Monday, September 30, 2019

Driving Consumer Needs: Evaluating the Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman Essay

Introduction Wal-mart has transformed the corporate and consumer culture in America and the rest of the world- by focusing on its corporate mission of Very Low Prices, Always, Wal-mart placed itself as a fixture in the everyday lives of millions of people. Fishman (2006) in his book The Wal-Mart Effect shows us exactly how Wal-Mart figures in everyday corporate and consumer lives making it the biggest and most influential company in the world today. This paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the book using a sociological perspective particularly on how the author characterizes the impact of Wal-Mart in our contemporary society. Significantly, Fishman had successfully presented us with the positive and negative impact of Wal-Mart both on the business and consumer front. Moreover, to a considerable extent, Fishman was able to show how the interplay of society’s many forces can yield both positive and negative effects. The Wal-Mart Effect Fishman (2006) characterized the economic power of Wal-Mart: it is bigger than ExxonMobil, General Motors and General Electric and rakes about US$244.5 bullion sales in 2005 and it outcasts the competition by selling in three months what the number two retailer Home Depot sells in one year. Rich with anecdotes and stories, the primary thesis of Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect is that there is a price that needs to be paid in order to have the cheapest possible prices in everyday Wal-Mart stores- and this price significantly affects the greater part of the American as well as the global society in that Wal-Mart pushes its suppliers and employees to take the negative side of providing its customers with the lowest prices. The fundamental strength of the book is the ability of Fishman to dissect the core strategy of Wal-Mart in lieu with the consumers’ demands. Wal-Mart is projected by Fishman as merely an instrument in feeding the need of consumers for very low prices- or paying for something with almost nothing. Even consumers’ who rejects the cheap prices at Wal-Mart is shown by Fishman to spend at least US$450 a year at Wal-Mart- a proving testimony that consumers are willing to sacrifice the quality of products in order to get the cheapest prices. Furthermore, Fishman successfully showed how Wal-Mart fosters a business relationship with its suppliers and its competing companies- suppliers and other companies are powerless in lieu with the invincibility of Wal-Mart in the retail sector. Almost all companies’ sells at Wal-Mart- being the number one retail store in the country, companies cannot afford not to sell at Wal-Mart. Fishman contends that despite the negative impact of Wal-Mart on the suppliers’ end, they choose to sell at Wal-Mart because not selling at Wal-Mart would mean losing their biggest clientele. Interestingly, Fishman provides the readers with an entertaining work through the illustration of examples. For instance, Fishman showed that while Wal-Mart is a very powerful player in the retail industry, not all suppliers and companies are scrambling for Wal-mart to sell their products. Fishman (2006) illustrated the case of Snapper, the maker of quality and durable lawn mowers where the CEO had refused to sell at Wal-Mart because of the incompatibility of their corporate values with that of the company. Selling prices at almost the same level of the production cost would mean sacrificing the quality of the products- not to mention the salary cuts and the ends to which suppliers would go through just to meet the price that Wal-Mart dictates for their products. Thus, this leads to the fourth argument of Fishman- the cost of low prices for Wal-Mart consumers is manifested in the very low wages of its employees, driving its suppliers to lower their employees’ wages themselves and prompting others to make production in sweatshops exploiting children and workers in third world countries, and in driving the mania of consumers for low-priced but products stripped of the product quality that corporations have initially offered. While Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect is essentially driven by the popularity of Wal-Mart, its primary weakness lies in its inability to provide a deeper evaluation of the long-term impact of The Wal-Mart Effect on the consumers. For one, the benefits of Wal-Mart to the consumers is not long-term in nature, Fishman however, did not explore this topic. Moreover, Fishman neither provided a business and sociological framework that shows how Wal-Mart is perceived in the greater part of the society and how Wal-Mart perceives its consumers. Wal-Mart has been a subject of many commentaries and success stories in the business world. For consumers, Wal-Mart is like a haven and similarly, the literature has also projected Wal-Mart on all the positive qualities that can be given to a company. Fishman (2006) in his book provided us with the good and the bad effects of Wal-Mart- whether it is more positive or negative; the author does not say but argues that the impact of Wal-Mart on world markets is very vast. The impact is such that an American eating a Salmon from Wal-Mart significantly affects the economy of Chile. What Fishman (2006) shows is not just the business side of Wal-Mart but its larger impact on the American and world society in general. For one, Wal-Mart significantly dictates the economies of most countries because of their ability to dictate the supplier of their products. Hence, Wal-Mart’s goal for low prices is not a simple mathematical formulation- it involves the interplay of the society’s political, economic and sociological actors. According to Fishman, in their bid to get the lowest prices, consumers are suffering both in terms of quality and in forcing suppliers’ and their workers to cut down on operational and production costs. On the other hand, political institutions are being pressured by Wal-Mart to submit to their demands because of the possible change in a country’s economy once Wal-Mart decides to do business with them. Fishman’s audience spans all individuals regardless of gender, age or socio-economic status. This is because Wal-Mart spans all sociological barriers as well- businesses, suppliers, workers, housewives, even the young adults and adolescents are all familiar with Wal-Mart as a part of their everyday lives. Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect is therefore more than just an interesting book; it presents an open-minded presentation and analysis of Wal-Mart and its impact on the greater society. By illustrating examples, Fishma’s the Wal-Mart Effect succeeded and how it had benefited the common American in providing low prices and at the same time, illustrated the cases of Wal-Mart’s suppliers and how Wal-Mart has twisted their corporate values in order to adhere to their own. Using simple illustrations, Fishman was able to tell us that Wal-Mart gives what the consumers ask for- cheaply priced products. However, he also showed the cost of these low prices- sweatshops, measly wages for its employees, changing corporate goals and driving consumers to demand for cheaper products. Feeding this type of consumer system is the goal of Wal-Mart and it is the very reason why consumers are rewarding the company. While Fishman is a journalist, he offered his viewpoints using investigative journalism means and with scholarly ethics not to go overboard. The goal of Fishman is not to show the myth surrounding Wal-Mart but rather to offer an alternate view on how the company operates and how it achieves its goals. Notably, Fishman was successful in providing a book that covers not just a description but rather a deeper understanding of how Wal-Mart works and how it affects every individual and the society. Conclusion   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect does not offer to provide the scholarly or deeper understanding of the success of Wal-Mart but rather it seeks to present a more balanced view of how Wal-Mart strives to give cheaper products to the consumers. Using an easy-read tone of writing, Fishman captures the imagination and the interest of its readers and takes them into a journey of the different facets and strands of the company. Fishman succeeds in providing the details that readers need in order to form their own conclusion. While most part of the text is judgment-free, one is left asking how the biggest company in the world has achieved that much power to change the very society that created it. Reference Fishman, C. (2006) The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Really Works–and How It’s Transforming the American Economy. The Penguin  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Press: 294 pages.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Peace in Eastern Religions Essay

All Eastern religions have their own ideas about engendering peace within individuals and society. Jainism and Buddhism insist on the protection of all life. Confucianism permits war whenever reality would not allow for absolute peace within society. Daoism, on the contrary, rejects war by almost equating tranquility with the true nature of humanity. It is reasonable, therefore, to pose the following questions: Do all people love peace? If so, why do we have to discuss the subverting of hatred? As a matter of fact, all people cannot find peace until and unless they have come to believe in certain peace-inducing thoughts, such as ahimsa of the Buddhists. All religions propose peace with their particular sets of beliefs. Followers of the religions are required to know the thoughts of their peace-loving leaders, however, before they can find absolute peace within themselves. There is no religion without knowledge, which is why a Jain must know the basic beliefs of his or her community before peace could be practiced in the form of complete nonviolence. I believe that the â€Å"inner peace† proposed by Buddhism is the most important definition of peace. This is the kind of peace that is available to all, regardless of our levels of education. Even before an individual has realized the peace-inducing thoughts of the Buddha, or another religious leader, â€Å"inner peace† is essentially available. Moreover, nonviolence is best practiced with â€Å"inner peace. † If this kind of peace is not available to an individual, he or she may find it difficult also to understand the nonviolent practices of the religion. After all, an agitated and wrathful mind would not be able to practice nonviolence in the best possible way. Despite the fact that Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism, Smith-Christopher (1998), the editor of Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions, has positioned the chapter on Buddhism before the chapter on Hinduism. This allows the reader to understand the origins of Buddhism after reflecting on the religion. Most importantly, however, the placement of the chapter on Buddhism before the chapter on its origins allows the reader to be introduced to the concept of â€Å"inner peace† earlier on. This is an indispensable form of peace without which no concept of nonviolence is possible to be understood. Seeing that the subject of the book is the practice of peace, it would have been appropriate also to place the chapter on Buddhism as the first chapter in the book – simply for an understanding of â€Å"inner peace. †

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Breaking Up Essays (256 words) - Deep As The Sea, Consquence

Breaking Up She cried, cried on my shoulder and asked me for a chance, a chance to be with her again. But her simple request was finally refused. Before seeing her tears, I couldn't know how deeply she loved me. If her tears and her love to me is postively related, she loved me as a mother loves her only son. But why did she treat me as her friend, her helper, her listener, just sometimes her boyfriend? he saying that we never care the things we now enjoy is true. When I loved her as deep as the sea is, she didn't care me much. Now when I am tired to her, she asked me for a chance to care me as much as she had never done. But it is too late. romises are nice, but hardly kept, and they should not be easily made, or disappointments are expected. Her tears made me feel sorry and guilty, but nothing more than that. She wanted me to love her as I did before by her tears, but she failed. t is fated that I and she should be friends only. But we didn't believe this fate, and now we have been tasting the consquence we should have, which left us unrecoverable wounds on my heart and hers. At this moment I don't ask my lord for anything, except a quick recovery for her. lthough her tears were out of her eyes one by one, dropping on my right shoulder, my decision was not melted.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Fundamentals of Natural Science Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Fundamentals of Natural Science - Essay Example Earlier, it was noted that scientific studies made the presence of gene and their transmission from one generation to another. But with the increased progress of scientific research allowed understanding regarding the mechanism in which genes would work (Bunch & Hellemans, 2004). The process of scientific research to renew the facts about mechanism of operation of gene in the body was greatly debated. Initially, researchers believed that it was impossible to find the particles and molecules making up several arrangements. Later on, it was observed that scientists made use of three-dimensional structure of DNA to evaluate the biochemical functioning (Treichel, 2008). By 1930s, scientists found out the correlation between the chromosomes and linkage of different molecules which ultimately led in the development of scientific study noting the mechanism in which genes work. This progress in the scientific study led in the correct knowledge of cytological information. During the experimentation for evaluating mechanism of genes, it was observed that new born babies had dominating features from the families of their parents. This made it evident that the mechanism of genes was greatly controlled by some other component of gene. It was for this reason that Walter Flemming studied the addition of another component in genes. Walter discovered that every cell had a nuclein which was also controlling the cell nucleus. But even then the relationship between both the components was not established with practical experimentation (Bunch & Hellemans, 2004). In order to understand as to why babies had exactly the same features as family side including eye color and other facial features, Oscar Hertwig conducted experimentation. It was noted in his experiment of observing sea urchins. The reason behind his consideration of sea urchins as the best experimental subject because its eggs are relatively bigger in size and are

Thursday, September 26, 2019

ENRON Ethical Breach Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

ENRON Ethical Breach - Research Paper Example Its stocks continued to increase at a modest rate, but in 1999 – 2000, investors saw a sudden 87% increase in 2000, which coupled with the company being named the most innovating company in America, meant the future prospects for the shareholders seemed excellent. Unfortunately, it was revealed in October 2001 that this almost sudden increase in investors’ confidence was due to accounting loopholes and fraudulent auditing, which allowed the company’s shares and returns to be appearing more favorable than they actually were. This ethical breach included the involvement and dissolution of Arthur Andersen, one of the most famous auditing firms of the world at the time. There is no reason to believe that Enron participated in corrupt practices since its inception in 1985, rather, evidence indicates that the ethical breach that lasted about a decade began several years later, when Jeffrey Skilling was hired and a team of executives was developed to cater to the accoun ting needs of the company. Since most of the work done by this group of individuals was either difficult to understand, or too complex to be looked into, many loopholes, special entities that otherwise would not have been allowed, and poor financial auditing allowed billions of dollars of debt to be hidden from the public eye. Obviously, an act that is criminal for such a huge public company to carry out. This lack of â€Å"visible debt† meant the company continued to prove profitable, and confidence coupled with investment continued to increase. Studies that were done on the ethical breach carried out by the company showed that it was not the method of corruption employed by people running the company, or the auditors in charge of producing honest financial reports. Rather, it was seen as an accumulation of negligence and misleading details in reports that finally spiraled out of control, and resulted in the demise of a company that not long ago had proved to be immensely pr omising. The ethical breach that has been described as one of the biggest scandals of corporate America involved misrepresentation of financial statements and records that enabled the firms returns and revenues to appear higher, losses to appear lower, and balance sheets to skew towards favorable performance. The auditing firm, Arthur Andersen, clearly did not do their job properly, and they were possibly influenced by Enron into reporting heavy inflow of cash, and putting away the liabilities and debts that the company had undertaken. Other than the fact that the executives entered deals which were extremely complex and bewildering to be clearly understood by many people, the â€Å"clever† accountants that worked for the company used many unethical practices to achieve their ends (McLean & Elkind, 2004). Enron misrepresented revenue recognition to make it seem as though they were bringing in more cash than they were on their services. For example, until September 2001, just a month before their exposure, Enron reported revenues of over 138 billion dollars. Moreover, the company switched from straightforward presentation of revenues (selling price minus costs) and employed the Mark-to-market accounting, which they believed showed the true economic value of their company. Investors were often given

Book Review Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Book Review - Essay Example Therefore the author tries to bring out that the use of these social tools has significant importance in improving business operations and more importantly creating your own social nation and individual, manager or a team leader. The book is generally written on the marketing, business and economics point of view. In these identified perspectives in which the book is written a social assessment of employees, managers and leaders is provided where they can evaluate scientifically their personal competencies and social skills. The author brings a conceptual framework of this relying on well-known case studies in the corporate business world on how the social principles and practices can be adopted by businesses in order to succeed. The author gives information, explaining and convincing the readers and the audience that the underlying social strategies and principles are very essential to the organization. They are essential because it helps integrate the social skills into the leaders hip practices and managerial operations of the organization (Libert 96). It helps organizations to overcome challenges and risks faced by organizations in becoming successful. They aid in gaining competitive advantage and social intelligence through listening, measuring and understanding outcomes of the investments in relation to partners, employees and customers. The social practices and strategies ensure that new social leadership forms is adopted in the various departments in the organization. Finally, the author brings this importance by asserting that organizations are able to realize the return on investments and the economic benefits that can be accrued from the development of new goods and services. Therefore, it can be argued that the author through social nation convinces the audience that they have the opportunity to be part of the social nation community so that they share experiences with social individuals and other various leaders in the corporate world. The key major target audiences are the business operations players including managers, team leaders, employees, customers and partners. This is arrived because the book emphasizes on building the future business by creating good interactions between communities, customers, partners and employees. The author passes the message that social and emotional connections are important in attracting and keeping employees as well as customers establishing a growing, viable and profitable business (Libert 136). Social nation notably adopts innovative technologies, embracing new revolution and new sources of business revenues thus transforming the organization. The author has adopted a formal style whereby he is coherent passing the intended purpose with clarity and originality from the ascribed subjects notably marketing. He has also used correctly the underlying technical words which are major components of fullness and development. This style has contributed greatly to the book passing the intended messa ge and reaching the intended audience effectively. The book contributes greatly in knowledge development when it comes into building

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Research Topic Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Topic - Research Paper Example For the topic that I proposed initially, I can propose the following research question and hypothesis. Research Question: What are the underlying factors why increasing numbers of youth in the inner cities of America are at risk of dropping out of school? In addition, the following two secondary research questions will form the foundation for this project: 1) What programs today are proving effective at keeping at-risk students interested and motivated enough to stay in school through to graduation? 2) What community initiatives need to be developed to help local educational institutions identify at-risk students and propose strategies aimed at providing intervention strategies aimed at keeping young people in school? Hypothesis: The at-risk population in America continues to grow because of changing family dynamics and a lack of effective programming options aimed at keeping young people in school. The problem is that high school students around the country are dropping out of schoo l at alarming rates (Bracy, 2006). Society increasingly perceived that public schools are not living up to the expectations and needs of communities across the country. Recent years, therefore, have seen a dramatic increase in the number of intervention strategies and programs designed to keep young people in school. ... erned stakeholders, namely the public at large, sincerely hope that these new initiatives will provide a much needed spark to the role that education plays in society and, in particular, to the at-risk student population. The purpose of this non-experimental, mixed qualitative and quantitative research study will be to identify the traits inherent in successful programs targeting at-risk students. The goal will be to specifically determine which areas are proving effective in terms of keep at-risk students in schools. Existing statistical data will be reviewed, along with personal interviews being conducted, to determine some effective strategies that are currently being employed. The effectiveness or ineffectiveness of such programs and initiatives will be determined through a combination of research and personal interviews. The interviews will be valuable because they will help to support the premise of which programs are succeeding and why. Interviews will also reflect the current climate of the at-risk student population and will help point out the various factors that either contributes to a program’s success or failure. An important item of note is that interviews and questionnaires will only be conducted with select educators and concerned adults. No student will be contact for participation in this study. It is important to focus on why programs designed for at-risk students are either effective or ineffective. This begins with an examination and understanding of they key characteristics of the at-risk student. That will form the basis for the study. The qualitative data gathered during this study will then be used to determine how programs and initiatives can be implemented more effectively in an attempt to help students succeed in high school. If a program

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

You decide Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words - 4

You decide - Essay Example The foundation for this attention on the business is that inside the aggregate sum of CO2 emitted at last usage (transportation part, control area and high temperature era), the oil and gas parts represent almost 50% of all worldwide outflows in different sectors(Mckinsey Quarterly organization, 2012). While a lot of people still live trying to claim ignorance about the linkage between human nursery gas (GHG) outflows and the climate framework, numerous different organizations around the globe are as of now occupied with exercises that will decrease their GHG discharges and putting resources into new innovations to take care of vitality demand. These organizations are under steady observing and reputational weight from governments, worldwide bodies, for example, the United Nations (Kyoto Environmental and Regulatory laws) to lessen both upstream and downstream CO2 emanations, and to investigate and execute elective, vitality effective, and low- discharge strategies to meet vitality requests from all areas of the economy. These deliberations will need to be embraced while keeping on proving vitality for financial needs. It is crucial to know the position of the oil and gas industry by investigating a percentage of the techniques has created for decreasing GHG discharges that would include evident changes in the generation and use of vitality. The oil and gas industry perceives the significant issues and prospects that lie ahead in tending to climate change. These are exercises that cant be maintained a strategic distance from on the grounds that they happen commonly, for example, the emission of a fountain of liquid magma transmits Co2, vapor gasses, vaporizers in plenitude to the air. An alternate regular reason for climate change that emanates nurseries gas is the Ocean Circulation which radiates Co2 into the environment. The

Sunday, September 22, 2019

European Convention on Human Rights Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2750 words

European Convention on Human Rights - Essay Example The convention enumerated the Human Rights under Section I as article 2. Right to life; Article 3 Prohibition of torture ; Prohibition of slavery and forced labor; Article 5 Right to liberty and security; Article 6 Right to a fair trial; Article 7 No punishment without law; Article 8 Right to respect for private and family life; Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion; Article 10 Freedom of expression; Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association; Article 12 Right to marry; Article 14 Prohibition of discrimination; Article 15 Derogation in time of emergency; Article 16 Restrictions on political activity of aliens; Article 17 Prohibition of abuse of rights; Article 18 Limitation on use of restrictions on rights Section III and article 19 of the convention provides for establishment European Commission of Human Rights also known as Commission and European Court of Human Rights, which are the watch dogs protecting these rights. Committee of Ministers executes orders of the court. The court not only adjudicates the issues but also renders advisory opinions. Any dispute with regard to the violation these rights are first to be dealt by the local judicial/quasi judicial agencies. After the exhausting those remedies they are referred to the Commission through Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. The commission when receives any complaint/petition investigate the matter and endeavor for amicable settlement. If the commission not able to dispose of the case it will refer to Committee of Ministers who will peruse the case and refer to the European Court of Human Rights if it is fit case to be decided by the court. The convention empowers the court to make the rules and regulations for its day-to-day functioning. The court functions as per the rules and regulation so framed. After adjudication the case will be sends to Committee of Ministers for execution of its adjudicated orders. The judgment of the court is final. The courts entertain petitions/complaints only from the commission or High Contracting Parties. The jurisdiction is exte nded to all cases with regard to interpretation and application of the convention, excluding the question relating to scope or contents of freedoms and rights defined in Section I. Such cases are to be referred by either the commission or High Contracting Parties, the court do not have suo moto jurisdiction. Due to subtle and creative interpretation of the European Court of Human Rights the European Convention of Human Rights is steadily evolving since its inception. And the court is continuously succeeding in preserving the value of the Convention (ECHR) as living instrument. The success of the Convention is judged on the basis of 1. Quality of judgment of the court. 2.the time taken to dispose off the cases and 3.effective execution of the judgments. Every year the number of cases are increasing at galloping rate. In spite of such increase the Court efficiently disposed off the cases at a quicker rate. Out of those judgments there are many important judgments, which brought drastic changes in the judiciary of the many European countries. The court has become a guiding light in protecting the Human Rights. The Court become instrumental in getting the law of the European countries on mainstream of the Convention law in protecting and maintaining the human rights. There are many citable

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Rebellion Against Oppression Essay Example for Free

Rebellion Against Oppression Essay How Does Oppression Within â€Å"Like Water for Chocolate† and â€Å"The House of Bernarda Alba† Lead To Unnatural Consequences? In both ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ and ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ rebellion against oppression is a strong theme, with both Tita and Adela struggling to break free of their mother’s authoritarianism. However, it is important to realise that with both characters, the authors are using them to symbolise their own journeys. Federico Garcia Lorca uses Adela’s strong willed fight against Bernarda Alba to represent the costs of repressing the freedom of others. Likewise, in Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel uses Tita’s constant battle against Mama Elena to show how women struggle to be heard and how both men and tradition can be strong oppressors. Laura Esquivel employs magic realism throughout ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ to show how Tita’s emotions are transmitted and exaggerated through food. Laura Esquivel presents the supernatural as an everyday event, however not all the characters accept it in the same way as reality, for example Mama Elena remains convinced that Tita is somehow doctoring the food to her own liking, instead of it being ‘magical tears’. Tita lives in a traditional female role, she enjoys cooking and is a selfless nurturer but she lives under a matriarchal rule. A woman who has â€Å"never needed a man for anything†, which leaves the reader questioning why Tita seems to require a man in her life in order to â€Å"alight her matches†. Adela, although fighting for her right for freedom again Bernarda Alba, still believes that she must take orders from Pepe. The traditional roles the mothers have created for their daughters continue even in their rebellion. The men in both books are not particularly strong characters. All leaving the women to suffer for the mess they have created themselves. When Librada’s daughter kills her newborn baby in order to avoid the shame of having sex with someone out of wedlock, â€Å"a big crowd† gather in order to kill her. It is completely unnatural that the woman is being prosecuted for being a â€Å"woman who tramples on decency† as opposed to a murderer. This is an ironic recasting of the Mary Magdalene narrative, which exposes the hypocrisy of Bernarda Alba’s society. This shows however, that within both texts, men are far less restricted than the women. The man is of no fault for having sex out of wedlock, it is her shame. Similarly, in ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ Mama Elena is far more annoyed at the idea of Tita shaming her family than of Pedro cheating on her eldest daughter. Mama Elena is obsessed with tradition and all her actions reflect this. Tita, being the youngest daughter of the family, is forced to remain at home until the day her mother dies. Mama Elena immediately disregards Tita’s questioning of the tradition, saying, â€Å"for generations not a single person in my family has questioned this tradition†, expressing that Tita should simply accept these traditions as fact and that she does not have the right to question her mother’s authority. Rosaura informs Tita that her only daughter will care for her and never marry, according to family tradition. Rosaura tries to mirror her relationship with Esperanza to the relationship her mother and Tita shared. Tita is horrified to discover that Rosaura plans to ‘perpetuate such an inhumane tradition†. Rosaura does not seem to have any powerful emotions and persists to carry on the family traditions as a poor imitation of her mother. It is class and not tradition that keeps Bernarda Alba from concealing her daughters from the world of marriage and men within ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’. Her mind is focused on how the world views her and her family. When Angustias is seen looking at Pepe El Romano, her mother asks â€Å"is it proper for a woman of your class to go chasing after a man? She is instantly noticing that her daughter is stepping outside her class and reining her back in. When Matirio is set to marry Enrique Humanas, Bernarda won’t allow it because her ‘blood will never mix with that of the Humanas family’ proving that her only real interest is in class rather than the welfare of her daughters. Mama Elena and Bernarda Alba have different reasons for oppressing their daughters but both women are equally as keen to enforce their rules. It is ironic how un-natural the ends of oppression are shown to be. When Tita is brought into the world prematurely after her fathers sudden death, Mama Elena is the opposite of a nurturer, never forging any bond with Tita. Tita develops a relationship with food that gives her the power to nurture and give outlet to her emotions. Tita rebels against her mother’s authority first through her consorting with Pedro. When Tita receives the news that Pedro is to be married to Rosaura, her life begins to crumble around her and throughout the novel there are many times when they meet without Mama Elena’s knowledge. Roberto, Rosaura and Pedro’s son is a strong, if not surprising influence in Tita’s actions. Roberto forges the bond with Tita that her and her mother never had and ‘contary to what she had expected’ she feels â€Å"an immense tenderness towards the boy†. It is when Roberto dies that Tita’s desire to please her mother and her own desires clash and she outwardly defies her mother and steps out of the shadow of oppression for the first time. She â€Å"tears apart all the sausages† symbolizing her finally destroying her mother’s rules. When Tita is found in the dovecote, it is ironic that Mama Elena states that â€Å"there’s no place in this house for maniacs! † when her oppressive nature is what caused Tita to break down. When John arrives and removes her from the oppressive atmosphere her mother has created, and she is offered comfort and love, Tita’s failing sanity returns leaving the reader questioning Mama Elena’s own sanity as she confines her daughters to a life of unnatural solitude. Adela is quietly rebelling continuously through the three act play; her real emotion doesn’t arise until the end. From the first act, after the funeral Adela wears a ‘green dress’ making her stand out from her more conservative siblings. The colour green symbolises fertility which Bernarda objects to. This immediately separates her from her family. Unlike Tita, Adela never covers up her feelings in front of her mother or siblings, she knows what she wants and â€Å"her body will be for anyone†. Bernarda’s cane is her symbol of authority, one bang on the floor and all is silenced. In her fury Adela breaks ‘the tyrant’s rod’, the ultimate rebellion, breaking Bernarda’s status symbol. With her object of authority broken, Bernarda can no longer oppress her youngest daughter. Lorca structures the conflict between the characters, short sentences forces the audience to feel the panic of the women and the strength of Adela as Bernarda’s matricachal world crashes down around her. In the last act Adela’s repression from being with the man she loves causes her to commit suicide, an ironic tragedy. Lorca makes the audience judge public morality by showing how women are oppressed throughout the scenes and how people react in the most unnatural fashion, women are convicted of adultery before murder. When Adela hangs herself, Bernarda is strong on the knowledge that her daughter â€Å"died a virgin†, she is much more interested in how the town see her as oppesed to the fact her daughter murdered herself due to Bernarda’s rules. Gertrudis and Paca Le Roseta seem very similar characters; they both follow their carnal desire and run away. Paca La Roseta was â€Å"carried off to the top of the olive grove† by the men, when Bernarda finds out ‘she agreed to it’ she is eager to announce her distaste, claiming Roseta is a ‘loose woman’ and therefore to be shunned. Because she breaks the rules of what is deemed acceptable she is immediately rejected In chapter three, Tita’s lustful emotions find themselves in the quail in rose petal sauce. When served, the family’s hidden lust rise to the surface, all of them experiencing Tita’s desire. Gertrudis is the ‘conducting body’ for Tita’s rebellion giving her the opportunity to enter Pedro’s ‘hot, voluptuous, totally sensuous’ body. Esquivel uses magic realism to describe Gertrudis setting aflame and running away with a man. Totally defying the rules of tradition set down by her own mother. Bernarda’s mother rebels against her daughter constantly and loudly. Constantly shouting that she wants to ‘get married at the edge of the sea’. She questions ’why isn’t there any foam here? Nothing but black mourning shawls’, she wants to go somewhere bright and full of hope instead of being locked up surrounded by the darkness of oppression. Maria Josepha is persistent in trying to escape her oppressor, trying to be a mother, outstepping her boundaries. She wishes a lamb to ‘be a child’ as she has a strong maternal instinct that represents all the girls’ wish to be a mother. How they all must have a maternal instinct Bernarda is not allowing them to have. The family is unnatural, a denial of nature. Maria Josepha represents rebelling against oppression much like Gertrudis in ‘Like Water For Chocolate’. Throughout both books, the matriarchal oppression forces both women to come to an unnatural end. The strict ideas of tradition, class and how a woman should act condemn everyone to a life of tragedy. Lorca and Esquivel are both fighting for the voices that were not allowed to speak in their own society.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Shakespeares impression

Shakespeares impression William Shakespeares Impressions of Venice from his plays and Themes of Venetian Republic from the plays: The Merchant of Venice and Othello Introduction This essay is aimed at looking at William Shakespeares impression of Venice by analysing his two famous plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello. Then, after taking Shakespeares impressions, a closer look will be taken at the main themes brought out of the two plays and compare and contrast them with Shakespeares impressions. Such themes include; Anti-Semitism and the Jews and their role in the economy and society of Venice, law and justice in the Republic of Venice, the role of women in Venetian society, foreign mercenaries in Venice and racism and jealousy in Venice. Such themes will be analysed in order to see of Shakespeares impressions of Venice from his plays are compatible with real life in Venice. Major Themes: Merchant of Venice The Jews of Venice and their role in society and the economy and Anti-Semitism One must always take the context in which Shakespeare lived. This means that the English society in which Shakespeare lived is extremely important since this is reflected in his plays. Shakespeare must surely have been influenced by the society in which he lived in especially when it comes to the Jews. It was known the people in London were hostile to foreigners (xenophobic) and that anti-Semitism in Elizabethan England was very a common feature of society. So, anti-Semitism is already emerging as a major theme in this play. This is all personified in Shylock who is hated and treated badly in society due to him being a Jew. One must always take into account that the Jews were frowned upon because they were the killers of Christ. So, in Christian societies of the time of William Shakespeare, the Jews were not so much welcome. In fact, they were put in ghettos and this was also in Venice. However, they could play a role in economy Antonio the Merchant is used by Shakespeare to portray the general peoples negative attitudes towards the Jews. Here comes the element of anti-Semitism. In the play, especially in Act One: Scene Three, Act Three: Scene One, Antonio the Gentile is seen bullying Shylock because of his Jewish religion. It is seen in Antonio spitting on Shylocks beard. In Act Three: Scene One, Shylock speaks about his suffering which is induced by Antonios constant bullying. The next excerpts taken from this Act and Scene prove this: Line 43 hindered me half a million Line 44 52 laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies and whats his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? In Act 1: Scene Three, there is also reference to Shylock being bullied by Antonio: Line 103 dog Line 109 void your rheum referring to Antonio spitting on Shylocks beard. Now, when one looks at such lines from the play, he gets the impression that the Jews were made to live through hell and that anti-Semitism in Venice was very much present. It is true that there was anti-Semitism in Venice mainly due to religious reasons (the Jews were the ones who chanted for Christs crucifixion). However, Shakespeare puts too much emphasis on anti-Semitism in Venice. This is seen all throughout the play. Maybe Shakespeare was too much influenced by the society he lived in and puts focus on anti-Semitism in order to satisfy his audience. This factor has to be taken into account in order to analyse the play well. The play focuses too much on Shylock being bullied due to his Jewish origin but his social role as usurer is not given any importance at all in the play[1]. If one had to look into real life in Venice, he would observe that the Jews were important players in the Venetian economy due to their money lending. They engaged in trade and they helped very much helping the authorities avoid the hassle of creating loan banks. However, it was true that the Jews had to live in ghettos and had to wear the yellow Star of David in order to be recognised as being Jews. But on the whole, they were tolerated, especially when it comes to their contribution to the Venetian economy. So this leads to the conclusion that the Jews in Venice were tolerated out the need the state had for them not out of human kindness. The question is: Were Venetians tolerant of foreigners? The answer would be that overall; the Venetians were tolerant of foreigners. One must not forget that foreigners had the right to access law courts in Venice for example. In the play, the phrase freedom of the state (3.2.277) is mentioned which refers to the right of foreigners to access Venetian law courts and the recognition of bonds to foreigners entered into by its own citizens[2] (M. M. Mahood, 2003). These are also words of praise to the Venetian justice system in which privilege or nationality did not matter. There were communities of people of different cultures who came to Venice due to its commercial importance bringing with them knowledge and commercial goods. The Venetians were very proud of this and outside observers tend to admire Venice for this. So, as a conclusion, one may say that racism in Venice is a bit exaggerated by Shakespeare when in fact Venetian society was overall tolerant even if sometimes slightly suspicious of foreigners. Law and Justice in Venice William Shakespeares form of justice in this play is seen in Portia telling Shylock to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio and that he should not spill a drop of blood. The Duke also features in this. When Shylock discovers that he could not cut a pound of flesh from Antonio without spilling a drop of blood, he had to lose all his property and the Duke is the one to decide whether he would live or not. In the play, the Duke decides to pardon Shylock and Shylock has to convert from his Jewish faith to become a Christian, apart from losing his property. Here, Shakespeare portrays the Duke as having quite a say in law courts in Venice. How realistic was this in real life in Early Modern Venice? It was real. However, the Duke (Doge) was never the judge himself at the law court. The Duke could only voice his opinions along with the opinions of the judges, but never the judge by himself. The Duke used to receive appeals for mercy[3]. Shakespeare brings this out in the play and by this; he shows that he had a good grasp of the justice system in Republic of Venice. In the play, the Duke grants mercy to Shylock (on condition that Shylock the Jew become a Christian and no longer engages in usury). When approaching the law and justice theme in the Merchant of Venice, one must leave out the fact that the Venetian Republics justice system was a fair one. Firstly, everybody from the Patricians downwards to lower strata of Venetian society was considered equal before the law; and secondly, there was the system of appeal in which appeals could be made to the Duke[4]. Economy of Venice The Rialto is mentioned in the play along with its economic importance regarding trade in the Republic of Venice. The Rialto was the center of much of Venetian trade with different states in the Mediterranean, especially the Levant. This also shows how William Shakespeare was very much knowledgeable about certain aspects of Venice, especially regarding commerce. This may have come from some of his friends who visited Venice and who told him about what they saw in the city. Gender in Early Modern Venice In the play, Portia is portrayed as a rich woman. The social status of women in Venice differed according to their class. If they came from rich and Patrician classes and were educated, they were respected in society. In the 16th century, the Republic of Venice was known to have had women who enjoyed respect in society. They were known as courtesans. A quote (see below) from the book, Women and Men in Early Modern Venice by Satya Brata Datta describes very well these courtesans. The Venetian Republic was renowned far and wide for its large number (210 in 1566, for instance) of beautiful, independent and often intellectually inclined courtesans, who enjoyed a special but ambivalent status in society. The quote (above) from the book mentioned gives a clear indication that certain women were treated differently from other women in Venice. William Shakespeare may have been aware of this fact and he portrays all this in the character of Portia, who is portrayed as a rich, independent (still seeking the right man to marry) and intelligent. Her intelligence is seen in the way she manages to save Antonio from Shylock. Venetian women were categorised when it came to social status. There were the Lady (Signora), the Courtesan (Cortigiana) and the Prostitute (meretrice). The courtesans were respected to the point that they could go to the law courts in order to stress their importance in Venetian society and they would not find it difficult to go to the law courts/tribunals at all[5]. So, this shows that Venetian society was not that strongly masculine. Another quote from Satya Brata Dattas book describes the courtesans qualities (see below). The courtesan defined herself as a woman with three characteristic features: she was a woman of her own kind, that is, neither a virgin nor a housewife; she was a free woman, not least sexually; and she was a creative, intelligent woman.[6] The above quote can be considered as a reference to Portia and this can give an insight of how much William Shakespeare was knowledgeable about aspects of life in Venice (which come out as themes in the play). As a conclusion, one must keep in mind that Venetian society was a patriarchal one (i.e. a male-dominated society) but women such as the Courtesans and Prostitutes were respected by the male-dominated leadership in Venice which helped the Republic of Venice to be widely known in foreign countries for its tolerance when it came to society[7]. Major Themes: Othello Foreigners in Venetian Wars The Republic of Venice was not used to sending its own townspeople to fight its wars. It made use of foreign mercenaries and the generals appointed to fight Venices wars were always of foreign origin. The Republic of Venice preferred to make use of foreign mercenaries in its wars and in defending both land and maritime territories under its rule. This notion is strengthened by the fact that Venice had a law which strictly stipulated that a general in the army had to be a foreigner and not born in Venice[8]. It was also known that Italian city-states used to employ foreign mercenaries to fight their wars and the Republic of Venice was one of them. It also shows how Venetians were tolerant to foreigners Racism and (3)Jealousy The two most outstanding themes of this play are racial differences in Venice and jealousy. Out of all European states, Venice contained people from diverse backgrounds which made it a melting pot. Its commerce brought it many people from different lands. But there must have been some dislike of foreigners. In the play, this is personified in Iago. Iago hates the fact that his superior is a foreigner and of a different religious faith. Also, Desdemonas marriage to Othello the Moor is not liked at all. One also has to take into account the fact that Desdemona was the daughter of a Venetian nobleman, Brabantio. Again, racism comes to the fore in the sense that Desdemonas choice of Othello the dark-skinned general could be an embarrassment to her father. It shows once again that racial intermarriages were not liked by all people in Venice although Venice was known to be a city-state where many foreigners lived and brought their cultures and religious faiths with them. In the play, it is assumed that Othello might have attracted Desdemona to him by magical practices. In fact, Desdemona is impressed by his military talent which makes her disregard the fact that he is black and a non-Christian. Desdemonas love for Othello is referred to as downright violence (Act One: Scene Three, Line 245). This phrase shows that Desdemonas love to Othello is considered as a violation of the norm (especially by the villain Iago). Desdemona can be considered the good character while Iago is the villain. Iago is jealous of Othello because Othello is talented and he does all he could to damage him and in various scenes he is seen trying to ridicule Othello and spewing his hatred for the Moor. Racism against Othello the Moor is very much emphasized throughout the whole just like hatred towards Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Act One: Scene Two Line 79 of arts inhibited and out of warrant The above line refers to magical practices which were totally forbidden in Venice. Othello is accused of magical practices to attract Desdemona which shows the hatred against him because of his origins. The term Moor was used in the time of Shakespeare to describe a dark-skinned person. Line 343 erring Barbarian This line once again emphasizes Iagos hatred of Othello and erring refers to Othellos religion and barbarian refers to Othellos origins. Even in The Merchant of Venice, Portia displays this racial difference when it comes for her to choose the man she wants marry. This is seen when she is to meet the Prince of Morocco in the quote from the play (below): If he have the condition of saint or the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. (Act 1: Scene 2 lines 106-108) So, this is already showing Portias dislike for the Prince of Morocco due to his colour. Conclusion When one compares William Shakespeares impressions on Venice from his plays with real life in early modern Venice, one can find that Shakespeare was knowledgeable about life in Venice in those. Though he exaggerates the theme of anti-Semitism in The Merchant of Venice, one must also keep in mind that he was also influenced by the society he lived in and that must surely affected and it comes out in his writings. The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, Edited by M. M. Mahood, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pg 18. The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, Edited by M. M. Mahood, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pg 15. The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, Edited by M. M. Mahood, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pg 16. Women and Men in Early Modern Venice, Satya Brata Datta, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2003, pg 54 Women and Men in Early Modern Venice, Satya Brata Datta, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2003, pg 178 Women and Men in Early Modern Venice, Satya Brata Datta, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2003, pg 178 Women and Men in Early Modern Venice, Satya Brata Datta, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2003, pg 179 Othello, by William Shakespeare, Edited by Norman Sanders, Cambridge University Press, 1984, pg 10

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Perception of Change :: Transportation, Driving, Change Blindness

You can miss obvious signs while driving because your mind was wandering, listening to the radio, talking on your cell phone, or even talking to the passenger in your car. Change blindness is the difficulty noticing large changes in your visual senses that are normally easy to be seen (Simon, 2005 ). A main factor in change blindness is attention which is needed to see change (Simon, 2005). The perception of a change occurs when the attention is on the object being changed (Rensink, 1997). Changes to items in a central location are easier to detect than objects elsewhere and the objects that are in the same physical distance (Simon, 2005). Your attention can be distributed to 4-5 items at a time but only detect one change at that moment which is called change simultagnosia (Simon, 2005). Inattentional blindness was first studied by Ulric Neisser and his colleagues in the 1970s. Their study involved subjects viewing an attention-demanding task video where groups of players passing a ball. Subjects were asked to watch one group pass the ball back and forth while ignoring the other group who passed the ball. While this was taking place a woman carrying an umbrella walked through the scene which many subjected failed to notice (Simon, 2010). Simons and Chabris replicated this experiment by using a woman dressed in a gorilla suit that stopped in the middle of the video and thumped its chest for 9 seconds and only 50% of viewers noticed. The gorilla video is a well-known video on visual awareness with about 90% of people say they would notice the gorilla. A new video was later made in front of a green screen so that they could change the color of the curtain behind the event taking place. They had the gorilla walk through the scene stopped and faced the camera while he thumped his chest then left the scene. The curtain colored changed along with a player of the black team left the scene (Simons, 2010). (Beck, 2001) Detecting visual change in the environment is important and it is reported that people are poor when detecting the change during a screen flicker which causes the blindness to occur. When you divide your attention between two tasks you pay less attention to the second one than the primary task (Beck, 2001).

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Comparing the Perversion of Values in The Great Gatsby and Death of a S

Perversion of Values in The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman      Ã‚   Throughout History there are many examples of perversions, from sexual, social to the very morals themselves. One of the greatest examples is the continuous corruption of the American Dream. As the Dream evolves, it tends to conform to the illicit dealings of the time and immortals of society. No longer is an individual interested in working hard to achieve goals, it is desirous of the quick fix. Society wants its wishes and wants them now. This social attitude is thoroughly explored in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and by Arthur Miller in his Death of a Salesman. As the instantaneous achievement becomes more valued it gives rise to the lie, the thief and the corrupted character.    Within the two novels there are many examples of a lie, which is "a false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood or something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression." (Webster) The lie in the Great Gatsby has significant meaning, as it portrays Gatsby's quest for the American Dream, and is dedication to achieving it. He will do anything, include lie about his past to achieve his dream, which revolves around Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby loses himself and his interests in hopes of becoming something that Daisy desires, "I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe - Paris, Venice, Rome - collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only. (Fitzgerald 66) Gatsby exploits his lie in a grotesque manner, without any style, which betrays his humble origins. Gatsby's lie also shows his low self-confidence and inability to accept who he is as a person.    The truth w... ...nt of the lie, greed and theft, and the corrupted characters within both novels, although the American Dream is portrayed differently in the books. Both Willy and Gatsby pay the ultimate sacrifice in the end, they both die. This shows the importance of keeping true values and morals within our lives. If there is a lesson to be learned in the books, it is that turning away from good moral principles will result in unhappiness and death. One must always do what is proper and right, honor is important above all things because even if one does not achieve one's dream, then it is known that you did the right thing.    Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925. Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin Books, 1976. Webster's College Dictionary. New York: Random House, 1998.   

Lake Tahoe and The Growing Importance for Environmental Preservation Es

Lake Tahoe, an enormous expanse of clear, blue, fresh water surrounded by meadows and dense forests and rimmed by snow-capped peaks, is one of the world's great scenic and ecological wonders. Tahoe's water is world famous for its amazing clarity. Even today, one can see objects 70 feet below the surface, a clarity matched almost nowhere in the world. The Tahoe Basin had a slowly evolving and essentially balanced environment for thousands of years, with surrounding forests, meadows and marshlands helping to maintain the clarity and purity of the lake. This pristine environment also provided habitat for great diversity of plants and wildlife. Hundreds of species of native plants thrived in forest, marsh, and meadow. But now, in scarcely a century, an equilibrium that endured for thousands of years is rapidly being lost due to environmental degredation and resource values are steadily deteriorating because of human activities. While there is an appearent lose of wildlife and environment that exists in The Lake Tahoe Basin, there is also an insurgance of environmental conservation that has become increasingly powerful in the attempt at stopping these adverse affects on the environment from happening in the hope that the beauty of Lake Tahoe will continue to exist for generations and generations more. The first major change in the environment came with the logging of the 1860s, when much of the basin's forest was clear-cut. The logging tapered off with the collapse of the mining boom, but not before most of the Tahoe's virgin forest was gone. By the 1920s, cars and better roads made Tahoe accessible to the ordinary visitor, and landholdings began to be subdivided for summer homes, especially along the southern and western portions of the basin. The urbanization of the Tahoe Basin remained a relatively slow process until the 1950s, when the opening of Highway 50 and the completion of Interstate 80 brought the San Francisco Bay area within a four-hour drive. Year-round access to the lake encouraged expansion, as modest clubs designed for seasonal business were transformed into towering casinos packed with visitors throughout the year. The new access in winter also attracted thousands to the basin's ski slopes, and in addition to this increase due to accessability, the 1960 Olympics were held in the Lake Tahoe Basin, at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. This event crea... a healthy environment we must conserve the land that has remained untouched. For this reason, the TRPA organization and many other environmental protectionist groups of the Lake Tahoe Basin, support redevelopment as an alternative to new development, and we strongly believe all development should be contained within the existing urban boundaries. Redevelopment allows for many environmental improvements to be made. Bibliography League to Save Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe’s Annual Clarity Chart, South Lake Tahoe, California. Douglas Strong, Tahoe: An Environmental History. (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, c1984), pp 22-31. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, About TRPA: Mission Statement. Online. Available: Accessed: June 1, 2005. U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee. Online. Available: Accessed: June 1, 2005. U.S. Census Bureau. California Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990. Online. Available: Accessed: June 1, 2005.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Pepsi vs Coke Brand Positioning

Week 5: Branding and Positioning Reading: * Articles – Please be sure to read all articles and view all videos listed. They are short but insightful. 1. Interbrand Names 100 Best Global Brands http://www. marketingpilgrim. com/2010/09/interbrand-names-100-best-global-brands. html 2. What P&G Taught Me About Brands http://maxbrandequity. com/Documents/What%20PG%20taught%20me%20about%20Brands. pdf 3. The Power of Brand Equity http://www. thinkingleaders. om/archives/964 Questions: Write what you believe are the current global brand positionings for Coke and Pepsi (the brands, not the companies)? Few other companies in the world have been able to construct and manage their brands as well as these companies. Much of the successful of these companies can be attributed to way in which they have managed their soft drink brands. Coke has positioned itself as an integral, crucial part of people’s everyday lives.The brand, particularly through its commercials, creates intimac y with its consumers by evoking memories and experiences with the brand and their unique selling proposition â€Å"live the Coke side of life† is a prime example of this. It’s an invitation to live on the positive side of life, with Coke. It invites people to create their own positive reality and overall says, only Coke will do because essentially, Coke is happiness in a bottle. Importantly, from a global marketing perspective, it allows each country the opportunity to interpret their own moments of happiness and the brand’s role in those moments.Pepsi’s new global brand positioning (announced this year) is reflected in their caption â€Å"Live for Now† which invites and inspires Pepsi fans to live each moment to the fullest through a breadth of global, pop-culture platforms, including relationships with music and entertainment brand evangelists, digital innovation, epic events and unique partnerships. This positioning enables the brand to pursue n ew partnerships with some of the world’s leading artists and entertainment properties.Do you believe the global positioning is different from the positioning these brands are utilizing in your home country? If yes, please provide the positioning in your home country and explain why you think it is different. The global positioning of Coke and Pepsi is the same around the world by way of general theme and overall message, however due to the differences in culture and society across the globe, the execution of the company’s respective positionings must be different for each of the markets that they serve.As each country/region of the world is quite different, it is imperative that the message is tailored in a way that is relevant and best captures the target market. For example, the recent Coke advertisement in Australia depicts a group of friends playing around on a boat off the coast (presumably of Australia) which clearly taps into the Australian beach culture. This m essage of joy and happiness is still carried but it’s made more relevant to the particular market which it is serving by the way in which the message is constructed and contextualised.The Interbrand report indicates that the Coke brand is much more valuable as an asset than the Pepsi brand. Please explain why you believe this is true, being sure to comment on: a. Strength of positioning – Coke has positioned itself more emotively than Pepsi as is evident in many of Coke‘s advertisements over the years which moreso depict the human experience through a strong emphasis on families and the community. b.Key points of parity and points of difference – both emotive in their message, but different in that Coke really taps into the general consumer’s happy experience with the brand, whereas Pepsi I believe is more targeted (particularly to the youth market) and has the image of being high-energy and action-oriented, and I think a large part of their target audience associate themselves with the brand because of that image. They are similar in that both brands consider themselves to be bold and refreshing. c.Whether any of these points of difference are competitive advantages – Coke’s positioning, with its strong association to feelings of joy and happiness, I believe gives it a competitive advantage in that these feelings and positive connections with happiness give it timeless appeal, whereas Pepsi seems to be more in-the-moment and almost â€Å"timely† by comparison. Coke, I feel, represents a state of permanent happiness whereas Pepsi is all about excitement, which we all know, is an emotion that is often fleeting. This position of happiness/longevity, I believe, is more attractive to consumers. . Line extension strategy Having a strong brand that consumers are loyal to allows an organization to extend its line of products and bring to market new products more easily.If Coke’s brand is stronger and bette r positioned (which I believe it is), then by extension, it will be of greater value since the introduction of new products can more easily be made, and therefore, new revenue streams open up for the company. There are, of course, risks associated with line extension, however if managed well, leveraging an existing brand can be of enormous financial benefit to a company. . International presence – I think Coke’s broader appeal to such human states as joy and happiness allows the brand to resonate more strongly across cultures whereas Pepsi, with its greater reliance on pop-culture and entertainment artists makes it more restricted in its global reach. Clearly, Michael Jackson will have less appeal in a developing country than in the United States, however Coke’s association with feelings of joy, family and life more generally can, as a message, be more easily carried across borders and into countries.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Electronic Media Essay

Electronic media are that utilize electronics or electromechanical energy for the end user (audience) to access the content. This is in contrast to static media (mainly print media), which are most often created electronically, but don’t require electronics to be accessed by the end user in the printed form. The primary electronic media sources familiar to the general public are better known as video recordings, audio recordings, multimedia presentations, slide presentations, CD-ROM and Online Content. Most new media are in the form of digital media. However, electronic media may be in either analog or digital format. Devices such as televisions, computers and cd-roms that make information available to people. Importance In October 2003, the British humanitarian organization Christian Aid released a report that $4 billion in Iraqi funds, which had been earmarked for reconstruction of the country, had disappeared. The Coalition Provision Authority (CPA), the U.S. controlled body that ruled Iraq at the time, was relegated with handling that money. â€Å"An examination of financial records between June 2003 and October 2004 showed poor bookkeeping and investigators â€Å"found indicators of potential fraud,† the report said â€Å"At the time, the CPA vigorously denied the accusations. By June 2004, the amount of money gone missing had more than doubled from four to almost nine billion dollars. This story was reported with minimal coverage when the announcement was first released. As the investigation progressed, the story of the missing billions was reported several times during the summer months of 2004 and again in January 2005. However, it was never given prominence in any news medium. The writers at Faithful Progressive called it the â€Å"biggest and single most under-reported story of the last year†. News Media and Democracy In a democracy an informed public is of critical importance. In matters regarding the self-interests of the citizenry and of the nation as a whole, knowledge is key in making decisions regarding participation in the process of democracy. Indeed, â€Å"failing to report important news, or reporting news shallowly, inaccurately, or unfairly can leave people dangerously  uninformed†. The mass media of today has tremendous power within society. What and how information is distributed can have indelible consequences for individuals and society as a whole. As such, control of media outlets â€Å"is regarded as a valued form of property for those seeking political or economic power†. Among other sources of power, it is important to note that mass media has the ability to: â€Å"attract and directattention to problems, solutions, or people that can favor those with power; it can confer status and confirm legitimacy; it can be a channel for persuasion and mobilization (Graber, 33). This represents an incredible amount of power, and over the past twenty years or so, people have taken control over these outlets for the sole purpose of attaining both political and economic power. International In the United States, there are three twenty-four hour news networks. President Bill Clinton stated it well in a response to the question of the condition of today’s media. He stated, â€Å"The thing I worry about most is that people will have all the information in the world but won’t have any way of evaluating it†¦That’s what I consider to be the most significant challenge presented to all of you by the explosion of media outlets †¦ in the Information Age.† COMPARISON WITH PRINT MEDIA Illiteracy According to United Nations report Pakistan has 55% literacy rate. This makes it 160th country in world. Because of low literacy rate people cannot read the printed news. This gives an edge to electronic media over print media. Media of future Electronic Media has a clear edge over print media even if ‘new media’ (for eg. The Internet) is not included in it. Print media is more of a ‘habit’ with people and still caters to a sizeable population. But electronic media offers a lot of choice to the people, especially to the youth (GEN Y), the largest growing segment of our population and more importantly, has the  ability to maintain the pace at which the preferences and demands of the Gen Y changes. The shrinking readership of the print publications perhaps is testimony to the changing media consumption pattern of the people today. Although we don’t see an immediate threat to the print media, more so because it is a centuries old media, yet we believe it definitely is not the media of the future. Moreover, electronic media is visually more appealing and more effective in not only conveying a message but by virtue of being a frequency medium, is also effective in registering it, thus ensuring high brand recall amongst viewers & potential customers. For the advertisers and advertising agencies, it provides exciting opportunities to experiment with new and innovative ideas which reduces the media’s dependence on traditional source Which is best? It depends on which area you are in. In rural areas, where there is no technology, print is better, but for the urban areas, electronic media are the best. Print media was supposed to have died 10 years ago, but that has not happened. In terms of mobility and cost print media is better than electronic media. But in terms of speed, coverage and reliability, electronic media are the best. Newspaper is no longer essential, while attending the usual morning business, in the toilet. Laptop is the in thing; one can browse as many e-papers as desired. IDENTIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM New technology has many social and educational benefits but caregivers and educators have expressed concern about the dangers young people can be exposed to through these technologies. To respond to this concern, some states and school districts have, for example, established policies about the use of cell phones on school grounds and developed policies to block access to certain websites on school computers. Many teachers and caregivers have taken action individually by spot-checking websites used by young people, such as FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE. This brief focuses on the phenomena of electronic aggression: any kind of aggression perpetrated through technology—any type of harassment or bullying (teasing,telling lies, making fun of someone, making rude or mean comments, spreading rumors, or making threatening or aggressive comments) that occurs through email, a chat room,  instant messaging, a website (including blogs), or text messaging. â€Å"Youth is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope.† Aristotle The youth is getting the wrong path by the use of this E-Media. Our main aim is to protect our youth from the dangerous effects of E-Media. In E-media we will target specifically the TV media which is accessible by the whole family especially the youth. Further in youth TV is mostly watched by the women of the family. These effects are either caused intentionally or by the negligence of E-media personals. Intentional effects are either for the promotion of their channels. The E-Media personals are displaying the unethical dramas, either the stories are distracting the youth or the scenes of the drama are disturbing and unethical. They provoke the female and male relationships which are considered unethical in our society. Most of the dramas and soaps are based on love stories and relations of married women with young guys. Some TV shows are provoking aggressiveness in our youth. We will mention a program of ARY MUSIK named LIVING ON THE EDGE. This program consists of unethical, immoral and non islamic dares given to the youth of Pakistan. That is done to provoke aggressiveness and to bring our youth to the level of the unethical youths of western countries. He is trying to copy the programs like FEAR FACTOR, RHOADIES etc. Similarly the E-Media personals are provoking nudity. Either that nudity is in full form or half nudity. We use the term half nudity for the scenes in which women or men are wearing inislamic clothes. Wearing sleeveless, wearing Capri, uncovered hair, uncovered belly etc is completely inislamic. Hereby we will mention some channels that have bought the licenses of western movie channels and are showing scenes containing kisses and some other unethical scenes. Channels are ARY DIGITAL who has recently bought license of HBO. Plus there are our cable operators who are showing unethical channels at midnight and at day time. Smoking scenes also provoke the drug addiction in youth. Previously the ads of cigarettes were banned in order to decrease the percentage of people converting to addiction. But now these smoking scenes are consistently being shown in many dramas and shows. When a youngster watches  his favorite actor smoking in a TV drama and performing stunts or having lots of girlfriends because of that cigarette then that youngster follows him. Same is the case with scenes containing alcohol and beer. Violent footages are also disturbing for the youth. We see many Indian movies which are showing scenes of fights which are followed by the youngsters. Same is happening here these days all the boys are found to be fighting with each other. They think they are living in their ideal movie and they are the heroes. Wrestling and cartoons are watched by the children and they try to implement that in their real life often damaging either themselves or some other member of family. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROBLEM Before examining the state of the news media in today’s society, it is important to define what good reporting of news should be. Doris A. Graber, in her book Media Power in Politics, thinks it important to distinguish between news and truth. â€Å"The function of news is to signalize an event. The function of truth is to bring to light the hidden facts, to set them into relation with each other, and make a picture of reality upon which men can act† (Graber, 41). News dissemination, whether through radio broadcast, newspaper articles, or a web site posting, should perform both functions in order to truly inform. Good news can affect society in positive ways. Determined, sweepingcoverage of important topics can improve local communities, rid government of improper public officials, save lives, and so many other things. Reporting events and uncovering truths is critical for the news media to perform its function. Media is the pillar of a society. Television is a vital source from which most people receive information. News and media delegates on television have abused their powers over society through the airing of appealing news shows that misinform the public. Through literary research and experimentation, it has been proven that people’s perception of reality has been altered by the information they receive from such programs. Manipulation, misinterpretation, word arrangement, picture placement and timing are all  factors and tricks that play a major role in the case. Research, experimentation, and actual media coverage has pinpointed actual methods used for deceptive advertising. Television influences society in many ways. People are easily swayed to accept a belief that they may not normally have unless expressed on television, since many people think that everything they hear on television is true. This, however, is not always the case. It has been observed that over the past twenty to thirty years, normal social behavior, even actual life roles of men and women and media, regulatory policies have all been altered. Media has changed with time, along with quality and respectability. Many people receive and accept false information that is merely used as an attention grabber that better the show’s ratings and popularity. This involves sensationalizing a story to make it more interesting, therefore increasing the interest of the audience. People often know that these shows aim to deceive them, but still accept the information as truth. The E-media has severely damaged our youth and provided them with altered and incorrect information. Thus one whole youth of Pakistan is having incorrect information and has inaccurate knowledge which not only is damage for them but for the whole generations which are to come. Following quotes represent the significance of youth; â€Å"Youth is the trustee of prosperity.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

An overview of Qantas Group Business Practices Essay

Executive Summary This report is commission to analyse the activities of the Qantas Group and main risks that Qantas has to face. Through analysing the factors that may affect the profit of the corporation, different derivatives that Qantas Group can use to hedge the risks are discussed and the advantages and disadvantages of these derivatives are given. As a listed company, Qantas Group focuses on providing airline services both in domestic and international markets. During daily operations, input price risk, foreign exchange risk and stock price risk are the main risks that the company has to use different derivatives to control. Based on analysis, it is suggested that these risks could be hedged by using options and forward contracts respectively and specific reasons are provided to demonstrate the feasibility of these derivatives. Through hedging, it is believed that the risks of Qantas facing today could be better controlled in the future. 1.1 Activity Description Qantas Airways Limited is Austra lia’s number one airline, which connects Australia to 81 destinations in 40 other countries worldwide and operates extensive domestic services in both Australia and New Zealand (Qantas Airways Limited 2011). Its main business is the ‘transportation of passengers using two complementary airlines, Qantas and Jetstar, operating international, domestic and regional services’ (Qantas Airways Limited 2011). In addition to airline brands, the Qantas Group operates a number of related activities to broaden its portfolio of businesses and investments, such as Qantas Frequent Flyer and Qantas Freight Enterprises. With the increasing competition in the airline industry, Qantas Group continues to manage its strategic, financial and operational risks, respect the rights of shareholders, introduce new technology that enhance the customer experience and provide more safety service (Qantas Airways Limited 2011). According to the 2011 annual report, Qantas had suffered several significant weather events and natural disasters during the year. Hence, Qantas now tries to control the potential risks and recover the airfreight market through improving its joint venture agreements with both domestic and international airfreight network. 1.2 Main risks As a listed national airline company which occupies approximate 65% Australian domestic market share and 18% international market share (Qantas review 201 2), Qantas faces various risks during its daily operations, mainly including input  price risks, foreign exchange risk and stock price risk. The input price risk refers to the volatile in the prices of inputs which may impact a company’s financial result (Harper 2010). As an airline company, Qantas heavily depends on the jet fuel to support its normal business operation. For instance, it incurred 3,684 and 4,329 million dollars of fuel costs in 2011 and 2012, separately (Qantas Airways Limited 2012), which leads the company to be significantly sensitive to the price fluctuations in the jet fuels. As a rise in the fuel price might largely increase the costs of flight services while a decline in input price would save costs in contrast, it may further influence the ticket prices and sales volume in its business. In other words, it exposes Qantas to the input price risk to a relative high level. The foreign exchange risk is the financial risk of an exposure to unexpected exchange rates between currencies, which may have either a positive or negative impact to a company’s financial position and performance (Harper 2010). Besides the domestic destinations, Qantas also serves international flights and has developed codeshare relationships and joint service agreements with many foreign airline companies all over the world (Ports and Relationships 201 2). It indicates that Qantas has to face the financial risk in the unanticipated currency exchange rates between Australian dollar and various foreign currencies in terms of sales, costs, expenses and investments. As a listed company on the ASX, Qantas also confronts the stock price risk, as the changes and fluctuations in its stock price may significantly impact the entity’s financial position and shareholders’ wealth. Generally the stock price is influenced by both the macroeconomic trends and the corporation-specific factors. For instance, the global economy recession may impact the financial situation in all industries including airlines, which would result in the decline in all stock prices in the stock market; while some company-specific factors only influence the certain company’s stock price, such as the weather factors suffered by Qantas which affect its services and financial performance may specifically impact the stoke price of Qantas. As explained by Harper (2010), many companies develop strategies to hedge risks by adopting certain derivatives. Qantas can choose proper derivatives such as futures and options to assist in reducing the risks mentioned above to a reasonable level. Hedging input price risk by using options Hedging through options  could reduce the risk from potential future market movements (Hull 2011). Because of the great deal of jet fuel consuming, the price changes in inputs (fuel) are of significant importance to Qantas (Investopedia 2012). Qantas hedges against the price increase of jet fuel (crude oil and jet kerosene) to eliminate the potential risk. Qantas held the hedging using options, which is traded on the Australian securities exchange, of future aviation fuel purchases by crude oil and jet kerosene derivative contracts in 2012 (Qantas Airways Limited 2012). Qantas uses options on crude oil and jet kerosene to hedge exposure to fuel price movements. According to Qantas policy, up to 80% of the estimated fuel consumption out to 12 months and up to 40% in the subsequent 12 months could be hedged. Any other hedging outside the parameters must be approved by the Qantas Board. 58% (2012) and 53% (2011) of the estimated fuel exposure less than one year have been hedged. Also, 6% (2012) and 9% (2011) of the estimated fuel exposures more than one year but less than three years have been hedged. The net gain from future aviation fuel payments less than one year is minus $11 million (2012) and $130 million (2011) (See Appendix 2.1.1) (Qantas Airways Limited 2012). Advantages and disadvantages: The advantage associated with the hedging strategy is that it reduces the potential fuel price movement risks. Qantas airway, which provides airline services to customers, has no particular skills in predicting changes, fuel price for example (Hull 2011). Hedging the risks associated with these potential increasing variables could be beneficial. Qantas could place more focus on the main business activities by avoiding unpleasant risks through hedging (Hull 2011). However, there are several limitations within the hedging strategy. First, competitive pressures within the airline industry could result in the fluctuation of costs of raw materials. As a result, companies without hedging strategy can have constant profit margins, and companies which have adopted hedging strategies to reduce potential risks may have fluctuating profit margins (Hull 2011). Second, Bakshi and Kapadia (2003) argued that there could be a market price for the exposure to volatility uncertainties when the expected volatility is not constant. The fuel price could experience increasing or decreasing in the estimated period of time, so the hedging using options could bring a loss of the upfront payment.2.2 Hedging foreign exchange risk by using forward contracts The basic principle of hedging foreign exchange  risk is to exchange the currency when exchange rate is favourable, and then invest currency which is native to the country of origin. The purpose of this approach is to prevent a monetary loss by safeguarding the investor against currency exchange rate fluctuation (Sayali Bedekar Patil 2012). Forward contracts are usually used to lock the receipts and payments in a fixed exchange rate. It offers stability to both the receipts and payments. In Australia many banks provide forward rate as a service to customers. By entering into a forward contract with a bank, the Qantas can simply transfer the risk to the bank, which will now have to bear. In this case, Qantas forecasts the exchange rate could fluctuate and end with a possible depreciation of USD. Qantas then can enter into a short forwards contract with a bank to fix the exchange rate reduce the foreign currency risk. FXStreet website (2012) contains information on spot and forward quotes for the AUD/USD exchange rate, Dec 24, 2012. (See Appendix 2.2.1) By entering into the forwards contract using forwards, Qantas is guaranteed of an exchange rate of AUD 1.0375 per USD in the future irrespective of the spot exchange rate in three months. If USD were actually depreciated in three months, Qantas would hedge the risk. However, if it were to appreciate, then Qantas would have to forego favourable movement and hence bear implied losses. Advantages and disadvantages: Forward contract is a management technique to reduce, mitigate and eliminate risks. The transactions are over the counter without regulation, so the two parties (buyer and seller) can negotiate that they mutual ly agree in any terms, such as the underlying asset, timing, location, amount and type of trade. The contracts are characterized in flexibility, they are not settled until the specified date so there is no initial upfront payment required, moreover, there is no commission paid on the trade (Khalid, Mohammed, Abdul and Hisham 2011). On the other hand, the contracts are often illiquid, because a forward contract is usually designed to meet specific needs. The buyer may find it difficult to sell the position to a third party because of its specificity. Moreover, the credit risk exists as the clearinghouse does not guarantee the amount. Finally, it is unregulated that a formal body has the responsibility for setting regulations and procedures to protect their transition (Khalid, Mohammed, Abdul and Hisham 2011). 2.3 Hedge stock price risk by using options Stock price risk refers to the company performing under its  expectation, i.e. a decrease in its stock price (Moazeni and Foroghy 2012). Greater returns should be in relation with higher stock risks (Koslowsky 2009), and to pursu e a higher return in stock market, Qantas has to face a higher level of stock risks, i.e. a larger possibility that the company may suffer loss when stock price decrease. To hedge the stock risk, i.e. to hedge stock price from decreasing, we found that Qantas has a number of call and put options in market, with underlying assets of Qantas Airways, of different expiry date, either in American or in European style, which is in turn effectively in manage its exposure to risk in stock market. Call option refers to the right to buy while put option refers to the right to sell. As an option seller, Qantas uses call options for the Airways stock in expectation that the stock price will decrease in the future whereas use put options for the Airways in expectations that the stock price will increase in the future. First of all, as a call option seller, Qantas will get benefit when the market price is below the exercise price as their exercise price is locked. This is because their counterparty will not exercise the option when market price is below the exercise price, so Qantas will benefit from the premium their counterparties paid. Similarly, as a put option seller, Qantas will benefit when stock price increases. In addition, as we found that Qantas has a number of options with different expiry date up to 17/12/2015 (ASX 2012), we could say that Qantas will be effective in managing its stock risk by using options in a time horizon. Advantages and disadvantages: The advantage of shorting options is the option seller will get benefit, i.e. premium paid by their counterparties, in shorting calls when stock price increases, and in shorting puts when stock price decreases, and it is quite flexible, as their counterparties can exercise the option before the expiry date, depending on the volatility of the share price. However, the disadvantage of selling option is the loss from stock price volatility, that is, the loss is unlimited in selling call options when stock price increases and in selling put options when stock price decreases. Reference List: ASX. 2012, viewed 28 December 2012, Bakshi, G. and Kapadia, N. 2003, ‘Delta-Hedged Gains and the Negative Market Volatility Risk Premium’, Review of Financial Studies, vol. 16, pp. 527-566. FXStreet, 2012, FXStreet, viewed 24 December 2012,  Harper, D. 2010, How Companies Use Derivatives To Hedge Risk, Investopedia, viewed 19 December 2012, Hull, J. C. 2011, Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets, 7th ed., Prentice Hall, London. Investopedia, 2012, How Companies Use Derivatives To Hedge Risk, Investopedia US, A Division of ValueClick, Inc., viewed 20 December 2012, Kameel, A. and Meera, M. 2001, Hedging Foreign Exchange Risk with Forwards, Futures, Options and the Gold Dinar: A Comparison Note, Department of Business Administration International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia, viewed 24 December 2012, Khalid, Z. and Mohammed, J. and Mohammed, L. and Hisham, K. and Abdul, K. 2011, Islamic Derivatives in Saudi Arabia: Types of Forward Contracts, A l-Yamamah U niversity, viewed 24 December 2012, Koslowsky, D. 2009, ‘The Relationship between capital structure and expected returns’, University of Monitoba, viewed 28 December 2012, Moazeni, G. and Foroghy, D. 2012, ‘Stock Risk’s Management Applying Market Risk Premium in Tehran Stock Exchange’, International Conference on Accounting and Finance (AT), pp. 194-199. Ports and Relationships 2012, Qantas Airways Limited, Sydney, viewed 19 December 2012, Qantas Airways Limited 2011, Qantas Annual Report 2011, Qantas Airways Limited, Sydney, viewed 22 December 2012, Qantas Airways Limited 2012, Qantas Annual Report 2012, Qantas Airways Limited, Sydney, viewed 20 December 2012, Qantas reviews 2012, Air Review, viewed 19 December 2012, Sayali Bedekar Patil, 2012, Foreign Currency Hedging, viewed 24 December 2012,

Saturday, September 14, 2019

LOGO case study Essay

Introduction The essay is a strategic analysis for LEGO Group. LEGO Group is a famous toy company in the world, which established in Denmark. LEGO Brand is not only the familiar logo, but also the expectation. LEGO acts as a guarantee of quality and originality. LEGO’s core values are imagination, creativity, fun, learning, caring and quality. The essay will show strategic analysis by identifying the industry, analyzing general and industry environment, listing resources and capabilities, analyzing the company’s core competency, SWOT, current strategies. Then, giving the key issues. Finally, the essay will recommend the business-level strategy. Identifying The Industry Toy retail market increase 4 per cent per year in a moderate pace in 2010, but the demand for the specific fashion toy may surge or collapse rapidly. Thousands of toy manufacturers serve the global market, but the few lead industry. Mattel is the world’s leading toy manufacturer in revenue. LEGO is the world’s the third largest toy manufacturer. There are more and more toy manufactures in Asia because its labor is cheap and many subcontractors are ready to produce goods in behalf of their manufacture. Toy makers sell products through various retail channels, including chain stores, discount stores, independent toy specialists, department stores and online stores. There are three points, which need to pay attention to. Firstly, fad toys are more popular and the product life cycle decrease. Additional, children have more after-school activities. Finally, more kids choose online activities more than toys. The substitute product for toys is electronic games. Analysis of the general environments Economic element Generally, the word’s economy is still unoptimistic in the recent. Although European debt crisis has been lightened conditionally, its negative effect to global economy still last for a certain time. Labor cost is increasing. Because of multiple factors, the total cost of toy improves significantly, while its profit rate falling sharply. Socio-culture â€Å"Multiculturalism† is source of innovation and creativity. LEGO design department has more than 100 designers from more than 10 countries, satellite support team scattered all over the continents. LEGO design team maintains deliberately the diversity of designers from a variety of educational and professional background. People with any qualifications and background has the potential to become a member of this great design team. LEGO takes part in many public welfare activities for children, for example, encouraging children to joining in environment protection. LEGO has good relationship and trust. LEGO CEO Knudstrop makes a psychoanalyst to train the management team to support the good relationship. The peak of LEGO sale is during the school holidays, especially in Christmas (Yi 2009). Global element LEGO’ come products are made by plastic and chemical resource, that the price of these is influenced by the price of international crude oil. For global market, Knudstrop said that Asia market would be the company’s largest strategic area in the future and LEGO was discussing the possibility of establishing production bases. LEGO Group has not shared a strong market position in BRIC. The market in BRIC will develop strongly in the future and LEGO Groups tries to invest in the markets. For outsourcing, LEGO chooses service provider Flextrinics, which has factories in Korea, Denmark, the USA and Switzerland. Technology element In 1999, LEGO had the online shop. This decision help LEGO get more consumers. Bases on the most adept building blocks, Lego developed some braining games based on personal computer and the Internet, such as LEGO Loco, Bionicle, Lego Creator, etc. These innovations have satisfied consumer group growing in the virtual age. LEGO interact with consumers through Internet. In 2009, LEGO Children Clubs has members about 3.2 million and a dedicated website. Many adult fans of LEGO share experience, videos and pictures on the Internet. Political/legal element Global political environment is stable in general in the current. International relation between main political powers in the world has gotten a balance after strong competition, which is relative stable. To creating a favorable atmosphere for economic development and encouraging a positive development of the toy industry, most countries seek a stable, peaceful and develop international environment. Analysis of the industry Environment Bargaining power of buyers There are a few large buyers, which are large retail chains such as Kmart, Target and Big W in Australia. They buy products from many different brands. Buyers bargain for higher quality, lower price and great level of service. Bargaining power of suppliers For toy industry, there is no bargaining power of suppliers because there are many different suppliers in this industry. Risk of new entrants For toy industry, new companies are easy to entry the industry because toy industry has fewer berries. The products are similar, which is easy to copy. Toy industry does not need new firms to invest a lot and switching costs are low because most consumers so not have the loyalty. If the products are more attractive, consumers will buy, especially major target people are children. It is easy to access to distribution channels, but it is hard to cover the market because many retail ways about toys, including online stores, department stores and so on. Threat of substitute products Substitute products perform the similar function as toys, which are electronic games. As technology has improved rapidly, more children prefer to use iPod or iPad to play electronic games. Threat of substitute products is very high, which is very important. Intensity of rivalry For toy industry, there are many competitors. The rate of industry growth is  slow, so companies try to use resources to expanding consumers effectively. Because product differentiation is lower, the switching cost is low. More companies enter the industry, which promoting competition. To sum up, for toy industry, threat of new entrants is low, supplier power is low, buyer power is moderately high, threat of substitute products is very high and competition is very fierce. It observes that the toy industry is still an attractive industry. There are nearly no barriers to entry the industry. As technology improves rapidly, new scientific research and manufacturing technology apply to the toy industry continually which due to more and more new toys with high technology. If new companies have wonderful ideas or design teams, it is easy to share the market. However intensity of rivalry is high, companies still can get consumer base by catering to the demand of consumers. Because buyer power is high, new entrants do not worry about their sale ways. Analysis of Resources and Capabilities Tangible resources Tangible resources refer to assets that can be observed and quantified, including financial resources, organizational resources, physical resources and technological resources. LEGO has total assets for 10972 million DKK in 2010, 871 million DKK in cash flows and 5473 million DKK in equity. LEGO has a strong operating system to deal with earlier supply chain problems. The company developed systems to evaluating all manufacturing cost as well. The optimization of complex operating model is successful, which helps LEGO save cost and time. Additionally, LEGO’s trademark is the significant resource. Intangible resources Intangible resources are a superior source of capabilities and core competencies. Creativity is the ability to come up with ideas that is valuable. Staffs are important resource because they have employee experience and the ability of innovation. LEGO Group has the great reputation from excellence quality. LEGO has the fantastic relationship with suppliers and distributors, which can reduce unnecessary problem and makes  operating system more successful. LEGO has huge loyal consumer bases, Capabilities LEGO has a fantastic innovating system. Developers have to follow strict process and use market research insights, which can satisfy the market demand and avoid design mistakes. In marketing area, LEGO has great connections with consumers. The company has a specific website for customer club, which interact with consumers by games, stories and activities. The club has the member about 320 million. In manufacturing areas, the company has competitive advantage, which is high automation technology. For supply chain management, the company’s production planning comes from sales incentives’ exact forecasts. In distribution areas, the company builds distribution channels in order to reducing the emphasis on the expansion of the distribution costs. Innovating system is valuable, because this capability promotes the sales levels. The innovation must cover the fashion and make consumers satisfied. Each company knows this concept well, so it is not closely to imitate. The company informs customer preferences by interaction with customers and builds relationship with children and their parents, who are end users. The company also keeps in touch with retail consumers to ensuring that these links operate well, because they can provide a steady stream of information. This process needs long time and much money to build the relationship, so it is costly to imitate. Lego building distribution channels in order to reducing the emphasis on the expansion of the distribution costs. Firstly, the company reduces the number of logistics providers to satisfying the flexibility and encouraging suppliers to competing. At the same time, the company assesses to economies of scale. Redesign the distribution system of the company has the ability to surpass rival. This is rare and valuable. To do this action, the company cost a lot, so it is costly to imitate. The high automation technology is rare and valuable, which reduces labor cost and producing time. This technology needs a long time to researching and developing, which is hard to imitate. SWOT Analysis Strengths Closely after the changes of the times perhaps is the most significant feature of LEGO. In 2002, LEGO launches new products, a new Star Wars film, which is very popular. LEGO began to taking advantages of internet in designing and researching. Currently, LEGO has a large number of fans, including children and kids. The company pays more attention to reflection of consumers. The company expands the market in many countries. Weaknesses The price is higher than other toys and the company does not have enough  hypostatic stores to satisfy the consumers. Most LEGO products sell in department stores and retail stores. It is not convenience for consumers to purchase products. The high cost of manufacturing products. Opportunities LEGO products sale is concerned about seasons. The peak of sales in one year is during school holidays, especially Christmas (Yi 2009). The consumers are no concerned about ages. LEGO products are no age-limited toys and anyone can collect LEGO products. The Asia market has the great potential. Threats The substitute is the threat, which are online games. Online games affect the LEGO sales, however, LEGO has the solutions. For example, improve products to make it technological. Analysis of current strategies Currently, LEGO redesign the distribution channel to reducing the inflating distribution cost. As for this, LEGO closed 5 distribution centers in Denmark, France and Germany, establishes an only new distribution center in Czech, which is operated by DHL (walwenfanyi, 2012). Lego keep interacting with consumers to get more information the about market needs, which takes the strength of the company. Now the company develops computer games based on the LEGO products by cooperating with game firms. The company cooperates with film organizations to making movies as well (walwenfanyi, 2012). These cooperation has bee a part of LEGO Group that has long history. These actions take the strength and are the solutions to face threats. Articulation of key issues and/or problem How to reduce the manufacturing cost? Although LEGO Group grows up continually and rapidly, its consumers can not follow the increasing rate? What should the company do? How to expand the Asia market? Recommendations Cost leadership strategy Cost leadership strategy forces on reducing cost to maintain competitive advantages and relative to standardized products. To achieving cost leadership, the company must strictly control costs in the management, will reduce costs as much as possible. Considered the Asia market, Cost  leadership strategic is a good choice. There are more developing countries in Asia, so the life standard is lower than Europe. If LEGO can reduce the price, there are consumers will purchase goods. However, manufacture area is the weakness of the company and the company has redesigned the distribution channels. There are no more space to reducing the cost. Differentiation strategy Differentiation strategy refers to a strategy to make their products and competitors’ products have obvious differences. The core of this strategy is to acquire some unique value to customers. For LEGO Group, this strategy’s benefits are that the firm’s innovation system that pays more attention to consumers demand can be appeared. LEGO’s consumers have brand loyalty and there are millions of fans in the LEGO Club. There are some risks about differentiation strategy. When the company enters the Asia market, the firm will face the lower-cost imitation. Focus strategy Focus strategy gets the balance between cost leadership strategy and differentiation strategy. Firms can serve a specific segment of an industry more effectively than industry-wide competitors. This strategy fits the toy industry a lot, because the major target consumers of this industry are children. However, for LEGO, the focus strategy is hard to reach. The reason is that LEGO’s target consumers are no age-limited people, which is its strength. In Conclusion, differentiation strategy is the best choice for LEGO Group. LEGO products were different from other products when it launched in the beginning. LEGO has the great brand loyalty, so that a differentiated product tends to reduce the chances for consumers to testing new products or other brands. Currently, the manufacturing cost is a problem. However, LEGO Group cannot use low cost instead of good quality. The firm can produce well-differentiated products to reduce consumer sensitivity to price increase. Using the better quality products to cover the high producing cost. The firm should use its strengths that are brand loyalty and innovation to expand the markets. The differentiation strategy also can  defend against new entrants, because if new entrants want to share the market from LEGO, they must produce the same quality products at lower price, which is really difficult to reach. Conclusion The above paragraphs recommend differentiation strategy by analyzing the industry, general environment, industry environment and the company’s resources, capabilities, core competency, SWOT and current strategies. LEGO can use differentiation strategy as the solutions to current issues. Using the features of differentiation to taking strengths to covering weaknesses and getting up the opportunities and avoid threats. Reference Jan, WR, Stefan, HT & Daniela, B, 2012. ‘LEGO’, Harvard Business School [7 September 2014] Waiwenfanyi, LEGO competency analysis, 2013. Available from: <> [9 September 2014] Yi, FL 2009, â€Å"LEGO sales strategic plan†, Dongding. Available from: [9 September 2014]