Business Strategy



Chapter 9: “Multibusiness Strategy”


Case 3: “The Apollo Group, Inc. [University of Phoenix]”


Tip: While you are reading your chapters, take note of the pages where you encounter information that will help you with your case analysis Assignment.


Key Concepts


Differentiation strategy seeks to build competitive advantage with its product or service by having it be different from other available competitive products through features, performance, or other factors not directly related to price. The difference needs to be difficult to copy or imitate.


A successful differentiation strategy allows a firm to provide a product or service of perceived higher value to buyers at a cost below the value premium. The buyer feels the additional cost is well below what the product or service is worth to them.


Differentiation is usually preferable to Low-Cost strategy. Industry costs often decline over time, and as products age, competitors learn how to match cost advantages.




Case Study Analysis PowerPoint (PPT) Presentation:


Prepare a case study analysis on Case 3: “The Apollo Group, Inc. [University of Phoenix]” found in the Cases section of your digital textbook.


Closely follow the PowerPoint Template by clicking on the hyperlink. Please utilize this template to help you complete this Assignment.


Focus upon the idea of conducting a case study analysis with respect to The Apollo Group’s multi-business strategy using one of the three portfolio approaches to move the company competitively forward. Explain why a business might choose a low cost, differentiation, or speed-based strategy.


Use titles and subtitles per slide for each guidelines element. Please include the SWOT analysis with the four quadrants on the SWOT diagram slide. You can find the Case Study SWOT analysis template in Doc Sharing for reference.


Assignment Checklist:


  • Describe and illustrate one of the three portfolio approaches.


  • Explain why a business would choose a low cost, differentiation, or speed-based strategy.


  • Conduct a strategic analysis and choice for a multi-business company.


In this Assignment that focuses upon the idea of conducting a case study analysis with respect to multi-business strategy using one of the three portfolio approaches to move the company competitively forward , you will engage in developing the following professional competency:


  • Leadership with respect to knowing how to use software for job to support business analysis and operations



Business Strategy

Strategic Planning for the Sony Corporation

Assignment brief

Unit number and title    Unit 7: Business Strategy
Qualification    Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Business
Start date    24th February 2014
Deadline/hand-in    20th June 2014
Assessor    Perry Ellis

Assignment title    Strategic Plan for the Sony Corporation
Purpose of this assignment
Students will identify key strategic planning tools and apply them to a global corporation.  They will be required to evaluate the effectiveness of these tools and to

put them to practical use through an examination of the Sony Corporation, which has a broad portfolio of products and a trading presence in many international markets.
Case study for:
The Sony Corporation, in which students will:
1.    Identify key terms and planning tools related to strategic planning for the Mobile Communications division (Task 1).
2.    Recommend a medium and long term strategy for the Sony Corporation, based on one of the following options: market entry, substantive growth, limited growth or

retrenchment (Task 2).

Scenario:  You have been engaged by the Head of Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications to prepare a PowerPoint presentation about the current state of this important

division within the Sony Corporation.  Although the presentation is intended to be for the Head of Marketing to present to the main board, it is possible that you

might be called upon to make the presentation in their place.  The presentation should contain around 20 slides (± 10%).  You have also been tasked with preparing a

report about the future strategy of the Sony Corporation (2000 words ± 10%), for the main board.

Task 1   LO1  (LO1.1, LO1.2, LO1.3) and LO2 (LO2.1, LO2.2, LO2.3, LO2.4)

Case Study for Task 1

Sony Mobile Communications (SMC) is one the world’s leading providers of mobile multimedia devices including phones, accessories and PC cards.  The main competitors of

SMC are Apple, Nokia and Samsung.

SMC has a key presence in both developed and developing markets and is the world’s fourth-largest maker of handsets. Employing over 7,500 employees over 40 countries,

the management team is led (at the time of writing) by Executive Vice-President, Kunimasa Suzuki.

Sales for the Sony Mobile Products and Communications division in 2012 were Yen 622.7m, with an operating income of Yen7.2m.  In 2013 their sales were Yen 1,257.6m,

with an operating loss of Yen 97.2m.NB: the sales figures for this division of the Sony Corporation include the following products: mobile phones, personal and mobile

products (eg. Tablets), and personal computers.

The above is Sony Ericsson’s position in year 2013.  Carry out research and analysis on Sony Mobile Communications (SMC) and produce a presentation which addresses the

points below:

a)    Using SMC as an example, assess how mission statements, company visions, objectives, goals and core competencies contribute to the strategic planning process

of an organisation.  (LO 1.1)
b)    Analyse the factors that SMC need to consider when formulating their strategic plans.  (LO1.2)
c)    Evaluate the effectiveness of the techniques SMC could use when developing strategic business plans.  (LO1.3)
d)    Analyse the strategic positioning of the Sony Corporation by conducting an organisational audit   (LO2.1)
e)    Conduct an environmental audit on SMC.   As a minimum requirement you must carry out a PESTLE analysis, Porter 5 Force analysis and an internal audit. (LO2.2)
f)    Assess the role of key SMC stakeholder groups – notably, shareholders, staff and customers – when formulating a new strategy.  (LO2.3)
g)    Present your recommended strategy for SMC in your preferred PowerPoint format.  (LO2.4)
To achieve M1, you will make effective judgements about the value to an organisation of mission statements, vision statements, publicly stated goals and core

strategies.  To achieve M2, you will have used, explained and then evaluated the key techniques available to organisations when they are preparing to implement their

short, medium and long term strategies.

Task 2  LO3 (LO3.1, LO3.2) and LO4 (LO4.1, LO4.2, LO4.3)

Scenario:  As a member of the Marketing Department, you have been given the task of preparing a report for the main board of the Sony Corporation.  The report must be

written in a professional manner and properly referenced. The report should comply with the word count of 2000 words (± 10%). You may use tables and diagrams to

support your report and to illustrate the text. Word count excludes the index, headings, information contained in tables, references and bibliography.

Case Study for Task 2
Following the analysis you have carried out in Task 1, you are required to produce a report which addresses the following elements:

a)    Analyse and evaluate four key options that the Sony Corporation could adopt when considering its future strategy.  These options are:
1.    Market entry
2.    Substantive growth
3.    Limited growth
4.    Retrenchment                                    (LO3.1)

b)    Justify your selection  (LO3.2)

c)    Assess the roles and responsibilities of Sony staff (functions or individuals, as appropriate) who are directly involved in strategy implementation.  (LO4.1)

d)    Analyse the estimated resource requirements that Sony will need to identify and allocate if it is to implement the new strategy you have recommended.  (LO4.2)

e)    Evaluate the contribution of SMART objectives which Sony could employ to help it to achieve its overall strategic implementation.  You may consider a number of

approaches, including the balanced score card approach. (LO4.3)
To achieve M3 the work you present will be presented in suitable business formats and will use appropriate business terminology accurately, in line with the scenario

described in the case study.  To achieve D1 you must show that you have evaluated the strategies you have presented in your assignment, such that they are clearly

identified in order of importance (as selected by you) in relation to the future success of the company in the case study.  To achieve D2 you will have demonstrated an

effective approach to independent research and study, and you will have presented your recommendations in an appropriate business format.  To achieve D3 you will have

drawn conclusions which identify   the links between the planning and the implementation of a global strategy for the company cited in the case study.  To achieve this

you must show that convergent and lateral thinking has been applied to problems and that innovation and creative thought have been applied to your work.

Evidence checklist    Summary of evidence required by student    Evidence presented
Task 1    A PowerPoint presentation, based on Sony Mobile Communications, which analyses key strategic planning tools.  The presentation should contain around 20 slides

(± 10%).

Task 2    A report which recommends a future strategy for the Sony Corporation.  The word count for this task is 2000 words (± 10%).

Achievement Summary

Qualification    Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Business
Assessor name

Unit Number and title    Unit 7: Business Strategy
Student name

Criteria Reference    To achieve the criteria the evidence must show that the student is able to:    Achieved?
LO 1
1.1    explain strategic contexts and terminology – missions, visions, objectives, goals, core competencies
review the issues involved in strategic planning
1.3    explain different planning techniques
LO 2
produce an organisational audit for a given organisation
carry out an environmental audit for a given organisation
explain the significance of stakeholder analysis
LO 3
3.1    analyse possible alternative strategies relating to substantive growth, limited growth or retrenchment
3.2    select an appropriate future strategy for a given organisation
LO 4
4.1    compare the roles and responsibilities for strategy implementation
4.2    evaluate resource requirements to implement a new strategy for a given organisation
4.3    discuss targets and timescales for achievement in a given organisation to monitor a given strategy


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