5-1 Blog: Top Dog Versus Underdog

Microsoft vs. Apple

  • What is the brand strategy being used by the top dog? What is the brand strategy being used by the underdog?

Apple is using a strategy of uniformity, branding, quality, and style while Microsoft focuses on ubiquity. Microsoft is the top dog world wide, but nation wide, Apple beats Microsoft. As stated before, Microsoft focuses on ubiquity, which is why I believe it leads them to be the top dog world wide. But, because of what Apple chooses to focus on, it’s the exact reason they are more successful in America, than Microsoft.

  • How can the underdog improve is strategy so that it can gain more market share and surpass the top dog? Provide three recommendations.

I think one way that Apple could surpass Microsoft, worldwide, is to work on their price point and let it be more of a competition in price.
As far as Microsoft surpassing Apple in America, they could possibly work on their target market and design. Which, in my opinion, they have been improving significantly.

  • Why do you believe consumers prefer the top dog over the underdog? Which do you prefer why?

Worldwide, I think that consumers prefer Microsoft because of the price point. I have family in Poland, and when we spoke, I remember my cousin talking about how Apple is super hard to afford. While Apple is still expensive in America, they know how to target well and focus on the correct areas to make themselves very appealing to the American market. And now with majority of the cell phone companies, when you purchase the phone, you have the ability to pay on the phone monthly. As far as I go, I am an Apple user. I enjoy the compatibility between all of their products and the simplicity of it. I also love the appearance of their products. They offer slink, modern products.

References
Top 10 Business Rivalries

2-1 Blog: Under Armour: Where do We Go From Here?

  • In this case study article, what market segments were identified and what segmentation strategies were implemented?

I believe that the Under Armour campaign, “I Will What I Want,” used a demographic based segmentation. Demographic characteristics include age, gender, income, education, occupation, social class, marital status, household size, family life cycle, and culture or ethnicity. Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign was targeted toward an all women’s as well as using some women in unorthodox sports like ballet or modeling.

  • What do you believe four to five key points to remember when implementing segmentation strategies?
    • Market Segmentation: the process of dividing the large and diverse mass market into subsets who have similarities like common needs, characteristics, and/or behaviors.
    • Target market: where a firm’s marketing efforts are directed
    • Positioning: the process of communicating with target markets through the use of marketing mix variables — a specific product, price, distribution channel, and promotional appeal
    • Segmentation strategies — differentiated, micromarketing, mass communication, niche segmentation
  • Identify a new market segment that you noticed recently (during your own shopping experience online, in a commercial ad, or in a secondary resource, such as a magazine) that you believe would be a great market to explore. How might you create a segmentation strategy to reach this new market segment?

A new market segment that has been targeted to me recently that hasn’t before are clothing items specific to the southeastern conference. I think this is because I’ve taken over my company’s instagram account and we are a company heavily involved in the collegiate market. I also have been keeping up with the college football scores, so I google the games to find out the scores.  

 

References

Kardes, F. R., Cronley, M. L., & Cline, T. W. (2013). Consumer Behavior (2nd ed.). [Cengage Learning]. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305161689/ 

Saghian, M., & Murray, M (2016). Under Armour’s Willful Digital Moves. HBS No. UV7147-PDF-ENG. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing

1-2 Blog: Consumer Who? Consumer You!

  • What type of consumer are you?

I am definitely an individual consumer. An individual consumer is a person who purchases goods and services to satisfy their own personal needs and wants or to satisfy the needs and wants of others (Kardes, 2013, p.8)

  • What influences your buying decisions, and how?

Since I don’t have bills like rent/mortgage, electric, water, etc. my spending is a little less frugal than others. I tend to buy more things that I want than I probably should, however, the things that lead into actually purchasing something are packaging designs and whether or not I am interested in something. For example, with grocery items or beauty items, packaging is a big component in what product I choose. When it comes to clothing, such as graphic tees, then if it’s something I’m super interested in than I’m more likely to buy it, even if I don’t really need it. For example, the FRIENDS tv show is celebrating their 25 year anniversary this year, so a lot of companies are doing things with FRIENDS such as Pottery Barn, Target, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Which I have purchased something from each of those places. 

  • Which stage actually leads to your purchasing decisions?

Purchases activities is what actually leads to purchasing decisions. Purchase activities are those through which consumers acquire goods and services (Kardes, 2013, p. 9). This is everything from researching the product or service to the reviews of said thing. If I’m looking into making a bigger purchase like running shoes or paddle boarding or even activities in other cities, I research all I can to make sure I get the best quality of product and service within my budget.

  • When making a buying decision, how are you influenced by marketing research and marketing design?

I am highly influenced with marketing design. I think this stems from being a graphic designer, and naturally having an eye for things like this and then appreciating the work behind it. I have tried things I absolutely hate, just because I loved the packaging so much.

  • Do you experience any post-purchase behavior?

Post-purchase behavior is how a consumer feels after their purchase; whether they feel satisfied or dissatisfied (Boundless). Majority of the time my post-purchase behavior is positive, as I’m satisfied with my purchase. Very rarely am I dissatisfied, and that is due to my research prior to making purchases, especially big purchases.  

 

References

Boundless. (n.d.). Boundless Marketing. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-marketing/chapter/the-consumer-decision-process/

Kardes, F. R., Cronley, M. L., & Cline, T. W. (2013). Consumer Behavior (2nd ed.). [Cengage Learning]. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305161689/ 

Go Ahead, Run from Jesus.

 

prodigalson2

“How briefly Your holy people possessed Your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to You, as though we had never been known as Your people.”
Isaiah 63:18-19

Relate this to our salvation, our lives, and isn’t it the same? We say yes to Jesus. On fire. Fueled. Refreshed. Passionate. Motivated. Confident.
And then life comes, the enemy begins throwing things at you to destroy you, your walk, your faith, your reputation, but most importantly to curse God and stop following Him –
to “seem as though you never belonged to Him, as though you had never been His.”

But the beautiful thing is we live “post Jesus.” Jesus took care of it all on the cross. And I’m here to tell you, that if you truly know Jesus, that if you really have a relationship with Him, if you really are a son or daughter of the King, if you have experienced life, the saving grace of the cross, if you are no longer dead, but instead have everlasting life, that no matter how far you run, no matter how hard you try “to seem like you never belonged to Him,” He will not let the enemy destroy you, God will never stop pursuing you. And WHEN you turn back to Him, because you will, because you are a child of God at your core and a have a new heart that only beats for Jesus, your relationship with Jesus will have only gotten sweeter.

Now, you’re wondering, how am I so sure? How am I so confident that you will turn back and everything with Jesus will be better? Because I’ve lived it. I went from following Jesus with everything in me, to running as far as I possibly could in an instance. So, I get it. Life sucks. You don’t understand. Lost hope. Given up. Pissed. Hurt. Upset. Betrayed. Lost. I get it. I’ve been there, actually, sometimes, I’m still there. But Godis gracious and He reminds me that I am His child. He reminds me of the purpose He has put over my life. He reminds me of how He loves and how He will never stop pursuing. Ever.

So, child, I tell you, go ahead and run, but remember at the end of the day you will come back to your Father with open arms. So why not just start in that direction today?

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!”
Ephesians 2:4-5

Rain is Good

rain

Yesterday, for the first time in months, it rained. And it rained all day. It was dark and gloomy, all day. But yesterday, I was beyond thankful for the answered prayer for rain. Yesterday, every time I looked outside I couldn’t help but smile. It’s all about perspective.

Rain is cleansing. Rain brings the weakened, the ones barely holding on, back to life. Yesterday, most everyone was just as excited as I was about the rain. To drive in the rain, to walk in the rain, to feed their animals in the rain, because rain is a good thing. Sometimes I think in our lives we forget that rain is good. We walk through seasons of sunshine and rainbows that we forget we need to be cleansed by the storm.

Storms suck. End of story. However, I know for myself, I always come out stronger after a storm, I come out cleansed and refreshed. Rejuvenated.

So I’m here to tell you if you’re in a storm, a storm that maybe Jesus allowed you to walk through (Mark 4:35-36), remember He’s in the boat asleep (Mark 4:38). He’s got everything under control. So find rest and peace in Jesus being asleep in the boat in the midst of your chaos. Find peace in the fact that when the time is right, Jesus will tell the storm to cease and IT WILL (Mark 4:39). So for now, dance in the rain, find peace among the chaos of the storm, because on the other end of this rain, there is hope. There is life.

35 “As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.’ 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, ‘Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?’ 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’”

Mark 4:35-40

Life in the Uncertainty

uncertainty

Max Patch – November 19, 2016*

Very rarely in life do we live in certainty. I think sometimes we try and fool ourselves into thinking we are living in certainty, at least I know I do. But then something happens and we are reminded there isn’t anything certain in life. The only thing I am most certain about is where I stand with Jesus. I know Him and I have a relationship with Him. I know that when my time on earth is over I will be with Him, that I am certain about. Everything else in life? I don’t have a clue AND that’s okay. In the uncertainty of life it’s so easy to ask “God, where are you? Are you even listening? Are you still there?” The answer? He’s still there, He’s working, and He is most definitely listening.

About a week ago a friend and I decided to get up early and attempt to watch the sunrise at Max Patch. We were both going with the expectation and hope to see the beauty of the mountains and be in awe of the creation around us, instead all we saw was fog and smoke (if you live in or near east Tennessee, you know that there has been hundreds of forest fires in the Smokies). At first I was disappointed, but then in the midst of the cold, rain, wind, and fog my friend spoke something so beautiful.

God is still here, and even though I can’t see the beauty, I know there is beauty on the other side of the fog.

What beautiful truth and how relevant to the chaos of life. When we’re in the midst of the cloudiness and uncertainty of life we have to remember Jesus is still here and beauty is still out there, despite the fact that you can’t see it. The wind that morning was unbearably strong; so strong that you could almost lean into the wind and it would keep you up, but see, that’s how powerful God is. He wants us to lean into Him and He will keep us up. He will give us the strength to stand when it seems so unclear all around us and it seems as though our world is falling apart and we are just begging Jesus to give us some clarity.

So today, continue to pray and beg Jesus for clarity but remember that in the midst of the fog, rain, and wind. Jesus is there. In the midst of it all, there is beauty on the other side and there is a day coming when Jesus will part the fog and you’ll see the beauty. But for now, lean into Jesus, He’ll keep you up.

*Picture was taken from the trip to Max Patch – see how thick the fog was, yet still so beautiful. More pictures from that day, under photography.

Jesus > Worry

worry

Worry. Something that gets the best of most of us. Christian and non-christians. All of us, including myself. Worry, I do believe is one of satan’s greatest tool, because if he can get us to focus on the problem or the situation rather than on Jesus, he knows that we will dwell on it and it will eventually consume our minds and before we know it we’ve lost sight of Jesus. The giver of peace. The problem Solver. The one in control.

A couple of years ago I was at the beach and I was sitting in my chair at peace. As I sat there in this peace, there were birds around – walking around, flying around. For whatever reason they were just absolutely beautiful to me. These birds were diving into the ocean or digging their beaks into the sand for food. They weren’t worried that they weren’t going to find food. In that moment Jesus brought Matthew 6:26 to my mind.

Matthew 6:26 says:
“Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?”

Now, Jesus uses that moment in my life to remind me that I am worth much more to Him than the birds. So, if He takes care of the birds, of course He will take care of me and I should never doubt that — and neither should you.

HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.

Jesus specifically tells us to not worry later in the chapter.
In Matthew 6:33-34 says:
“But first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”

When we worry we give satan the satisfaction that we aren’t going to let Jesus use us to the fullest potential He has for us, because we aren’t focused on Him. We’re focused on our problems and how we may or may not be able to fix it. When we worry, we’re putting time and effort into the what ifs, the what could have beens, and the what could be. At the end of the day we can’t change the past, so why do we insist on dwelling on it as if we could change it. In verse 33 it tells us exactly how to not worry. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness AND He will provide. When we turn our focus away from worry and fix our eyes on Jesus, we’re freed from worry.