Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are often associated with Entrepreneurial Marketing (EM). However, in the present volatile market, EM is also relevant to large. Thus, in the beginning of this assignment, I will be looking at how large firms gave rise to EM concept.
Following that, I am going to analyse at how Dyson, a large technological organisation which specialise in designing and manufacturing household gadgets adopt EM or Entrepreneurial Marketing Processes (EMPs) into their business practice. This is because there are insufficient studies in analysing the strategic role of EM or EMPs in large organisations (Miles and Darroch, 2006). In addition, EMPs are essential for a firm to achieve competitive advantage.
Next, I am going to focus on intrapreneurship concept because in today's ever changing business world, large organisations who do not exercise intrapreneurship will fall behind. Hence, it is vital for large organisations to embrace it to gain profitability and flourish.
Finally, I will be concluding on the potential benefits that Dyson gains from the adoption of EM strategy.
According to Morris et al. (2002), EM concentrates on creating value through innovation with the belief that value creation is necessary for relationships and transactions. The marketer responsibility is to identify new sources of value for customers and yield value from unique resources. Thus, it can be deduce that EM is an extrinsic and customer oriented technique towards marketing (interacting, conveying, trading offerings that brings customers value) and exploiting entrepreneurial attitude, which is pursuing opportunity, innovative and aimed at adding value for customers.
Collinson and Shaw (2001) proposed that although EM is frequently related to SMEs, EM is pertinent to large organisations as well. In order to sustain in the increasingly competitive global market, large firms are starting to become innovative, have greater insight into customers and markets, adopt cutting edge technology and building on high growth. Pitt et al. (1997) found that several large firms acquire entrepreneurial attributes, which are not reflected in many SMEs once they start operating and expanding. Therefore, by examining how large firms maintain entrepreneurial spirit and exploit innovations, it will contribute to the development of EM concept.
A good example to study is Dyson, which progresses incrementally from a small start-up to a successful large organisation by seeking opportunity, paying close attention to customers' needs and visualising new and innovative methods to bring value as well as satisfying solutions to customers' lives (Kotler et al., 2004). As a result, this had led to the research of EM.
Entrepreneurial Marketing Processes (EMPs)
As mentioned, though EM is usually applied to explain the activities of SMEs, large organisations must also leverage on EMPs to retain competitiveness. In other words, EMPs that are implemented in large organisations will undertake marketing processes that include exploiting, creating and evaluating opportunity (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). Hence, a large organisation who adopts EMPs will be able to enhance existing customers' relationships as well as explore and take advantage of new opportunities to satisfy customers underlying and unmet needs (Miles and Darroch, 2006).
The elements of EMPs that large firms can utilise to attain competitive edge and foster entrepreneurship are discussed as below:
These organisations strive to meet their customers' needs. In addition, these organisations recognize that they are operating in a dynamic market environment where consumers are easily tempted to change to new product offerings and neglect the old ones. Thus, in order to sustain competitive product offerings, organisations need to build interpersonal relationship with existing consumers and continually pursue new consumers and needs. They will also need to continuously explore new product-market-technology space (Miles and Darroch, 2006).
In the case of Dyson, they have successfully leveraged on customer intensity through reading customers' minds and designing distinctive products that address their latent and unfulfilled needs. They are constantly proactive in offering new innovative products to solve consumers' problems, which other competitors ignore. Such as the bagless vacuum cleaner, that solve the issue of dust clog in the bag by using the centrifugal forces to remove the dust. Therefore, by understanding what consumers wants, it gives them a strategic advantage to generate unique design products that competitors are unable to provide resulting in them seizing a dominant share of the market and creating customer loyalty.
It is evident that a widespread of consumers have discarded Dyson competitors' products from Hoover and Electrolux. This is due to Dyson's high reputation for design, quality and ability to offer new products that is useful for consumers' everyday lives. Hence, customers are willing to make a switch and pay a premium price for their items (Jones, 2011).
Organisations aim to bring value to customers that are of superior value than competitors. Heightening the offerings benefits like product and service benefits or lowering the overall costs like financial, energy or time costs can aid in strengthening the value propositions (Miles and Darroch, 2006).
For example, Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner eliminate dirt effectively without clogging lead to reduce cleaning time and facilitate better cleaning experience. The installation of HEPA filter in the vacuum allow the consumers to be free from allergens while using it, especially the asthma people (Vacuumjudge, 2016). Thus, Dyson innovation driven to boost benefits has created value for its customers.
EMPs organisations are capable of leveraging internal and external resources to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.
Dyson founder, James Dyson leverage on external network resources to fund for his entrepreneurial initiative and internal intangible resources which is the creative innovation that other competitors are incapable to copy successfully (Henry, 2008). In addition, tacit knowledge established from Dyson employees, processes and culture carry intangible resources that are unable to transfer readily.
Risk is inevitable when innovation is involved. Thus, firms must manage risk carefully in order to prevent costly mistakes (Jolly, 2002). (Venkataraman, 1997; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000) advised that organisations should adopt rational and calculated risk.
According to Miles and Darroch (2006), risks are reduced through partnership collaboration, as this will present organisations with complimentary capabilities and risk spreading to other parties.
However, Dyson managed risk by prototyping and visualisation. Early and regular prototyping help them to test and evaluate ideas for informing their next action thereby reducing risk. Visualisation methods comprising physical figures, video or computer based renderings helps to depicts how future products will be used in life even before they exist. Integrating innovation together with prototyping and visualisation aid Dyson in improving and learning the ideas hence minimizing the risk (Jolly, 2002).
Organisations utilise innovation to influence the creation of new opportunities and value propositions for consumers (Miles and Darroch, 2006).
Product innovation is one type of innovation that Dyson had adopted in their business. For example, the dual cyclone technology was formed to design a more effective vacuum cleaner. The functions of the bagless vacuum cleaner differ from the traditional ones. Instead of extracting dust into the bag from a fan, Dyson uses industrial cyclone tower to empty dirt and deposit it into a transparent container. Thus, this is a great innovative product as a household appliance that enables consumers to view innovation at work (McGraw-Hill Education, 2016).
Sahlman (2007) states that opportunities for innovation are driven by negative circumstances. Organisations that pursue this factor will have beneficial effects on business growth.
This is reflected in Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner, where James Dyson discovered that the vacuum cleaner could not pick up dust properly on the floor and is losing suction. Instead of seeing it as a problem, he regarded it as an opportunity to resolve the issue and make it even better. Hence, driven by opportunity it enable capabilities and innovations to be exploited leading to success for the business.
Dyson had also seized opportunity in the hairdryer market. Typical hairdryer are prone to having poor airflow and tendency to damage the hair. This had led Dyson to acknowledge the problem and grab the opportunity to improve further, resulting in innovating new product that tackle the problem consumers are facing. Therefore, leaving huge impact on the market, changing consumers' expectations and lifting the reputation of Dyson (Evans, 2016).
EMPs firms is better at exploiting opportunities than other firms. In other words, the earliest to discover and exploit opportunities in the market, product or technological field. The marketing initiatives of EMPs firms tend to serve as a cue for competitors to follow (Miles and Darroch, 2006).
Being highly observant in every situation enables Dyson to identify opportunities that other organisations have yet to discover. For example, James Dyson noticed a potential to market in the bagless vacuum cleaner industry by designing a simple to use cleaner. His proactivity can be portray through the perseverance towards development and innovation whereby numerous bagless vacuum cleaner prototypes was created before he arrived at the ideal one (DuBrin, 2013). The launch of the bagless vacuum cleaner that offer new value propositions resulted in a successful disruption into the vacuum cleaner marketplace.
The global success pose threats to Dyson, which is imitation from competitors as competitors view Dyson's products as a formula for success so by imitating them, they perceived it would be equally successful for their own firms.
Intrapreneurship refers to entrepreneurship that exist within a firm. In other words, it is the implementation of entrepreneurial attitudes and strategies inside a firm of any sizes, resulting in new business ventures and innovation (Antoncic and Hisrich, 2001).
The bureaucratic structure of large organisations tend to hinder innovation from taking place, leading to the possibility of being outweigh by other competitors in the harsh business environment. Thus, managers must encourage intrapreneurship by allowing employees to brainstorm great ideas and having a creative vision for the organisation in order to generate innovation that will result in a competitive edge and success for the firm in the long term.
Intrapreneurial firms are involve in four elements of intrapreneurship. Firstly, business venturing is based on starting new businesses in an existing firm. Secondly, innovative refers to the development of new products, technologies and services. Thirdly, self-renewal concentrates on reformulating strategy, reorganisation and firm transformation. Lastly, proactive indicates managers' eagerness to take action and risk, being daring and actively competitive (Antoncic and Hisrich, 2001). These four elements are relevant to the intrapreneurship concept concerning Schumpeter's theory of innovation.
Schumpeter identifies five forms of innovation that contribute to the foundation of entrepreneurship. First, is the establishment of a new good or substantial improvement of a good where consumers are not aware yet or the enhanced of a good. Next, is the establishment of new production method, which have yet to be analyse by any production lines. Followed by the launch of a new market that has not been entered previously by other manufacturers. Then, taking over supply of raw materials of a new origin or partial manufactured goods. Lastly, developing new industrial organisation through franchising (Dabholkar, 2010).
Dyson had demonstrated the above qualities of intrapreneurship such as the radical innovation of the world's first bagless vacuum cleaner. The conventional vacuum cleaner that easily lost suction due to the dust collected quickly in the vacuum cleaner bag has now been drastically improved into a dual cyclone vacuum cleaner that eliminate dust efficiently without a bag. Behind the success of the bagless vacuum cleaner, come numerous incremental innovations that were put forward by Dyson. James Dyson came up with the idea of bagless vacuum cleaner through his knowledge of centrifugal forces (Short and Harris, 2014). This idea builds on the basis for innovation and was translated into action. Dyson organisation practices bottom up management approach whereby autonomy was provided to employees to have the power and responsibility to seek intrapreneurial actions (Dyson and Coren, 1997). For example, Dyson employees are given the ownerships to create their own vacuum cleaner. After which, they provide feedback of their design process. This promotes innovation throughout the organisation.
In addition, Dyson has been continuously improving existing technology and developing new inventions that meet the consumers' needs. Despite near bankruptcy during the development periods, James Dyson never stinted to get their design patent to protect company's intellectual property rights. Although several manufacturers have turned down Dyson new invention, James Dyson was never discouraged but rather keep on licensing it. Eventually, he obtained a license from Japan and used the money to finance his research and development (Bessant and Tidd, 2015).
Dyson has adopted Schindehutte and Morris (2010) EM strategy 1 “Every battle is won before it is ever fought”. This strategy emphasis on knowing one's own abilities and susceptibility along with insight of the competitors. It also relies on guerrilla marketing tactics, that is identifying a niche for the firm and make it entrenched before announcing to the market segment in order to acquire tactical advantage. Large firms in their market development phase, apply this strategy to introduce new products and geographical domain. Weaker firms create new value propositions to outwit their competitors in the aggressive marketplace.
Dyson understand their competitors are market driven focus while they are technological driven oriented. They invest significantly in research and development to produce new technology that enable better functioning of the products as compared to competitors' traditional approach of outspending, which only brings short-term satisfaction without solving the root of the problem.
Besides that, Dyson focus on a niche market within the home appliances industry. They strongly leverage on innovation and design to develop new invention and even solve existing household problems faced by consumers that yet to be resolve by other competitors. Thus, making a great impact in the market segment of vacuum cleaners.
The continuous emphasis on the EM strategy would emanate potential benefits for Dyson such as by providing distinctive and high quality products that other competitors are unable to offer, they will stand to gain a foothold in the turbulent market.
In addition, Dyson uses high-end technology to develop innovative products such as the utilisation of cyclone technology to create a bagless vacuum cleaner that have powerful suction to effectively suck up any particles which other competitors are inferior of producing this superior result. Therefore, this can create value proposition for the consumers and allow them to boost their brand name.
Furthermore, through observing what customers need (clean floors or powerful and silence fan), Dyson was able to generate innovative solutions (bagless vacuum cleaners and bladeless fan) to satisfy customers' demand. Thus, by leveraging innovation to cater to customers' needs, it will create competitive advantage that will help company gain a superior market position and produce high financial returns beyond their competitors over time (Miles and Darroch, 2006). Moreover, satisfied customer will bring about customer satisfaction, which will in turn retain customers and strengthen brand reputation for Dyson in the long run.
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