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Consider the corporation you have selected to use in your first three assignments. Identify one of the firm’s major competitors that you would consider working for.

Research the corporation on its own Website, the public filings on the Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR database, in the University's online databases, and any other sources you can find. The annual report will often provide insights that can help address some of these questions.

You will do a 15 minutes presentation to the Board of Directors of the corporation. Develop an eight to twelve slide PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes or record a video based upon Assignments 1 through 4. You may choose to compare your chosen corporation to a major competitor with whom you would like to work. You will make recommendations to the Board of Directors based upon your analysis and decision on why the corporation remains or is not a good fit for you.

Determine the impact of the company’s mission, vision, and primary stakeholders on its overall success as a competitive employer in the industry.

Create a SWOT analysis for the company to determine its major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Based on the SWOT analysis, outline a strategy for the company to capitalize on its strengths and opportunities, and minimize its weaknesses and threats.

Discuss the various levels and types of strategies the firm may use to maximize its competitiveness and profitability.

Outline a communications plan the company could use to make the strategies you recommend above known to all stakeholders.

Develop an executive level Power Point presentation with 8 -12 slides with speaker notes and appropriate graphics or professional video.

Assess efforts by this corporation to be a responsible (ethical) corporate citizen and determine the impact these efforts (or lack thereof) have on the company’s bottom line. Provide specific examples to support your response.

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Introduction

The assignment on analysis of business strategies of Amazon is prepared on basis of three constructs - business level strategy, corporate level strategy and analyzing the competitors of Amazon. The business level strategies are focused on the satisfaction of the customers by providing value to them along with gaining competitive advantage (Nakatani, 2018). The corporate level strategy is associated with the overall objectives and goal of the company through its mission and vision for the long-term. Hence, the difference between these two is simply operational tactics and long-term visionary goals for achieving the business objectives. Moreover, the competitive advantage analysis is conducted in the business level strategy for positioning the products or services in a competitive market. However, the competitive environment of a business is analyzed through Porter's five force model.

The assignment has conducted all the above evaluation for Amazon Inc. as this company has emerged as one of the leading online retailers all over the world. The company has become an online giant in the USA, UK, Australia and other countries. The success of Amazon is based on some long-term strategies which are meant as part of their corporate strategies. The corporate strategy of the company is based on its mission statement as well as strategic intents whereas the business level strategies are decided by the middle-level managers on region or geography basis (Adamides, 2015).

Business level strategy

The business level strategies involve the essence of customers with three constructs -who, what and how. The answer to three ‘WH' questions is necessary for setting up the business level strategy of any company for obtaining the result in practice. The main target of the business level strategy is to satisfy the customers for enhancing the business opportunity (Megehee, C.M. and Woodside, 2018). The business level strategies are responsible for gaining a competitive advantage over the rivals in the sector for an organization. The business level strategies are dependent on the four generic strategies - cost leadership, differentiation, focused low cost and focused differentiation. The first two strategies are suitable for targeting the mass market segment whereas the last two genres are essential for niche marketing (Padmanabhan, 2018). The cost leadership strategy helps the companies to compete over the price of the products by maintaining the affordable limit of the customers. in this strategy, the generic goods and services are used as the outcome at the lowest level of price. The management normally ensures the facilities efficiency at a high level, which becomes difficult for imitating by the competitors or controlling the cost of production and overhead (Chen, Eshleman and Soileau, 2016). In addition to this, some firms also reduce the cost of sales by employing innovation along with their in-house R&D. the cost leadership allows the firms to maintain all the intents of Porter's five force model. The intents of the five force model suggest to win over the rivalry, bargaining power of suppliers and buyers and threats from substitutes and new entrants. These intents could be beneficial through cost leadership model by a company where the generic products face perfect competition.

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The business level strategies for a firm could be achieved by applying differentiation strategy where the companies provide special values to the customers. The high quality of products or services, rapid innovation, advanced features and other valued services are provided for making the products or services differentiated from the competitors. Such a condition helps a lot to the firms for positioning the products or services competitively in the market (Parnell, 2016). The values are created by lowering the costs, performance and sustainability of the products of the firms, which allows enjoying the unique value chain of the competition. The focused low cost strategy is helpful for pricing strategy as well as to sell the products or services to a small segment only (Bentley-Goode, Newton and Thompson, 2017). This strategy is suitable for small companies along with competing over the small segment of the buyers with specific products. The focused differentiation is suitable for the niche market where differentiation has the target to fulfill the needs of a small number of customers. Thespecial needs of the customers are met through this strategy where the products or services are available on customized style by the firms. Hence, the focused differentiation gains momentum in a competitive market for the specialized needs of the customers (Saebi and Foss, 2015).

In this context, Amazon has adopted all of these strategies in its business-level strategy for satisfying its customers. The company is providing service of Web platform by its cloud service for B2B, ALEXA for the retail customers; these technology-based platforms for the customers are focused on cost and differentiation majorly to meet the needs of the customers. on the other hand, the Prime program ensures the timely delivery of the products to the customers, which is a differentiation strategy for satisfying the customers by means of creating values (Ir.aboutamazon.com, 2019). In this context, Amazon provides special discounts during festivals and other seasons, which ensures to meet the criteria of the customers to buy at a lower price. The pricing competition of low cost strategy is maintained by the company through providing discounts to the buyers. The strategy of employing the local suppliers is also served by strengthening Marketplace in Amazon, which provides access to the small and medium-sized businesses all over the world. The Amazon devices and Prime Video successively meet the requirement of technology-based service for specific customers.

Corporate level strategy

The corporate level strategy is known as setting up the mission and vision of the firm, which is evolved as the sustainability and long-term strategy of the management for the business (Adamides, 2015). Such strategies only provide direction to the management for meeting certain criteria for doing the business as well as setting the strategies for the business level. The management set the mission and vision of the company through the corporate level strategy that guides the operational level strategies and tactics of the companies. In this context, Birkinshaw(2016) has stated that the corporate level strategy asserts the business type and goal of the firm, which is the sole responsibility of the top management. The nature of the corporate level strategy is associated with the decisive and legislative where the sustainability is focused by the top managers. This strategy deals with the entire businesses of a company including all the subsidiaries or strategic business units. The focus of the company becomes optimization and growth approaching expansion, retrenchment and stability in the business for long-term (Arasti, Khaleghi and Noori, 2017). The corporate level strategy also decides the timing, direction and pace of the growth of the overall firms and how to become sustainable in long run.

In this context, the vision statement of Amazon is obtained from its investors' relations where the CEO of the company has uttered for becoming the most customer-centric company in the world (Christ, Burritt and Varsei, 2017). The vision statement has also designed the type of business as online retailing for the customers to buy anything online and discovering the same. The goal of the company is to offer the products to the customers at the lowest possible prices. The goal of the company has not changed yet, which was set since 1995. The mission statement of the company focuses on rendering service of high quality in an effective manner to the customers. The fulfilment of the stamen is observed in practice that has allowed the management to actively attain the mission by fulfilling the customer needs. The company has ranked first in both the US and UK market as a retailer for the last five years (Galpin, Whitttington and Bell, 2015). Moreover, the company's mission and vision statement have provided the support of developing a fundamental strategy of the business. These have also provided the advantage over the competitors such as Walmart, eBay, Apple and Costco Wholesale in the US retail market. The company's several acquisitions and business divisions have met these criteria since the beginning for satisfying the customers through finding the best possible products or services in the online market.

Analysis of competitive environment

The competitive environment of Amazon shows that the company has several competitors in different divisions of the company. the media segment has competitors such as eBay, Netflix, Time Warner Cable, Apple and Google. The electronics division competes with the Walmart Inc, Best Buy, Family Dollar, Big Lots Staples and SysteMacs. The general merchandise and electronics division faces the threat from Alibaba, Lightinthe Box, Vipshop Holdings, Overstock.com, JD.com, Zulily and Wayfair Inc. the web service of Amazon faces the challenge from several large entities in the world such as Oracle, PC connection, Salesforce.com, Accenture, Citrix Systems, CDW and others. The business of Amazon is so diversified that only one competitor does not meet all the divisions of the company as a competitor in any country. The competitive environment of Amazon has also justified as winner whereas the relation between stakeholders of the company and the management is at the top. The success of the company is levelled as high due to meeting all the criteria of competition and winning all of them every sector (amazon.jobs, 2019). Alibaba is the nearest possible competitor of Amazon currently in all over the world. This company is a Chinese based e-commerce company that provides the platform to sell products along with the business model of both wholesale and retail to the customers. the focus of the company is to deal with the customers through an online platform for every segment differently (Bhasin, 2019). The second competitor is Wal-Mart that is present in both the US and UK market through its retail operation. The company sells its products through both online and physical shops. However, Wal-Mart does not provide technology-based services to its customers. JD.com is another competitor that engages the customer through its online platform for buying the Chinese products and services to the customers and partners. eBay is another top e-commerce company in the USA that focuses on B2C and C2C e-commerce. The company provides an online market place for both the sellers and buyers where they can communicate with each other for internet shopping. Costco is a warehouse club that is contending as one of the largest competitors of Amazon for selling products at feasible prices to the customers (Bhasin, 2019). The warehouse provides discounts to the customers at special discounts for the diversified products. The newest and the most innovative competitor in this list is Netflix, which is the competitor of Amazon in the media segment. This company is selling its original media program over the internet as well as the movies and programs. The company has more than 117 million members across 190 countries and considered as the top contender of the media segment against Amazon.

The competitive environment shows that the fast cycle of a market would enhance the opportunity for Alibaba as it is a growing company in the retail segment. The similar fast growth would provide the opportunity to Netflix against Amazon in various emerging countries. However, slow growth of the business cycle in a specific market would provide the opportunity to Amazon as the company has plenty of funds and it may wait for longer to make the desired profit margin in a sector.

Conclusion

The assignment has covered all the strategic intents of Amazon here by evaluating both business and corporate level strategies of the company. The business level strategies of Amazon have shown that the management has adapted all types of strategies for satisfying the customers. Such strategies have allowed the company to serve a large number of customers all over the world. Moreover, this assignment has explained the corporate level strategy of the company. The significant movement of the company is observed with the corporate strategy as the management has employed to satisfying the customers as their main target. Hence, the strategy has evolved as the outcome for the company as they have stood first in both of the important markets of the USA and UK for the last several years. The competitive environment of the firm shows that no online retailers are providing such vast products and services to small businesses in the world. Only Alibaba meets certain criteria of Amazon up to a level as a competitor.

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