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In view of the problems experienced at Alibaba Group, multiple, viable and non-viable solutions could be used to pursue the strategic goals and objectives of the company to continue in its best practices and avoid causing problems related to its offerings of knocked off products.
The alternative solutions proposed by Raa (2009) include integrating an effective content management strategy, portfolio restructuring, and unique selling propositions. Besides, the company can decide to adopt a “do-nothing” strategy that could be evaluated as an alternative solution to the four pillars of competitiveness. Competitiveness is based on the ability to optimize the strengths and opportunities while strategizing to overcome its weaknesses and threats and be consistent with its mission and vision statements. The goal is to focus on a competitive strategy that could allow for diversification, combination, growth, and expansion.
Evans (2013) notes that the company could create a content management program for identifying and listing alternative products with similar buyer appeals to genuine products (Evans, 2013). However, the option could allow for the inclusion of original products if clear restrictions are imposed on the suppliers of the original products and the penalties resulting from counterfeiting their products. Weights and ratings could be assigned to original products depending on the external and internal evaluation mechanisms to determine the effects on counterfeits, distribution channels, competition, and lawsuits.
David (2005) argues that such alternatives might not evoke negative responses from competitors but could directly appeal to stakeholders and especially those at the low-end market to develop positive attitudes. The rationale is to base the company’s product offerings on a PESTEL analysis that could enable the company to identify the supply chains of counterfeit products. A SWOT analysis of the internal and external business environments could enable the company to define a competitive strategy without going out of the market once the consequences of implementing the solutions start showing an impact on the company’s business operations (Raa, 2009).
The ultimate effects could be on both the internal and external strategic positions of the company. Besides, it could positively contribute to the return on investment, cash flow, liquidity, demand variability, price elasticity, and use of technology could leverage the company’s position in trying to reach the low-end market. Content management is not a one-stop fool proof solution, but it provides the management with the ability to monitor and control its product portfolio.
Raa (2009) notes that the company could invest in portfolio restructuring by defining the firm’s scope of operations based on the PESTEL. David (2005) notes that restructuring includes increased conservatism, aggressiveness, and enhanced competitiveness. The company could thus take advantage of the market share, customer loyalty, technological know-how, and capacity utilization that could be geared towards competitive benchmarking.
Zheng, Yang, and McLean (2010) propose the optimization of its industry strengths such as resource utilization, productivity, capacity utilization, financial stability, and profit potential. Zheng et al. (2010) better brand recognition, effective advertising channels, and brand loyalty. This appears as a near-perfect solution because it provides a redefinition of the strategic scope of the business, reevaluation of the firm’s basis for competition, and divestiture of its operations. However, it could be an expensive and time-consuming solution.
Unique selling position
Thompson and Martin (2010) argue that the idea of establishing a unique selling proposition could be used to establish those reasons that compel customers to buy products on the Company’s e-commerce platform. The unique selling position is appropriate because it is achieved by operating within the legal constraints of different countries where the company has its presence. Such an approach could take care of stakeholder’s interests/rights, customers, and other interested parties (Thompson & Martin, 2010). However, the approach could be expensive in convincing consumers to switch brands because of the energy and resources required to make strong propositions.
The do-nothing approach could be adopted if the company’s long-term policy is to wait for external and internal forces are to shape the company’s future operations. However, not doing anything could generate serious problems because that could allow the situation to deteriorate and cause the company to become obsolete. The rationale is that its operations could attract several cases as its operations could be deemed to be in direct violation of the laws of different countries that the company has its business operations.
Evans, V. (2013). Key strategy tools. Harlow, UK: Pearson.
David, F. (2005). Strategic management. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Raa, T. (2009). The economics of benchmarking. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Teece, D. J. (2010). Business models, business strategy and innovation. Long range planning, 43(2), 172-194.
Thompson, J. L., & Martin, F. (2010). Strategic management: awareness & change. New York: Cengage Learning.
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Zheng, W., Yang, B., & McLean, G. N. (2010). Linking organizational culture, structure, strategy, and organizational effectiveness: Mediating role of knowledge management. Journal of Business research, 63(7), 763-771.