The process of developing product/service strategies for an organization typically involves conducting an assessment of the external environment (identify opportunities and threats) and an assessment of the internal environment (identify strengths/capabilities and weaknesses of the organization) – this is referred to as a SWOT analysis. Product/service strategies are then developed by matching market opportunities with organizational strengths/capacities that provide a competitive advantage, while addressing external threats and internal weaknesses. General product/service strategies include the following:
· significant expenditure on research and development in order to develop new/innovative products that are first to market and kickoff a new product/service cycle – charge higher prices because the product is new, there is no/little competition in the initial stage of product introduction, and there is often a need to pay off expensive research and development costs
· relatively lower expenditure on research and development by imitating/following existing products into the market – charge lower prices as a result of having lower research and development costs
· compete on the basis of price (compete on the basis of lower production costs which allow for lower prices)
· compete on the basis of product/service features (e.g. this product comes with Bluetooth), including the overall quality, brand association (e.g. I think it’s cool to be seen with Apple stuff) and customer service
· compete on the basis of targeting underserved niche markets (e.g. an online dating service exclusively for farmers/farmers.com)
Product/service strategies are often some combination of the above general strategies. Briefly describe the key market opportunities that match with the particular strengths/capabilities of Southern University, and the external threats and internal weaknesses that need to be managed. Using information from your SWOT analysis, briefly describe the general product/service strategy that you would advise the University to use and why.
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