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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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Date Created
2017-05

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From Big Mac to Maharaja Mac: An Examination of Brand Management Practices Across National Borders

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In recent years, trade restrictions have been lifted, national borders have opened up, and technology has improved. As a result, companies have been able to expand beyond their home countries and operate in foreign markets. This phenomenon has led to

In recent years, trade restrictions have been lifted, national borders have opened up, and technology has improved. As a result, companies have been able to expand beyond their home countries and operate in foreign markets. This phenomenon has led to the rise of multinational corporations. Although there are been a trend towards international pursuits, not all businesses have been successful overseas. Further, there is no foolproof way to guarantee that a company will be lucrative in other markets. Some large, well-known multinational corporations have experienced great success in their home markets as well as some foreign markets; however, the same companies have experienced defeat in other national markets. The international expansion strategy that a company must pursue in order to be successful in a foreign market varies depending on the company as well as the foreign market it is entering. For this reason, companies must tailor their foreign expansion strategies to each of the markets in which they operate. From Big Mac to Maharaja Mac: An Analysis of Brand Management Practices Across National Borders examines international business expansion, particularly looking at brand management practices utilized by an array of multinational corporations. This thesis aims to research, analyze, and pinpoint key international brand management strategies and then make recommendations for corporations that are currently operating in a single market but wish to expand their reach beyond their home market's national borders.

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2016-12

Make-A-Wish America: Marketing and Brand Management Analysis

Description

Make-A-Wish America has a world-renowned reputation as one of the best nonprofits in the world, and is widely known amongst many individuals looking to support or donate to nonprofits. Their work is not only a fundamental part of human services

Make-A-Wish America has a world-renowned reputation as one of the best nonprofits in the world, and is widely known amongst many individuals looking to support or donate to nonprofits. Their work is not only a fundamental part of human services care within the nonprofit world, but their unique online platform and social media presence is a differentiating factor among many other nonprofits and for-profit businesses alike. The purpose of this study is to research Make-A-Wish America’s brand management and marketing strategies as a nonprofit, including secondary research on the brand itself, analyze all environmental factors that affect its marketing strategy, assess their market segmentation, targeting, and positioning, and evaluate their integrated marketing communications strategy. Additionally, I conducted interviews with Make-A-Wish America professionals working within the brand management department at the national office. The individuals were interviewed with various marketing backgrounds within the brand department to gain a deeper insight into their individual experiences and assessments of Make-A-Wish America’s brand management and marketing strategy. My specific thesis goals include utilizing my marketing recommendations to grow Make-A-Wish America’s profits, specifically in actions to increase fundraising. Also, my thesis goal is to find recommendations to outperform competition in gaining supporters and donors as well as, more recently, analyzing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations on how they can grow despite this economic tragedy. The results suggest that there are common themes amongst my secondary research and primary research, resulting in marketing recommendations that Make-A-Wish America can utilize to better market to donors and supporters in the future, giving them competitive advantage over other nonprofits and combatting the effects of COVID-19. Recommendations for Make-A-Wish America include investing in their own research and development in terms of customer relationship management tools, online fundraising campaigns, and technology to better inform donors of their mission, vision, and values, diversifying their donor profile and targeted communities, and taking advantage of their point of parity within their social media online platform.

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Date Created
2021-05