Whole Foods Market has been successful in the market despite the competitiveness in this industry. This can be attributed to the strategies that this firm has employed in its operations. This firm has been keen on delivering quality products to its patients at competitive prices. Whole Foods Market has positioned itself as a supermarket that provides healthy products that do not have any health consequences to the consumers.
According to Kratschmer (2011), the current consumer is very sensitive to issues relating to what they eat, especially due to the constant advice they get from health experts about consequences of some type of food. However, it is important to note that it is not only this firm that has been keen on positioning its products as being health conscious. This means that to this extent, there are a number of firms that benefit from this market proposition.
Once a strategy is used by numerous firms in the market, the strategy ceases to offer a competitive advantage. For this matter, Whole Foods Market must find a way of gaining a competitive advantage in the market. It must find a way of delivering value to the customers in a superior manner than other competitors in the market.
To achieve this, this firm has been keen on delivering new products to the market, or new strategies in delivering products. The management has been keen to ensure that the firm changes with the changing environmental factors.
One of the Porter’s five forces is the intensity of competitive rivalry in the market. In this industry, the competitive rivalry is very stiff. There are numerous other firms in this industry, and the management of Whole Foods Market knows this. The management knows that in order to beat this competition, it must be unique. It must provide the market with products that offer superior value to the customers. This firm has been keen on improving the value of their products in various ways.
One such way has been to design package that is positively unique. The firm has also been using other strategies such as customer service that is unique to this firm. The organizational culture of this firm has encouraged courtesy with customers all the time. With their policy of ‘the customer is always right’, this firm has continued to offer their customers a service delivery that is considered superior to that of other firms in the market.
According to Kratschmer (2011), congruency within a firm is one factor that would determine how successful a firm can be in the market. There are firms which have failed in the market not because of poor management, but lack of congruency in its factors of production and organizational culture. As Coulter (2009) says, for a firm to be successful, it must be able to do what is considered right, in the right manner, in the right place, with the right people and at the right time.
When any of these factors is wrong, then the whole outcome will be wrong. The management of Whole Foods Market has been committed to finding a strategy that would deliver quality output in the manner that is desired. In order to achieve this, the firm understands the importance of having inputs that would enable it work within the expected standards. These inputs can be categorized into environment, resources, and history. In terms of the environment, this firm has had a massive input.
This firm was voted one of the best companies in the United States for its efforts in fighting environmental degradation. The management has not only been concerned with delivering healthy products to the consumers, but It has also been directly involved in activities geared towards environmental conservation within the United States.
This has helped it build a strong name as a firm which is not only focused on generating profits, but also in protection of the environment and the public in general. Among its resources, the firm has been focused on committing some of its financial resources in fighting environmental degradation. This firm has also been forced to incur increased costs of production in its quest to deliver organic products which are generally considered as healthy.
The management has also promised to label any genetically modified foods when it is necessary to stock these products. Another resource that this firm has used in the market to generate a competitive advantage is its workforce. The employees of this firm have embraced the organizational culture that the management has created.
They are always dedicated to their work, and are always ready to render customers visiting their premise a higher value for their purchase in terms of the services offered during and after the purchase. The firm has also developed a rich history which is turning out to be a resource. Not only is this firm known as a champion in fighting environmental degradation, but also in offering products that are healthy to its consumers.
As was mentioned previously, it is important to maintain congruency between factors of production, and the strategy that a firm employs in the market. Coulter (2009) says that it is upon achieving this congruency that a firm can consider itself capable of operating successfully in the current competitive market. The organizational culture must be in line with the objectives that the firm wishes to achieve.
Coulter (2009) notes that a firm with highly qualified employees, enough resources to run its projects, but with misplaced strategies and organizational culture will rarely achieve its goals. This can be attributed to the fact that good employees will be influenced by the poor organizational culture. Human is a social being that easily learns and acts as per what he or she is exposed to within the immediate environment.
This means that when the culture they are exposed to encourages laziness, they will always ignore their duties without fear of any serious consequences. Similarly, having the right policy with the needed resources, but without the right workforce will make it impossible to achieve its goals.
At Whole Foods Market, it would be true to state that there is high congruence in these factors of production and the strategy of the firm. This congruency has been achieved in various ways. As was mentioned in the introductory part, the strategy of this firm has been, to be dynamic in their products offering in the market as a way of attaining a competitive edge over its competitors in the market.
The first step that this firm has taken to ensure congruency in this firm is to hire the right workforce which understands the dynamic forces in the market and the importance to change with the changing environmental factors. The management has ensured that its workforce has the right qualification for the tasks ahead. The human resource management has been tasked with the duty of hiring employees who understand the emerging market forces.
This makes it easy for this team to change with the changing environmental factors. The management has also emphasized on the need for the employees to be sensitive on issues regarding environmental protection. According to Daft (2009), for a firm to be seen to protect its environment, its employees must work in a manner to show that they are concerned with the environment. They are the ambassadors of the firm, and therefore, its true reflection to the public.
For this reason, the management has created a culture of environmental conservation among its employees. A visit to any of the premises of this firm clearly demonstrates that this firm is serious when it comes to issues involving the environment.
It was stated that one of the input of this firm has been on protection of the environment through such activities such as corporate social responsibility. As Nadler and Tushman (1980) say, it may not be enough for a firm to support environmental groups either through donations or moral support. At times it might be necessary for a firm to have its presence felt fully in this fight. This presence will be a confirmation that the firm is determined to protect the environment using all its resources.
However, such ventures are always involving. The management will be forced to invest heavily in such project. The firm will need to invest its time, human resource, and financial resources in order to achieve the desired result. This approach is also very demanding because success of the firm in the project will determine how the firm is viewed in the market.
A careful analysis of Whole Foods Market shows that this firm has invested these inputs into such projects with massive success. This has acted as a way of promoting its products in the market. This is in line with the strategy of the firm in increasing its publicity.
The corporate social responsibility has enabled the firm to reach its customers directly. This makes it possible to develop personal ties with the customers (Gregory et al, 2007). The customers would like to identify with the firm due to the positive public image it shall create. These projects have also reduced the expenditure of this firm on advertisement and other promotional costs.
The reason for this is that the firm is always covered by the media station during such events without the need to pay the media station. The firm becomes a newsmaker in a positive way, and this increases its publicity in the market. This explains why this firm has been successful in the market.
The management has been keen on aligning other inputs with its strategy to ensure that it maintains its success in the market. To ensure that it maintains its dynamism in the market, the firm has been keen on adopting the emerging technologies in its operation process.
This has enabled the firm to change whenever environmental forces demands for this change. It is apparent that this firm has aligned its strategies with the type of workforce it has, the organizational culture it employs, and other inputs it uses in its operations to achieve its current success.
Coulter, M. (2009). Strategic Management in Action. New York: Pearson Higher Education.
Daft, R. (2009). Organization Theory and Design. New York: Cengage Learning.
Gregory, B. T., Armenakis, A. A., Moates, K., Albritton, M., & Harris, S. G. (2007). Achieving Scientific Rigor in Organizational Diagnosis: An Application of the Diagnostic Funnel. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research, 59(2), 79-90.
Kratschmer, P. (2011). Organizational Culture is Highly Resistant to Change. New York: GRIN Verlag.
Nadler, D. A. & Tushman, M. L. (1980). A Model for Diagnosing Organizational Behavior. Organizational Dynamics, 9 (2), 35-51.