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BSS040-3 Strategy And Creativity

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BSS040-3 Strategy And Creativity

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Course Code: BSS0403
University: University Of Bedfordshire

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Country: United Kingdom


You are a consultancy firm that specializes in developing creative solutions to business problems. A client is interested in entering the book selling market and has asked you to help your task is to:

Develop and recommend an innovative value proposition for customers in the book selling market

You must make use of appropriate techniques of both strategy and creativity to develop the value proposition.
You should:

Identify The strategic position for the company
Identify the specific  target market
Develop an innovative and meaningful value proposition
Suggest potential strategic options and justify the choice of position and value proposition

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate knowledge of a range of tools and frameworks of strategy and creativity appropriate for the evaluation of complex situations in organizations

Skills and abilities

Select and use the appropriate tools with which to perform meaningful analysis from which you will be able to generate coherent strategic options and choice.

You should research key information about the industry.  Successful completion depends on your ability to take this research and then use the strategy and creativity methods to create differentiated solutions.
The solution focuses on strategies but not on marketing or operational activities.
The assignment will be discussed in class and on BREO.
The ability to develop innovative business practices is becoming essential for businesses in developing competitive advantage.  Using creativity processes will help business to develop innovation. The process involved will also help you to develop innovative approaches to your life and career.
How is your learning linked to this assignment?

The tools and frameworks that help you to develop the analysis and the options are covered in the first 8 weeks of the unit
The tools and frameworks of creativity are introduced in week 3 and are practised throughout seminars in the last half of the unit.


The value is a business or marketing statement that is used by a particular company in order to summarize the reason the customers should choose the products and services of the company. The value proposition statement of a company helps to convince the potential customers that one specific product service would enrich their way of life and solve a problem in a better way (Wheelen et al. 2017). Those companies which have a well –made value proposition plan and statement would attract the customers the most and support to gain the competitive advantage in the highly competitive industry like the book selling industry. As per the reports of Encyclopaedia of Global Industries, the international investment on books increased to US$ 104.6 billion from US $85.3 billion in through the last 7 years (Steinbach et al. 2017). The United Kingdom is at present, one of the most rapidly growing industries in the field of book publishing. The position of UK in this field is after Japan and Germany and France stays behind the UK.
The book and literature has been one of the major focus of UK since the time medieval period. However, the book publishing industry is facing a deterioration in its popularity due to the rapid growth of the e-books and other electronic methods of reading books. The print media is a little impacted by this factor but for the forever lovers of books, the industry is persistently flourishing (Lin, Schillebeeckx and George 2018). The present report will develop and recommend an innovative value proposition for the customers in the book selling market for an emerging enterprise. In order to achieve the objective, it will first identify the strategic position for the company. It will then the identify the specific target market along with suggesting potential strategic options and justify the selection of position and value proposition. The report will finally conclude by giving an overview of the entire report and highlight the specific topics.
The Strategic Positioning 
 The most critical stage of defining the strategy of a business is the strategic positioning. The strategic positioning determines the way the particular company serves the consumers in the respective market. In order to prepare a powerful strategic positioning, a company must regard the customer bonding, satisfaction, attraction and retention. The choice of how an organization would satisfy its customers is a critical idea. The strategic positioning of the brand is the combination of both the emotional and rational elements and attributes too. The positioning must be the most beneficial for the company. The decision of positioning must be authentic, true and relevant to the marketplace keeping in terms of the stakeholders, customers and others. There are so many models for making a strategic positioning of the products of a company. The Delta model is helpful in providing a roadmap for the recognition of optimal strategic positioning which is founded on achieving the best customer bonding long with offering three strategic positions for achieving the objectives. The start-up company in the book selling industry may successfully compete in the industry following this positioning model.
Few of the classic strategies illustrate the product orientation in which the organization competes against the market rivals and the winner is selected by evaluating who has the best product to offer. The start-up enterprise can easily commoditize the customers by providing them standardized products by the help of mass distribution channels which can also inhibit connection with the end –users. The connectivity and intimacy built through this strategy can increase opportunities to establish long –term and constructive relationships with the customers and strengthen the customer bonding too. It is a kind of mutual engagement that is founded on transparency and trust. In order to achieve the bonding, the company must invest on the product that is products or services related to the book selling industry, the complementors and customers. When a company customizes the products, the customers cannot easily walk –away from the company. The investment must be on the fields such as learning how to use the products, integrating purchased add-ons, incorporating the customer –specific data, customizing interfaces to the product so that the bonding and the switching costs are increased.
The company can also strategically position its products and services in three of the most effective ways.

The value based positioning is based on the selection of products and services rather than on the segment of the customers. Taken for example, those companies in the book selling industry publishes only math textbooks for the universities would focus on only one –subject segment.
There are also need based positioning which arises when the company addresses the needs of an entire customer segment. Those companies who practice this particular needs based positioning strategy would fulfill the maximum requirements of a specific group of consumers. Taken for example, the company publishes a whole line of textbooks for the vocational schools in order to fulfill this criteria.
The third or the last suitable theory is related to the creation of a brand image which is access-based. This access –based theory segments the customers according to the different way they can be categorized.  This theory examines the customer’s geography which is highly important and the company can configure its marketing the best when it serves a large geographic segment.

Specific Target Market 
It needs to be noted that books can also be classified based on the target market: institutional and consumer. The mainstream market is the consumer market which consists of individual buyers and regular readers. On the other hand, the institutional market consists of the various institutions which buy specific books for specific purposes such as the libraries of universities. The books which are bought by the education sector are also included in this segment. However, there is a little confusion in separating the consumer and the institutional market because the consumer market also includes the academic and professional publications. One way of identifying the two segments is that, the consumer segment boos are available online and in the book stores whereas the institutional segment books are available in specific libraries or institutions such as the law book and medical books.
As far as performance is concerned, the consumer market is a powerful and vast market that includes a variety of books that overpowers the institutional market. The total sales of the consumer segment is 80.3 % of the entire book selling market as per the financial report of 2017. The average growth of the consumer segment is 17.4 % and the growth of the institutional segment is comparatively low 14.3 % and the market share is 19.7 % (Hill 2017). Therefore the emerging companies or the start-ups in the book selling industry must go for the consumer segment and deal in all kinds of book not restraining itself to the institutional segment. This target market consists of a long and diverse range of customers that will open broad ways of opportunities.
Unique Value Proposition 
The value proposition of a company has to be unique and rue to its words. The value proposition describes what distinctive qualities make separates it from other businesses and help to get the competitive advantage over the market rivals. It also demonstrates how the company’s products or services solves the customer needs and preferences. It further states about the specific benefits and supports why the customers must choose the company over the competition. In a nutshell, the exceptional or unique value proposition covers specific areas starting with how the products or services work, what are the characteristics that make it valuable and why it is considered better than other (Guo et al.  2018). First of all, it has to be kept in mind that each of the market rival is waiting for attention and the customers always keep noticing the marketing plans as well as the advertisements which can easily influence their buying decisions.  The value proposition is not just a tagline. It rather has to be meaningful and catering to the objective of the organization and the customer preferences. The company has to understand how their business fits into the customer –driven market. Few of the steps are as follows:
Who are the customers/ target market?
The company at first needs to set its target market or the target customers. Since the consumer segment has occupied the maximum market share in the academic industry of UK, the start –up company should focus on the consumer segment rather than the institutionalized segment. The company should not make the mistake of considering anyone as their customers. As the customer segment consists of a vast range of customer type from many age groups, the company should target the common people of nearly 14-60 age groups. The company must present their products i.e books in this case to the target customers in a different way than it present them to the ordinary customers (García 2014). Investing time and money on the wrong customer might result in a strategic failure. The company might have to do some market research in order to know the preferences if its target customers and the target market.
Why the customers must buy from you?
This is the second question that the company must ask itself in order to get a proper answer. In order to place itself out of the track, the company will have to do the market research and know what their competitors are doing better and attracting the customers. The mission statement of the competitors might answer it in the best possible way. The types of book collection they keep also will have to be studied and what are their discount plans for retaining the customers are also the most important concerns. The knowledge of the till date achievement of the competitors and what are their future plans are also highly essential for the start –up company. In order to get the best competitive edge over the market rivals, the company should give special discounts on paperback novels from emerging writers. It would fascinate the youth and the people above the age group of 30 too.
What are the needs that the company serves? 
The company needs to keep regular track of how the business satisfies the tastes of the customers and serves their purposes. The company will have to ensure that their mission is being focused on at every step of their business and their customers are kept happy and satisfied (Wheelen 2017). When the mission of the company in the book selling industry is to provide the customers the most exclusive books available in the market at the best prices, it must be maintained so that the potential customers are retained as well.
The Tools for value proposition 
The value proposition is the captivating statement which informs the users why they should be interested in the product and services that a particular company is offering. Although it is difficult to shorten the benefits of a product into a single and simple statement, it must be prepared in such a way that the content is elaborated (Foss, Foss and Klein 2018). There are certain tools that help to prepare the perfect value proposition for the company.
The Value Proposition Canvas 
The canvas create a framework for the company to understand both the experiences of the product and the customer individually (Enz, Canina and van der Rest 2015). It also helps to approach each experience in the light of other. The main purpose of this canvas tool is to fulfill both the company’s and the customer’s needs. Strategyzer’s value proposition canvas is a tool for structuring similarities between what the customer needs and what the company can offer.
It is an online marketing platform which make use of the personal content journeys in order to increase the engagement and transforms the prospects into the leads. The company can easily create a platform which will guide the readers throughout every step of the content journey in order to heighten engagement (Engert, Rauter and Baumgartner 2016). The basic idea behind this tool is to modify the existing content as per each customer profile. Similar to the value proposition canvas customer profile, the Roojom that is created by the company produces a positive responsive experience for the customer (Carroll, Davidson and Lakshmanan 2017).  Similar to the value proposition, Roojoom also captures the fundamental elements of the specific customers’ needs and goals and allows the company to assemble the whole framework of the customers’ engagement from the starting to the end.
The Visual Presentation 
The visual presentation most of the times holds the maximum importance than text content in carrying out the message to the customers (Bryce 2017). Taken for example, the Facebook pages and the status with pictures and videos engage the customers 180% more. It is found that information becomes better when it is translated into a visual image and transmits a larger quantity of information (Brumbaugh 2015). The company can its value proposition colorfully and creatively so that the customers find themselves
The infographics are types of innovative and fun-filled way to communicate with the customers and convey the messages (Birkinshaw 2016). Scholars suggest that the infographics are the latest hit nowadays in the market because the texts are simple along with wonderful images.
Landing Pages 
The landing pages are the most flexible pages where the company can make choice of the content easily. This flexibility helps the marketers to recognize which of the page components generates high conversation rates and more qualities (Bettis et al. 2014).
Hence, the startup company in the book selling industry must use the value proposition canvas to prepare a suitable and innovative value proposition for the customers. It will attract the customers in favor of the company and help them achieve the competitive edge in the market.
Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be said that those companies which have a well –made value proposition plan and statement would attract the customers the most and support to gain the competitive advantage in the highly competitive industry like the book selling industry. The present report has developed and recommended an innovative value proposition for the customers in the book selling market for an emerging enterprise. In order to achieve the objective, it has first identified the strategic position for the company. It has then identified the specific target market along with suggesting potential strategic options and justify the selection of position and value proposition. The report has finally conclude by giving an overview of the entire report and highlighting the specific topics.
Bettis, R., Gambardella, A., Helfat, C. and Mitchell, W., 2014. Quantitative empirical analysis in strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 35(7), pp.949-953.
Birkinshaw, J., 2016. Multinational corporate evolution and subsidiary development. Springer.
Brumbaugh, A.M., 2015. How to Target Diverse Customers. Cracking the Code: Leveraging Consumer Psychology to Drive Profitability: Leveraging Consumer Psychology to Drive Profitability, p.66.
Bryce, H.J., 2017. Financial and strategic management for nonprofit organizations. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.
Carroll, J., Davidson, P. and Lakshmanan, T., Go Daddy Group Inc, 2017. Software application customized for target market. U.S. Patent Application 15/487,868.
Engert, S., Rauter, R. and Baumgartner, R.J., 2016. Exploring the integration of corporate sustainability into strategic management: a literature review. Journal of cleaner production, 112, pp.2833-2850.
Enz, C.A., Canina Ph D, L. and van der Rest Ph, D., 2015. Competitive hotel pricing in Europe: An exploration of strategic positioning.
Foss, K., Foss, N.J. and Klein, P.G., 2018. Uncovering the hidden transaction costs of market power: A property rights approach to strategic positioning. Managerial and Decision Economics, 39(3), pp.306-319.
García, M.L., 2014. Fashion and the market: how the target market has changed: first the upper-classes, then the middle-classes, then the young, and the children. Datatèxtil, (31), pp.70-77.
Guo, C., Wang, Y.J., Hao, A.W. and Saran, A., 2018. Strategic positioning, timing of entry, and new product performance in business-to-business markets: do market-oriented firms make better decisions?. Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 25(1), pp.51-64.
Hill, C.W., Jones, G.R. and Schilling, M.A., 2014. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning.
Hill, T., 2017. Manufacturing strategy: the strategic management of the manufacturing function. Macmillan International Higher Education.
Jones, R.F., 2016. Strategic Management for the Plastics Industry: Dealing with Globalization and Sustainability. CRC Press.
Kannisto, P., 2016. “I’m not a target market”: power asymmetries in market segmentation. Tourism Management Perspectives, 20, pp.174-180.
Lasserre, P., 2017. Global strategic management. Macmillan International Higher Education.
Lin, Y., Schillebeeckx, S.J. and George, G., 2018, July. Search and Strategic Positioning in Dynamic Innovation Landscapes. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2018, No. 1, p. 10298). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.
Morschett, D., Schramm-Klein, H. and Zentes, J., 2015. Strategic international management (pp. 978-3658078836). Springer.
Steinbach, A.L., Holcomb, T.R., Holmes Jr, R.M., Devers, C.E. and Cannella Jr, A.A., 2017. Top management team incentive heterogeneity, strategic investment behavior, and performance: A contingency theory of incentive alignment. Strategic Management Journal, 38(8), pp.1701-1720.
Warner, M.W., Warner, L.E. and Pangburn, R.L., CHINA FASHION PROJECT LLC, 2014. System and method for a target market business structure. U.S. Patent Application 14/022,005.
Wheelen, T.L., Hunger, J.D., Hoffman, A.N. and Bamford, C.E., 2017. Strategic management and business policy. pearson.

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