comes to
pricing strategy, Amazon.com operates
with a pricing objective of sales oriented. Amazon’s placement and pricing
strategy look at the concept of product wholesale and distribution. Their price
strategy implies their value that consumer should expect from buying and using
it. Amazon is one of the biggest retailers on this earth.
They use their promotion programs to broadcast the value proposition and has an
effective selling technique for pricing. Amazon creates an effective pathway to
get product from the distribution site into the customer’s doorstep. Amazon claims to be
providing low price guarantee; by lowering their prices they beat competitors
and as a result consumers choose Amazon because of the lowest prices. Browsing
through the website and comparing prices in different categories, it is evident
that Amazon’s pricing strategy differs from category to category. In one
category prices are really low, though in other categories prices are
relatively more expensive. This pricing strategy is not useful when it comes to
price optimization. In order to find out which product category is more
sensitive to price fluctuations Amazon should measure price elasticity among
categories.

 

Amazon is frequently visited website for its
vast selection in electronics, games, books and toys. Thus, Amazon tries to
lower prices in these high-traffic categories with the aim of generating more
revenue from sales and retain loyal customers. In less visited categories
prices are comparably expensive. Another competitive advantage that Amazon has
is the fact that they do not care if they lose money on some items to gain
customers.   Amazon has everyday
deals for their customers.  Many
other retails wait for holidays or end of season sales to discount items. This proves to be very smart and
extremely successful strategy to keep best-selling products at competitive
prices and products in less visited categories as upsells. Given successful
nature of online retail stores, there are thousands of competitors in the
market selling the same category products as Amazon does. In order to stay
competitive and remain its leading position in the market it is becoming
challenging for the Amazon to constantly investigate and keep an eye on
competitors pricing strategies. Amazon has the most impressive
product’s distribution channels in the global market today in retail. Their distribution strategy is aligned with their
business model and their mission is improving customer’s experience by
increasing communication responsiveness and expediting service delivery. Amazon
opens their
online market to sellers and buyers.

 

When compared to
brick-and-mortar stores, people choose Amazon because of its convenience, fast
delivery options, low-prices and vast product selection, as well as they can
purchase desired products without leaving their homes. Another advantage of
Amazon from brick-and-mortar store is that the website saves the customer data,
their preferences and then offer them products in categories they might be
interested. Along with selling numerous brands, Amazon also sells its own brand
such as Amazon Basics and Elements.

Nevertheless, lately the company has begun increasing its prices for the
extra convenience provided to online customers. Amazon’s target audience is
every virtual online shopper, from the United States to all around the world.
Its portfolio of products presented on the website is largest in the United
States. Some segments that they also target are students (books, electronic
gadgets, laptops, music and etc.) and housewives (jewelry, gifts, accessories,
household goods).

In August of 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $ 13.7 billion and it
is believed to be strategically important retail merger. It urged speculations
that the Amazon has finally decided to invest in brick-and-mortar retail. But
the real deal is acquisition is that Amazon wanted to get to the bottom of
customer data as well as Whole Food’s private brand product. The customer data
that Amazon wanted to acquire was customer shopping preferences, grocery buying
habits and etc. This data will enable Amazon to better serve its loyal
customers, offer them special promotions, customize grocery shopping experience
and realise product line extensions. Unlike any other buying habits and
patterns, groceries are frequent and more habitual. Amazon is already practising upselling by suggesting extra
items in line with the items the consumer is looking to purchase. It will also
enable Amazon to know which products a consumer is running out of and will
offer them to buy more at exactly the right time. The system may also show the
consumers alternative products that they would like to experience.

The main reason of acquisition of the Whole Foods
rather than any other grocery chain is because the Whole Foods has more
customer date and their customers are richer, as the Whole Foods sells organic
products which are very expensive. The fact that the Amazon is becoming more
vertically integrated and Whole Foods has around 365 private label brands, they
were very attractive for Amazon. Private label brands have higher margins than
third-party brand products. There are lots of national brand products in the
market, whilst there very few private and rare brands and this what makes it
more attractive to customers. For this reason, consumers opt for Amazon as it offers
unique prices, exclusive products, fast delivery and many more.

 

According to the Motley Fool, Amazon understands
customers than other retailers and has roughly 80 million Prime Members. This
huge data makes it possible for Amazon to forecast future sales, set
competitive prices, predict consumer behaviour and so on. Therefore, it is
becoming very challenging for competitors to collect the right data to
integrate in their selling and pricing strategy, understand the needs and
desires of customers and ensure that products and pricing are meeting
customers’ expectations in the best possible way.

For Amazon to dominate the
retail market, they must have strong purchasing power where they can lower
their prices without their market share taking a hit. Amazon must continue to
use a pricing strategy that is fully aligned with its business. Lowering prices
on products might discourage customers from purchasing. The best technique is
deciding where to position the product and determining the best price that is commensurate
to the buyer and the market share. Marking prices too low on any merchandise
devalues the product. A retailer such as Amazon do not want to make the price
too low where it takes them out of the retail game where they can be over bid
by competitors and take a financial loss by market shareholders.