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Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios Discussion

Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios Discussion



In this video Steve Jobs addresses the graduating class of Stanford University. Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself — at the university’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005. As you listen to this address consider these points that Jobs makes: 1) You cannot connect the dots looking forward, 2) the only way to be truly satisfied is to love your work, 3) you cannot outrun death, and 4) have the courage to follow your heart. Discuss how this applies to this course material, or you can discuss how this can help you set goals and focus on your future as a MBA.


Real World example

Your best friend owns a small children’s clothing store located in the downtown area of a community of 50,000 citizens. The business has been slow the past year due to the construction of several new strip malls and a new Walmart store (Increased competition). She discovered you were taking an online marketing class and asked for your advice for ideas to increase her sales (She owns her present building and will not relocate her business, even though the downtown area is losing stores to the new strip malls). What would you tell her based on what you have learned in this course?


Research small business marketing and low-cost promotional strategies


  • What advice would you offer your friend?
  • What low-cost strategies could she employ to help stay competitive?
  • Share your ideas on how small businesses can compete when larger businesses come to town.

Discuss each question and support your ideas with validating scholarly research.


In the face of rising competition from larger corporations and suburban strip malls, small businesses like my friend’s children’s clothing store can employ a variety of strategic and cost-effective marketing approaches to increase visibility and drive sales. These methods leverage the unique characteristics of small businesses such as personalized service, local community connection, and flexibility to adapt quickly to market trends (Burt, Mavrommatis, & Burt, 2020).

Firstly, I would advise my friend to build a compelling and unique selling proposition (USP) that distinguishes her store from her new competitors. Walmart and similar large-scale businesses are known for their broad product range and low prices, but they often cannot match the personalized customer experience and unique product offerings that small businesses can provide (Kumar, Bezawada, Rishika, Janakiraman, & Kannan, 2016).

Secondly, creating a strong online presence can enhance visibility and drive foot traffic to the physical store. A user-friendly website showcasing the store’s unique products, a regularly updated blog with engaging content relevant to children’s fashion, and an active presence on social media platforms where the target market is active are vital. Online marketing strategies are cost-effective, broad-reaching, and often lead to increased in-store visits (Pantano, Priporas, & Stylos, 2017).

Thirdly, I would suggest initiating loyalty programs that reward repeat customers. These programs encourage customer retention and can generate word-of-mouth advertising. They can be as simple as a punch card offering a free item after a certain number of purchases or a more complex points system tied to a mobile app (Lewis, 2020).

Moreover, fostering relationships within the local community is a valuable way for small businesses to compete with larger corporations. Hosting community events, collaborating with local schools and organizations, sponsoring local sports teams, or participating in community charity events can create positive associations and foster strong customer relationships (Burt et al., 2020).

Lastly, implementing partnerships with other local businesses can help establish a cooperative network that encourages customers to “shop local.” Such initiatives could include cross-promotions or joint events that increase customer traffic to all involved businesses (Kumar et al., 2016).

Reflecting on my peers’ discussions, I agree with those who emphasize the importance of online marketing strategies, especially for small businesses with limited budgets. However, as another peer mentioned, online strategies should not neglect the power of physical, in-store experiences. Therefore, an optimal approach should integrate both online and offline strategies.

In conclusion, the competitive challenge posed by large corporations and suburban strip malls necessitates strategic, cost-effective marketing methods that exploit the unique strengths of small businesses. Through a strong unique selling proposition, robust online presence, customer loyalty programs, community engagement, and local partnerships, small businesses can remain competitive, maintain their customer base, and possibly even attract new customers.


Burt, S., Mavrommatis, A., & Burt, G. (2020). The internationalization of grocery retailing: Asia. In The Internationalization of Retailing (pp. 71-94). Routledge.

Kumar, V., Bezawada, R., Rishika, R., Janakiraman, R., & Kannan, P. K. (2016). From Social to Sale: The Effects of Firm-Generated Content in Social Media on Customer Behavior. Journal of Marketing, 80(1), 7-25.

Lewis, M. (2020). The effect of loyalty programs on customer lifetime duration and share of wallet. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 53, 101946.

Pantano, E., Priporas, C. V., & Stylos, N. (2017). ‘You will like it!’ using open data to predict tourists’ response to a tourist attraction. Tourism Management, 60, 430-443.


As we navigate the challenges of an increasingly competitive market, small businesses often find themselves in a precarious position. However, these entities can flourish by capitalizing on their strengths and employing innovative, low-cost promotional strategies. I offer a few suggestions to my friend who owns a small children’s clothing store.

Firstly, I propose focusing on a highly differentiated product offering and personalized customer service, two areas where small businesses typically have an advantage over large retailers. Research indicates that small businesses can develop robust customer relationships, leading to repeat business and customer loyalty (Kumar, 2016). An emphasis on local sourcing and handpicked, unique clothing designs can strengthen this differentiation.

Secondly, exploiting digital marketing avenues can significantly benefit her business. For instance, implementing an e-commerce platform on the store’s website can widen her customer base. Consumers appreciate the convenience of online shopping, and this strategy may counteract the geographical limitations of their current location (Pantano et al., 2020).

Additionally, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be highly effective promotional tools for her business. Regular posts showcasing new arrivals, special deals, or behind-the-scenes insights into the store’s operations can increase customer engagement. The cost of maintaining these platforms is relatively low and has shown promising results for small businesses (Taiminen & Karjaluoto, 2015).

Moreover, partnering with other local businesses to host joint promotional events or create bundle offers can attract new customers and reinforce community ties. For example, the clothing store might team up with a local children’s bookstore for a combined discount promotion. Such collaborations, as described by Stavins (1995), can contribute to an ecosystem of small businesses supporting one another against larger competitors.

Lastly, engaging in community events and sponsoring local initiatives can also help increase visibility and improve the store’s reputation. This community engagement strategy can result in indirect marketing benefits (Kozinets et al., 2008).

In conclusion, while larger businesses can pose significant challenges, small businesses are not without their strengths. Small businesses can compete effectively in today’s dynamic market through differentiation, digital marketing, local partnerships, and community engagement. However, each of these strategies requires a consistent effort and careful adaptation to the unique characteristics of the local market and the business itself.


Kozinets, R. V., Hemetsberger, A., & Schau, H. J. (2008). The wisdom of consumer crowds: Collective innovation in the age of networked marketing. Journal of Macromarketing, 28(4), 339-354.

Kumar, V. (2016). Examining the Role of Customer Engagement in Strengthening Customer Loyalty. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 24(3), 294–309.

Pantano, E., Pizzi, G., Scarpi, D., & Dennis, C. (2020). Competing during a pandemic? Retailers’ ups and downs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Journal of Business Research, 116, 209-213.

Stavins, J. (1995). Model entry and exit in a differentiated-product industry: The personal computer market. The Review of Economics and Statistics, pp. 571–584.

Taiminen, H. M., & Karjaluoto, H. (2015). The usage of digital marketing channels in SMEs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development.

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