Jack of All Trades.docx

6 Pages

Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 374
Rebecka Peterborough

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MEMORANDUM DATE: June 21, 2013 TO: Professor Rajiv Kozhikode Teaching Assistant: Pooria Assadi FROM: Team 7 - BUS 374 D100 Apple Lin (301158380) Dian Jin (30113981) Karto Fang (301139625) Kathy Tran (301141793) Yelena Tam (301199712) SUBJECT: Discussion re: What are the Consequences of Acting Differently? Introduction The primary purpose of this memorandum is to answer the question: what are the consequences of [organizations] acting differently? We will analyze Greta Hsu’s article entitled Jacks of All Trades and Masters of None: Audiences’ Reaction to Spanning Genres in Feature Film Production to compare the generalists and specialists firms’ relationships with audience appeal. In addition, we will evaluate Hsu’s argument that a Principle of Allocation exists among firms and the US feature film study by highlighting variables that were not discussed in the theory but can certainly influence audience appeal. Subsequently, we will compare two real world phenomenon examples to the overall argument of theory. After the critical evaluation of Hsu’s theory using the two real-life examples, we will build upon it by providing our assumption regarding the consequences of firms acting differently. Evaluation of the Theory At the core of this theory, the argument is that multi-genre films will garner less audience appeal because film producers have limited resources to engage with the audience; therefore, the larger the audience, the less likely the producer is able to create meaningful engagements. The implication of this argument is that the audience expects the film producers to engage with them by stimulating their interest of a specific genre. We contest that other influential factors exist with respect to measuring the audience’s level of appeal with the organization. In other words, while it is true that the ability to engage with the audience by catering to their genre leads to high appeal, other variables are worthy of consideration as well. Consider the following factors: the film producer’s reputation illustrated by their marketing tactics, their affiliation and partnerships with other groups, and their relationships with the audience (consumers). In terms of the audience appeal, both the reputation and the choice of partnerships may significantly affect how little or how much an audience is attracted to the particular firm. For example, in the event that a film production company endorses racial marketing schemes to bolster their position in the market, the public could be negatively be influenced by the ad and thus have their appeal lowered – regardless of the number of genres in the film. A similar result may occur should the film company decide to affiliate themselves with groups deemed by society as unacceptable. An example may be promoting a non- environmentally friendly product in the film. Once again, this outcome is not contingent on the number of genres that the films have. To support our contention that these other variables do, indeed, impact the audience’s appeal, note the following example that we discuss below. Real World Phenomenon: Contradiction with Hsu’s Theory Starbucks Coffee Company is a key player in the coffee market. They began their journey as a single-store selling only coffee and tea in 1971, making them a specialist firm (Starbucks, 2012). After over 40 years in the market, they presently have a variety of foods and beverages including smoothies, blended drinks, pastries, hot sandwiches, and more. They have gradually become a generalist firm, offering many products outside of their dominant field, all while maintaining their position as a market leader (Technomic, 2013). According to Hsu’s research, a firm with a broader niche width (audience) will have to trade away audience appeal. Technomic, a leading American research firm specializing in the food industry, reported that as of 2012, Starbucks is responsible for the third highest consumers’ sales in the food and beverages US market as a whole (2013). In other words, Starbucks is the top-seller in the food market, captivating a broad niche. The consistently high levels of appeal from the consumers are demonstrated by their steady upward growth and sales trend (NASDAQ, 2013). This recent world phenomenon brings to light the question: how can Starbucks, as a generalist producer, engage with the audience in such a way that not only caters to these audience members, but capture their appeal as well? This is contrary to Hsu’s argument. Challenging the Theoretical Argument In both Hsu’s US feature film example and the Starbucks phenomenon, it is clear that both producers centralize the audience’s interests to gain appeal. The film producers
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