- Using models learned on other modules.
Students have asked whether or not it is possible to use models such as BarneyâsÂ (1991) VRIN frameworkÂ as a way of analysing sustained competitive advantage.
The requirement of the assignment is that you use Porterâs (1985) Â value chain in order to analyse Xiaomiâs relative competitive advantage.Â You must do this otherwise you will be penalised.Â Â Should you chose to include other models in order to support your argument this is absolutely fine, however, you should remember that you have a pretty tight word count and as such analysing the information that you do have will be more important than using lots of different models.
2. PEST? STEP? PESTLE? STEEPLE?
Can I use a model other than PESTLE â i.e. PEST?
Yes.Â The important element is that you carry out a macro analysis pulling out the key factors that will impact upon the brand entry into the market.Â I.e. making sure that those factors are relevant to what you are looking at.Â Â As such, any of the above are suitable and you might find that you do not use all of the letters in the acronym.Â Â Analysis is the key here in terms of being able to justify your position at the end of your coursework.
3. Micro Factors.
Can I use Porterâs five forces to look at the micro environment?
Yes this might be a useful model to use at this stage however make sure that you have the right emphasis, i.e. you may need other information apart from what relates to the five forces analysis.Â Â Again your analysis and ability to justify the position that you plan to adopt is key.
4. Research Recommendations:
If I say no to a launch, do I still need to include research recommendations?Â
Yes. Â This is a requirement of the assignment.Â In order to fulfil this requirement if you are saying no to a launch you could suggest that should Xiaomi decide at a later date to go ahead with a launch then the following research would be advisableâ¦â¦â¦
5. Fit of the market/Xiaomi and recommendations.
I am not sure what is expected of me in these partsâ¦
For the fit of the market / Xiaomi you need to look back of your analysis of Vietnam (Pestle and Micro analysis) and your analysis of how Xiaomi derives Competitive Advantage in the Chinese market and consider whether or not this is transferable to the Vietnamese market.Â Â Ie would the Brand and its business model be effective in Vietnam.Â Justify this by referring back to your analysis.
For the recommendations and conclusion, you are deciding whether or not you recommend the launch â donât sit on the fence, you must make a decision and justify it –Â and whatever you decide, look at what adaptations might need to be made to the Business model and what consumer research you would advise.
Where do I put the appendices?
These should come after the references and not before.
Furthermore, do not overuse the appendices.Â We do not read them but rather flick through any appendices as it show the range of research that you have carried out.Â Â They are not a way of getting around the word count.
For example, you may put a full PESTEL analysis in your appendices, however,Â Â it could be that for the main body of the report you choose to pull out the most salient points.Â As such you would point out that the full PESTEL is in Appendix 1 for example, but that the key outcomes from that analysis that Xiaomi needs to take into account areâ¦â¦â¦.
- Subheadings and headings.
Do I use the subheadings and headings that you used on the tutorial slide?
No, these were headings for a different assignment which just happened to use the same company.Â The slide was shown to you to show how headings and sub-headings work and not to show you the headings you need to answer the questions set.
Structuring your work by using headings and sub-headings not only makes you think clearly about what you are writing but also helps us as markers to pull out your key points and award you marks.
3. Is this a report or an essay?
It is neither, it Â is a hybrid.Â You have been given questions to address and it is up to you how you address them / structure your work.Â We are not expecting a full report with executive summary etc. but rather we are expecting you to signpost your work clearly using a clear report style structure.
You may use bullet points provided you then produce a commentary / analysis underneath them.
4. How do I reference?
If you look at Lectorial 1 you will see the links to the library study skills pages which give fool proof guides to referencing.Â You will need both to reference in text (all facts) and also to provide your list of references at the end of your assignment.
If you find that you are still unsure as to how to reference, please either use the ask a librarian service or make an appointment to see Craig Whittaker in theÂ Academic Success Centre.Â [email protected]Â or make an appointment via the infopoint.
Do I have to follow the order of the headings that you have given?
The model gives a sensible structure from macro factors through to a decision as to whether or not to launch.Â It is up to you, however, how you use this structure.Â Some will choose to analyse as they go along, others will make the points and then carry out the analysis at the end.Â If you choose the latter course of action that is absolutely fine but just make sure that you signpost to us that this is what you are doing.Â Â There is no set way to answer this question and it is up to you to find the approach that works best for you in covering the requirements of the assignment.
1.Â Use the library website to access the information.
Several of you had not been able to find much information about the Brazilian Market or had been faced by a charge for accessing the data.Â Â This is because you were accessing it via google rather than using the library databases as show in lectorial 1.Â Please revisit lectorial 1 to see how to do this.
2. Research about Xiaomi.
Am I expected to research beyond the case study for information about Xiaomi?
Absolutely.Â You have basic information about Xiaomi in the case study but you are expected to form a more complete picture to understand the brand and how the brand derives relative competitive advantage together with forming an opinion about the companyâs internal resources, mission etc.
3. Competitor analysis.
There are lots of competitors.Â Do I need to do a value chain for all of them?
No.Â If you look at the Zara lectorial slides 8 â 12 you will see how to approach this.Â The focus is on Xiaomi and how they have managed to achieve competitive advantage.
4. The Case study.
Do I have to reference the case study?
For this assignment we have decided that you do not need to reference material that you are using from the case study.Â Â Â This may not be the case for other modules so donât assume this is normal practice.Â Â We are allowing this as we are interested to see what research you have undertaken the case study and also how you use the data.
5. Research sources.
Do I have to just use the library sources such as Passport and Marketline?
No.Â A wide range of sources in addition to these is preferable.Â Â We are looking for reliable sources of information so this might be quality newspapers, the Economist, McKinsey Quarterly for example.
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