Competitive analysis has become important and necessary for every industry to understand their current strength, future expectancy and potential to perform more better and efficient with the product. This essay will about the competitive advantage and future potential for Greggs which is the leading bakery retail chain and also deals in the coffee products(Faziharudean, 2012). This company is headquartered in United Kingdom in the year 1939. This assessment will talk about how organisation position themselves as according to their current abilities and potential in the market, This assessment will also talk about measures could taken to increase competitive advantage and profitability in the market. Apart from this, this essay will give clear-cut understanding of what functional area's such as marketing, finance, operation and human resource. This assessment will tell what makes a brand more different from others.
Greggs is the largest bakery chain which is specializes in food products such as bakes, sandwiches and sausage and desserts such as vanilla slice, doughnuts and sugar muffins etc. There main operations also lies in the coffee serving sector to their customer. It was identified that Greggs coffee product's has been increased a lot and gain market reputation and customer experience for different taste and flavour etc. This retail chain started their operation in the basic bakery products such as puff's and burger, but they expanded their business by 50 percent in last two decades. Now a days, beverages are highly used products in café's, restaurants an other bakery setup. Market has become competitive for every organisation in this specific sector(Moghavvemi, 2016).
Along with Greggs, there are other major players such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Cafe Nero, who are operating with same motive to gain competitive advantage and find opportunities for future expansion. Starbucks is the largest coffee chain across the globe and its position and stand for expanding their business with cutting down market share of other brands is very visionary. Hence, Greggs needs to understand potential and realize customer needs from the coffee chain. Competitive advantage and strong market position can be gained by offering larger value to the customer than their competitors either at the lower prices or provide effective and utilized quality of the products & services. Greggs has position themselves on the basis of what quality of coffee product, they are offering and what is the satisfaction level of their customer(Carmona‐Moreno, 2012).
When it comes to analyse competitors, Greggs has adopted several strategies such as realize what other company are offering to their customer and what is the core level of service with post evaluation policies such as feedback, opinion and views etc. Positioning is the process of establishing an image or identity of the brand or any product so that particular customer it in an positive and proper way. In context with Greggs, they have put emphasize on analysing the internal environment of an organisation and its impact on customer engagement in their outlets. Such analysis can be possible with the help of VRIO model which says about the importance of the company's resources which will enhance their potential in their services and products to enhance maximum customer experience and response. Greggs offers main popular coffee products such as Brazilian coffee, cold coffee and hot coffee along with the snacks and cookies. The term called “Word of Mouth” has been used by Greggs, which means, if they would make positive thinking and experience to the customer, the chances are relatively high that satisfied customer will create Word of mouth to other people to use that product even once. This strategy has been proven correct and suitable for organisations who are working hospitality and food & beverage industry. On other side, they have adopted strategies such as search engine optimization, attracting and influencing people through social media platform such as Facebook and Instagram etc. Also, their distribution and supply chain management has improved a lot to make availability of their coffee's products more ease and satisfactory. Greggs provides their customer way and chance to realize and decided, what they are looking for. All these strategies are adopted by Greggs to position themselves to build their brand image and customer's positive response for their coffee products. For effective competitive advantage, Greggs Plc needs to follow proper and effective management decision making. An organisation can achieve competitive advantage in their business by two different ways: Greggs could perform and change in PEST factor such as political, economical, social and technological etc. This can be possible by the help of making rules and regulation to co-operate with affecting and continues change in business policies and rules. For effective positioning itself, Greggs uses competitive advantage methods namely cost advantage and differentiation advantage. Cost advantage generally talks about the similar product at the much lower prices. In context with Greggs, they have lower down the price of their existing coffee products along with giving several discounts and offer on such products. On the other side, they also gives preference to the differentiation advantage. They are selling premium Uganda based which is regarded most costlier product. Hence, it is termed as premium product.
They sold their existing product such as black forest coffee which is regarded as the premium product with the hot chocolate. They are charging 70 pound for it. Hence, this product would help Greggs to compete and fight with other brand such as Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Costa Coffee etc. Along with this, they are also position themselves on the basis of how they respond to the particular customer in very shorter period of time(Martínez‐del‐Río, 2016).
In order to gain competitive position, they are working together with full support of their functional area such as Human resource, marketing, finance and operation management etc. In context with Greggs, every functional Dept. should work in the collaboration to achieve their desired goals efficiently. Marketing is one of the most effective and functional area when there is requirement to gain competitive position. Operation and marketing area of Greggs both should work in collaboration to receive competitive advantage such as cost advantage, value proposition to the brand and services delivery at the fullest etc. First of all, every activities related to the development of the brand, a key resource is required that is “potential workforce: which is the duty of human resource Dept. In Greggs, operational task such as service quality management, checking the inventory level and managing operation workforce in order to gain perfect position in discovering products and services to get competitive advantage in the market. Combination of marketing and human resource department will be suitable to hire skilled and effective employee's and manpower to assign them task to enhance brand image and position in the market. Greggs needs to raise investment of 40000 pounds to setup new outlets for company's further expansion and rising of their image. Resource management is the effective technique and methods to circulate resources and material during the time of production or coffee making process. In Greggs, it is the duty of the operation manager to maintain the customer flow and customer services to build positive image/reputation of the brand. In accordance with competitive advantage, it is most important task to gain value addition to the coffee product. In context with Greggs, their marketing unit have assigned the task to establish brand image and value proposition by doing various marketing activities such as advertisement, sales promotion and customer response scanning by evaluating the social media and methods. Greggs operation department needs to look at customer service by providing them pure and satisfactory products(Céspedes‐Lorente, 2017).
Greggs uses innovative techniques such as maximum use of technology, In-store display for different variety of coffee, e-payment gateway and electronic ordering through Mobile Apps. This has made services more ease and led customer satisfaction at their main priority. Greggs has adopted the strategies to hire most skilled and talented manpower through internal and external recruitment techniques. As, Starbucks is the leading coffee retail chain and also they have skilled and highly professional staff who treat their customer in the most appropriate and suitable manner to raise customer satisfaction and fair experience. Greggs is the leading bakery retail chain in entire United Kingdom, but they are focusing on getting competencies and business strength to at-least cover break even point to ensure maximum and subsequent. There products are different from Starbucks, Cafe Nero etc. They provides coffee cup along with crunchy snacks and spices. Still, their services are not optimized as compared with Starbucks, they are currently in the stage of business and services expansion by bringing innovation and creativity in their process.
They uses Word of Mouth strategy to enhance more customer engagement and motivation to buy and purchase Greggs coffee product. In the current business scenario, it has proven right that when one person communicates to the other person, it will sound impressive and motivating to at-least try once. Greggs perceives value addition by taking feedback, opinion and views of the customer by paper and electronic forms. They believes in understanding and responding their customer's through digital communication such as Email marketing, SMS, websites and mobile apps etc. There continuous focus lies on doing frequent research and analysis about their existing customer or scope for new base of people and also targets them through strong and white water sales promotion. Promotion such as weekly coupons, discount and cashback has led customer move to the brand and its related product and services.
Greggs Plc have respond the market in both positive and negative manner. In positive, where new product has been introduced by the company and on the same hand, new competitors has been arise for Cafe Nero and Costa Coffee etc. In response to this, still Greggs needs to implement strategic planning to tackle the big brand like Starbucks, who is still leading the coffee and beverages market by promoting their products and services on the global level and stages. They uses effective customer satisfaction and experience approach in which they use to regular feedbacks and review from the customers. In the recent years, Greggs has made investment and funds to acquire other local coffee outlets.
This strategies has led them earning existing customer base and strength of the acquired coffee outlets. The benefits is that, in case of monopoly, this decision making would give Greggs to deal with any kind of consequences such as loss making to the existing coffee outlets and stores, break even analysis, improper resources allocation etc. In context with Greggs, organisation needs to be well-equipped with proper strategies and plan to enhance competitive advantage and business expansion of the company. Also, company needs to implement policies to take and receive price and cost advantage.
From the above assessment, it is concluded that understanding competitive advantage of company is important to know current and future potential to raise and enhance business and its suitability for the longer period of time. Functional area such as marketing, human resource, finance and operation have to work in collaboration to find and understanding the requirement. In my opinion, companies needs to unique and separate from other brands. Such uniqueness should be noticed from company's products & Services and effective quality to the customer and at the affordable cost and prices. In my opinion, it is also concluded that competitive advantage and enhancing the potential is required to maintain and carry on with value addition and effective quality to the customer.
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