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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with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors.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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Nonnahs Consulting: Marketing Proposal

Description

This marketing proposal is designed to identify Nonnah Consulting's, a social media marketing company, current position of where they're at, where they want to be, and how they should get there.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05

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Rille & Co. Marketing Plan and Competitive Strategy

Description

Founded in November 2014, by owner Céline Rille, Rille & Co. is a creative studio that develops, implements and markets creative strategies for companies in hospitality, retail, entertainment, restaurant, and consumer product industries. Rille & Co. is coming to the

Founded in November 2014, by owner Céline Rille, Rille & Co. is a creative studio that develops, implements and markets creative strategies for companies in hospitality, retail, entertainment, restaurant, and consumer product industries. Rille & Co. is coming to the end of its first year of business, and it is crucial that the company examines the previous year and evaluates its strategy to continue success in the future. Organized into three key sections of analysis, the following marketing plan is intended to set the company up to achieve, and surpass, all goals in the coming years of operation.

First, the environment in which the company was operating in during its first quarter of business is examined, along with the strategies that were in place at that time. Included in this first section is also a comprehensive competitive analysis that examines how Rille & Co. fits into the competitive market. Next, the success of the initial strategy for Rille & Co. is analyzed through a SWOT analysis of the company’s standing as of Fall 2015. Finally, the third section of analysis contains key recommendations and alterations to the original strategy in order for the company to experience continual growth and success.

In all, if Rille & Co. implements the strategies outlined in this marketing plan, it should be able to continue business for years to come. The most important aspects of operation for the business are its internal organization, finding clients with the correct fit, and boosting its website’s SEO to better implement inbound marketing techniques. For an agency, it tends to be difficult to focus on these internal problems when clients’ needs come first. In this case, Rille & Co. must prioritize its own operations to better meet the needs of clients.

As Rille & Co’s first year of business is coming to a close, it is extremely important to note how far the company has come, despite any obstacles that made for an exciting first year. The agency is well on its way to achieving the standards of success it set for itself, but the agency’s success is also measured in its resilience and adaptability – necessary traits for any agency (or company, for that matter). With huge changes on the horizon, now is the time for Rille & Co. to demonstrate its resilience and adaptability again – coping with the loss of an integral employee and adapting to the needs of clients who may not be financially sound. The team should be proud of the work accomplished, and although it is the “end of an era,” Rille & Co. should prepare itself for the adventures that have yet to unfold.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-12

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UniEvents: A Centralized Event Marketing Platform for the Increase in Campus Involvement

Description

Arizona State University students are currently out of the loop when it comes to hearing about events being held in their community. This is because there is no established service that provides an inclusive list of both on and near

Arizona State University students are currently out of the loop when it comes to hearing about events being held in their community. This is because there is no established service that provides an inclusive list of both on and near campus events. What's worse is that the current methods for event marketing rely heavily on who one knows. Currently, ASU students hear about events through word of mouth, email chains, Facebook pages, and posters around campus. Thankfully, there is now an event marketing method that is available to everyone. UniEvents is a newly developed event service that live-tracks events around ASU's Tempe campus. UniEvents consists of a webpage that accommodates all screen sizes and is accessible by all devices including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. The website offers a user-friendly interface and useful features. Students are able to scan through event listings on a calendar or they can use an interactive map to find events nearest to them. Furthermore, UniEvents also offers the option for users to submit events to be advertised through the service. This way, students and organizations can easily spread the word about events on campus. Through UniEvents, ASU students will finally be able to see a conclusive list of upcoming events in one convenient site. Students will be able to save time and hassle by not having to rely on numerous sources to learn about events. UniEvents is committed to help students learn about events and get involved in campus activities!

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05