Human Capital and Financial Statements

Should human capital be included in financial statements?

The global economy has over time shifted from an industrial economy to an economy that is based on information and knowledge (Monday, 2017). As a result, human capital has more than ever before become of greater benefit to organisations. Many human resource and business experts agree that the human capital is an organisation’s most important asset (Dean, et al. 2012 ; Cobb and Wallace, 2016). Although this is the case, employees are often considered to be liabilities in financial statements given that they are paid wages and add to business expenses such is the case with their pension contributions. People play an important role in creating intangible such as research and development, brands, patents and intellectual property. In turn, these intangible assets greatly contribute to the creation of tangible assets such as land, equipment, vehicles and plants. Human capital, therefore, emerges as a core contributor to company profits and shareholder value (Dean et al. 2012). While this is the case, human capital often does not feature in balance sheets as assets in spite of its direct and indirect contribution to business profitability and shareholder value. 

Washer and Nippani (2004) hold the opinion that the importance of human capital in financial decisions can be appreciated by including human capital in the statement of financial position. Given that financial statements are mainly aimed at trying to portray as accurately as possible a company’s economic reality as well as providing users with relevant information to enable them make sound investment decisions, it is relevant and logical that human capital is featured as an asset in such statements. This is more so the case given that human capital is a key contributor to the organisation’s profits and shareholder value.

Human Capital and Financial Statements

Definition of Human Capital

Human capital is the skills, training, education, competencies, experiences, and innovation of a person that enables the transformation of raw materials into more valuable products (Micah et al., 2012; Dean et al. 2012; Oseni and Igbinosa, 2015). Cobb and Wallace (2016) define human capital as the productive capacity of an individual including their talent, innate ability, skills, and learned knowledge among other attributes. Essentially, the human capital of an individual determines their ability to generate ideas and produce goods and services, as well as their economic productivity (Cobb and Wallace, 2016). An organisation’s human capital can be said to be sum of the current and future economic valuation of the capabilities and skills embodied within all the persons that together make the organisation’s entire work workforce at a given date (Cobb and Wallace, 2016). In essence, human capital contributes to a business’ market value as it contributes to intellectual value. Intellectual value on its part contributes to organisational reputation and brand value.  Continue reading “Human Capital and Financial Statements”

Does Economics Contribute Anything to State Aid Cases?

Does economics contribute anything to state aid cases beyond the analysis of the market economy operator principle (MEOP)? – Economics Contribution to State Aid. 

Does economics contribute anything to state aid cases beyond the analysis of the market economy operator principle (MEOP)?

Introduction

Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) contain provisions of the European Union (EU) relating to state aid (European Commission, 2018). According to the article, state aid is generally incompatible with the common market except for a few exclusions and some exceptions (European Commission, 2018). Considering the provisions of the article, EU member countries generally avoid engaging in activities that are considered to be state aid and that are not compatible with the EU. Companies within the EU and EU member states always need to evaluate the cases they face and the potential risks of engaging in actions that trigger state aid as they attempt to deal with these cases. To perform such evaluations, member states apply tools such Market Economy Operator Principle (MEOP), which are based on economic principles (Nicolaides, 2015; Koenig, and Wendland, 2017). The European Commission (EC) and EU courts also rely on such tools when adjudicating cases revolving around state aid. Beyond the market economy operator principle, economics finds a lot of application in evaluating and adjudicating state aid cases. This paper discusses the contribution of economics in state aid cases beyond MEOP.

State Aid in the European Union

State aid is any form of selective advantage conferred by national public authorities to undertakings (Werner and Verouden, 2016). For such an advantage to amount to state aid, some features must be proved. One of the features that must be proved in this regard is that there has been an intervention by the state or through state-owned resources (Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2015). Interventions in this regard may take the form of grants, interest reliefs, tax reliefs, guarantees, preferential provision of services/goods and the holding of part or whole of a company by government. It must also be proved that the intervention selectively gives a recipient an advantage (Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2015). In other words, the intervention must not be equally targeted at all industrial sectors or companies equally but the selection must be such that it targets only specific companies, industries or corporations within specific jurisdictions. Thirdly, the intervention must actually distort or have the capacity to distort competition (Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2015). Read more … 

Does economics contribute to state aid cases

Decolonisation and International Power Relations

Did Decolonisation Transform Power Relations in the International Economy? If not, why not?

Decolonisation has been defined by Tuhiwai (2010, p. 3) as “the long-term process involving the bureaucratic, cultural, linguistic, and psychological divesting of colonial power”. According to Klose (2014), decolonisation is a process that involves the dissolution of colonial rule together with its economic, political, social, and cultural dimensions. Although different scholars have defined decolonization in different ways, there is wide agreement that decolonization is linked to the transfer of legal and institutional control over territories and dependencies from colonial powers to indigenously based, formally sovereign, nation states (Duara, 2004). Decolonisation, in Duara’s (2004) view, was not only a process but also a movement for political solidarity and moral justice against imperialism. There is a lot of agreement among scholars that decolonization had a significant impact on the global sphere (Collins, 2016; Office of the Historian, 2018). This notion is especially supported by the fact that within thirty years of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations in 1945, the European colonial empires in Africa and Asia completely disappeared, and in their stead stood new independent states (Klose 2014). For many territories under colonial rule, the thought of becoming independent states through the process of decolonization promised hope, freedom and prosperity. Decolonisation also promised positive changes in power relations between the newly formed independent states and imperial powers. This paper seeks to answer the question: Did decolonisation transform power relations in the international economy? If not, why not?This paper argues, based on dependency, New International Economic Order, and structuralism, that in spite of these promises, decolonisation did not truly transform power relations in the international economy.

Power in International Politics and Economy

The concept of “power” is perhaps the most fundamental in political science, international relations and political theory. Although there is general consensus regarding its importance, the definition of “power” remains a subject of great disagreement and debate. Indeed according to Barnett and Duvall (2005), scholars remain divided on how to define, conceive, study, and measure power, rendering the concept quite elusive. According to Barnett and Duvall (2005), power relates to the production of effects, in and through social relations, which determine the ability of actors to define or decide their circumstances and fate. Read more

Did Decolonisation Transform Power Relations in the International Economy?

PESTLE Analysis for Air Pollution Eating Bikes

PESTLE Analysis for Air Pollution Eating Bikes in Poland

Introduction
As part of its growth strategy, ABC Bicycle Company, a company based in London, seeks to enter the Polish market with its pollution eating bicycles. In order to establish the suitability of the Poland market with this product, the company needs to evaluate the external business environment of this market. The external environment of the country was evaluated by conducting a PESTLE analysis. This report presents the results of the PESTLE analysis and recommendations for ABC Bicycle Company
regarding the market – PESTLE Analysis for Air Pollution Eating Bikes in Poland. The report is limited to the Political, Economic, Social and Environmental factors and does not include the Technological and Legal factors.

Search Results Web results PESTLE Analysis for Air Pollution Eating Bikes in Poland

Political Factors

Poland has a stable government and a stable political environment and is governed by the rule of law (Radio Poland, 2018). Recently, there has been growing concern that the country is experiencing declines in democratic freedoms. However, the country has a functioning judiciary and strong institutions. Corporate tax in Poland is 19% although start-ups (businesses in their first year of paying corporate tax) and small businesses (those that did not achieve a turnover more 1.2 million euros in the previous year) are taxed at the rate of 15% (Price Waterhouse Coopers 2018). The lower tax paid by start-ups and small businesses serves to promote entrepreneurship as well as increase chances of business survival and success. The Polish government has no special policies governing cycling or the bicycle industry although it appreciates the riding culture in the country and is taking measures to improve cycling infrastructures in some cities and towns (Rigitano, 2015).

Economic Factors

Bicycle Sales

According to Mayne et al. (2016) Romania, France, Sweden, Germany and Poland have been experiencing a rise in bicycle sales since 2012. Of these countries, Poland experienced the highest (20%) increase in bicycle sales between 2012 and 2015 as can be seen from figure 1 (Mayne et al., 2016). In 2010, Poland’s bike sales stood at 750,000, sales exceeding the country’s manufacturing capacity (Utkin, 2016). Read more …

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PESTLE Analysis for Parcel Delivery Using Drones

PESTLE Analysis for Parcel Delivery Using Drones in the UK Market

1.0 Introduction
SFS Express is a Chinese company that provides logistics and parcel delivery
services. Having witnessed a lot of success in the Chinese market with its parcel delivery services that relies on drones to make last mile deliveries, the company intends to expand by venturing into the UK market. Being a foreign market, SFS Express needs to understand the external business environment of the UK and its suitability for parcel delivery and courier services using drones. This report presents a PESTLE analysis of the courier and parcel delivery service market as applies to the UK.

2.0 Political
A stable political environment is important for business and provides a conducive environment for economic activities. The United Kingdom is a peaceful country with a stable political environment. The country’s postal and courier industry is liberalized so that any interested person can easily enter the industry (Brown and Conway 2017). The industry is widely unregulated, a factor that has led to the poor services by some industry players (Tims 2014). Operators may, for example, provide postal and courier
services without a license or without prior authorization from Ofcom, the industry regulator (Brown and Conway 2017). Although the industry generally remains widely unregulated, shipping products to and from international destinations outside the European Union requires custom clearance and is highly regulated (Parcel Hero
2015). Several legal hurdles make international shipping both expensive and difficult, which has rendered international shipping unattractive for relatively small firms (UK Government 2017). While the liberation and limited regulation of the parcels industry makes it easy for businesses to venture into the industry, it also gives room for the entry of many players in the industry, which potentially makes the industry highly competitive.

The courier and parcel delivery market in the UK is taxed the same way as other industries. While corporate tax has been set at 19% since 2017, this rate is set to be reduced to 18% as from April, 2020 (with a possible further reduction to 17%) (HM Revenue and Customs 2018). Continue …

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PESTLE Analysis for Parcel Delivery Using Drones

Accounting Profession and Accounting Information

International Accounting Profession and Accounting Information

IntroductionInternational Accounting Profession and Accounting Information

This paper seeks to answer a number of questions: First it discusses whether the international accounting profession has lost its way and is no longer serving the needs of different users of accounting information in a manner which is appropriate and meaningful for the global business environment of today. Secondly, it seeks to identify the different user groups who require accounting information and how this information is provided for them. Finally, the paper discusses the status of accounting profession internationally and more specifically in the U.S. and the profession has been impacted by financial scandals in the recent past and the measures that have been taken in to offset the impacts of these scandals. The paper also discusses whether or not these measures have been successful – Accounting Profession and Accounting Information.

International Accounting Profession and User’s Needs

Accountancy involves recording, classifying and reporting on business transactions for a business (Bragg, 2018). It also involves measuring, processing and communicating financial information about business organisations. It is important that when reporting or communicating
accounting information, users of such information understand the information and can use it to make decisions. Members of the accounting profession should, therefore, ensure that accounting information is clear, understandable, and useful in decision making for users of the information.
The professional accounting profession has been proactive in ensuring that it caters to the diverse needs of users of accounting information in a manner that is meaningful to today’s business environment (University of Pretoria, 2016). This is partly evidenced by the fact that the profession has constantly adapted itself to the needs of different users of accounting information.

In response to these varying needs, different types and branches of accounting have been developed. Some of the types of accounting that have been developed in this regard include social responsibility accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, forensic accounting, financial accounting, governmental accounting and cost accounting (Siddiqui, 2011; Accounting Verse, 2018). Two main branches of accounting have also been established to cater to the needs of internal and external users of accounting information; management accounting and financial accounting. Internal users have direct and unconstrained access to accounting information of an organisation (Siddiqui 2011; Kimmel et al., 2010). External users, on their part, have limited and indirect access to this information and gain this information mostly through press reports and financial reports. Also worth noting is that cash flow statements were introduced in response to the need by some users of accounting information for information on organisations’ liquidity and sustainability (over and above their profitability information) (Simon Fraser University, n.d.). These adaptations and changes truly confirm that the international accounting profession seeks to provide accounting information to users in a way that is meaningful to today’s business
environment.

Accounting Information and Different User Groups

Different users need accounting information belonging to an organisation of interest to them for different purposes. Key users or user groups of accounting information include managers, employees, owners, shareholders, lenders, suppliers, customers, investors, regulatory authorities, community representatives, government, investment analysts, and competitors (Siddiqui 2011; Kimmel et al., 2010). The different user groups may be broadly classified into two groups; internal users and external users. While internal users such as owners, managers and employees have direct and unlimited access to the accounting information that belongs to an organisation, external users such as suppliers, investors, creditors and government have limited and indirect access to this information (Finkler and Ward, 1999). Internal users have access to accounting information that belong to a business through documents such as receipts, invoices, cash books, budgets, and ledgers. External users who are mostly interested with summaries of the organisation’s finances (as opposed to the minute details), often access information that covers an accounting cycle through four main documents or reports; the statement of financial position (balance sheet), income statement, statement of retained earnings, and cash flow statement (statement of cash flows) (Finkler and Ward, 1999).

Each of the four reports has a specific purpose. The income statement informs external users about the amount of money the organisation lost or made during a given duration. As noted by Kimmel et al. (2010), the balance sheet shows the exact accounts that the organisation has and how much every one of these accounts has. The cash flow statement provides details about what brought revenues to the business and how much of these revenues have been spent (Kimmel et al., 2010). On its part, the statement of retained earnings gives details on how part or whole of the net income presented on the income statement was invested back into the business.

Status of the Accounting Profession and Financial Scandals

Financial scandals have become common in many countries. Such scandals may result from the actions or inaction of different players including managers, employees, accounting professionals, or suppliers. Although there are countless cases of financial scandals that have been reported by media, some of the most notable are those involving Enron, Wells Fargo,
Cendant, and WorldCom (Michaels, 2018). The Enron case has particularly been important to the accounting profession as it has contributed to the adoption of changes in laws and accounting standards across the world. Investigations into the scandal revealed that the company’s executives overstated the company’s earnings, a factor that contributed to a failed merger. Several of these executives were found guilty of multiple crimes such as insider trading and money laundering (Michaels 2018).

Financial scandals have instigated changes to laws regulating accounting and the reporting of accounting information and accounting standards. In 2002, as an example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was enacted in the US in response to the financial scandals that rocked Enron and WorldCom (Warren et al., 2012). As noted by Warren et al. (2012), this law was enacted as a measure to prevent the occurrence of similar scandals by regulating and standardising issues such as disclosure, corporate responsibility and independence. At the same time, education institutions have responded to financial scandals by teaching ethics and ethical principles as part of their accounting courses as noted by Titard, et al. (2004). The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has been criticised by some experts for being a “feel-good” legislation that was aimed at pacifying investors and members of the public while having little impact on the prevention of frauds and financial scandals (Coene 2018). The legislation has also been criticised for overburdening companies with paperwork and hefty implementation costs (in some cases running into hundreds of millions of dollars per year) as noted by Coene (2018). The act has especially been criticised for failing to prevent the 2008/2009 financial crisis that hit U.S. and several other countries (Verschoor, 2018). In spite of these criticisms, some experts note that the Act has helped strengthen corporate governance by increasing the accountability and responsibility of CFOs and CEOs in relation to financial disclosures and related controls and by increasing the engagement and professionalism on the part of corporate audit committees (Verschoor, 2018).

Although members of the accounting information have in some cases engaged in fraud, unethical activities, and financial scandals, members of the profession have also played an important role in detecting and preventing them in other cases. Without the input of professional accountants, many financial scandals would go undetected or would not be prevented. Furthermore, without their input, accounting standards would not keep improving. In general, organisations and countries in which adherence to accounting standards and laws is poor, several loopholes for
financial scandals exist and therefore cases of such scandals tend to be high, the converse being true. Basically, this shows that the status of the accounting profession has a bearing on financial scandals and frauds, especially at the organisational level.

Pestle Analysis Example Parcel Delivery Drones

References
Accounting Verse (2018). Types of Accounting. [online]. Available at:
https://www.accountingverse.com/accounting-basics/types-of-accounting.html

Bragg S. (2018). What is accountancy?. [online]. Available at:
https://www.accountingtools.com/articles/what-is-accountancy.html

Coene T. (2018). Has Sarbanes-Oxley Really Done Anything to Curb Fraud?. [online]. Available at: https://www.allbusiness.com/has-sarbanes-oxley-really-done-anything-to-curbfraud-2-5220240-1.html

Finkler, S. and Ward D. (1999). Essentials of Cost Accounting for Health Care Organizations. London: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Kimmel, P., Weygandt, J. & Kieso D. (2010). Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making. London: John Wiley & Sons.

Michaels. M. (2018). The most memorable and expensive financial fraud cases of all time. Business Insider 24 April. [online]. Available at: http://www.pulselive.co.ke/bi/finance/themost-memorable-and-expensive-financial-fraud-cases-of-all-time-id8297568.html

Siddiqui, A. (2011). Comprehensive Accountancy XI. New Delhi: Laxmi Publications.

Simon Fraser University (n.d.) History of the Cash Flow Statement. [online]. Available at: http://www.sfu.ca/~poitras/cash-flow-stmt-history.pdf

Titard, P., Braun R. & Meyer, M. (2004). Accounting Education: Response to Corporate Scandals: Helping the profession find opportunity in crisis. [online]. Available at: https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2004/nov/accountingeducationresponsetocorporatescandals.html

University of Pretoria (2016). Chapter 5 Accounting in a changing environment. [online]. Available at: https://repository.up.ac.za/bitstream/handle/2263/28951/05chapter5.pdf

Verschoor C. (2018). Has SOX Been Successful?. [online]. Available at:
https://www.accountingweb.com/practice/practice-excellence/has-sox-been-successful

Warren, C., Reeve, J. & Duchac J. (2012). Accounting. New York: Cengage Learning.

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Nursing Care Patients with Acute Changes

Nursing Care of Patients with Acute Changes

Introduction

In this paper acute illness and how it can be treated and managed is discussed. So as to demonstrate a broader understanding of the patho-physiological changes that can potentially take place during acute illness, a case study of a patient will be used (see appendix). The paper discusses homeostasis, the patho-physiological changes in acute illness and the National Early Warning Score and Sepsis Screening tool. It also discusses the structured approach to assessing and managing acutely ill patients, before focusing on patient screening, assessment, and management of acute illness. In addition, it discusses the role of the nurse in the management of patients with cardiac arrest, ethical issues surrounding resuscitation, and human factors in resuscitation. The paper also discusses the importance of communication in the management of patients and before concluding – (nursing care acute changes).

Homeostasis

Korotkov (2013, p. 53) defines homeostasis as “the property of an open system, in living organisms, to regulate its internal environment as to maintain a stable condition, by means of multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustments controlled by interrelated regulation mechanisms”. As noted by Clark and Ketchell (2011) in this case, the body regulates parameters or variables within a specific range of values. Homeostasis, represents the processes for the maintenance of conditions under which cells, and, therefore, the body can function effectively. Homeostasis typically involves a negative feedback loop that counteracts the changes in a variable from the set point or norm (Starr and McMillan 2013)…. Continue Reading

Contents:

Introduction
Homeostasis
Patho-physiological Changes in Acute Illness
National Early Warning Score and Sepsis Screening Tool
Structured Approach to Assessing and Managing Acutely Ill Patients
Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Exposure (ABCDE) Approach
– Assessing and Managing the Airway
– Assessing and Managing Breathing
– Assessing and Managing Circulation
– Assessing and Managing Disability
– Assessing and Managing Exposure
The Nurse’s Role in Further Management
Nurse’s Role in the Co-Ordination and Managing Cardiac Arrest Patients
Ethical Aspects of Resuscitation
Human Factors in Resuscitation
The Importance of Communication
Conclusion
Appendix: Case study of James, a 22 year old male who has been admitted to coronary care unit (CCU).

(nursing care acute changes)

Nursing Care Acute Illness

Market Segmentation Targeting Positioning Examples

The following article attempts to provide an answer to this prompt: 

“…positioning and segmentation are distinct parts of the strategy process and provide us with some extremely powerful tools; but ultimately they are linked by the central issue of focusing on satisfying customer’s needs in ways that are superior to competitors(Hooley et al, 2017 p159)

By reference to academic literature evaluate, and critique, the concepts of
Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning (STP) including a consideration of
implementation issues. With supporting evidence, use appropriate examples from different industries (plural) to exemplify how different organisations (plural) have applied STP, to demonstrate your learning and application of this topic. Indicate how any company could apply the concepts around STP, making generic recommendations for best practice.

Market Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning (STP) with Company Examples

Introduction

Ever increasing competition and greater demands by customers have rendered mass marketing virtually ineffective in several product categories (Harvard Business Review, 2006). As a consequence of the increasing competition and the rise of ever more demanding customers, producers are constantly seeking ways to differentiate their products and meet the specific needs of smaller customer groups. Today, it is a fact that coming up with a great product alone is not enough to achieve market success. Against this backdrop, companies need to apply strategic marketing. One of the strategic marketing tools that firms can use to their advantage towards achieving success in the market is segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP). Worth noting is that STP is as much a tool as it is a strategic approach and model used in marketing. STP is part of the process involved in coming up with a marketing strategy and summarises the market segmentation process. Hooley et al. (2012, p. 183) note that although positioning and segmentation are distinct parts of the [marketing] strategy, they are centrally linked by their focus on satisfying customers’ needs in a better way than competitors do. This paper discusses segmentation, targeting and positioning and illustrates the application of STP using different industry and company examples (with greater focus on car manufacturer, Volkswagen). The paper concludes with recommendations for companies with respect to the application of STP – market segmentation targeting and positioning examples.

Related article: Segmentation Targeting and Positioning Volkswagen

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation, according to William Stanton, is the process of dividing the heterogeneous market for a product into several sub-markets or segments, each of which tends to display homogeneity in all important aspects (Rudani, 2010; Tabavar n.d., p. 63). …  As noted above, segmentation is aimed at enabling the firm give proper attention to the needs of specific customers that collectively form a segment, thereby maximising consumer satisfaction and profits for the business (Bihani, 2004). A company’s market can be partitioned or divided based on different bases. Some of the bases commonly applied towards the segmentation of a market include demographic, behavioural, geographic, and psychographic characteristics (Anand, 2016). … A company such as cosmetics manufacturer L’Oréal applies demographic and psychographic segmentation in marketing its products. With regard to demographic segmentation, L’Oréal produces certain brands specifically for …. With respect to psychographic segmentation, L’Oréal produces different products that are targeted at different markets depending on …; there are products for general consumers and there are those for … consumers such as …. Continue reading  .

Other subtopics included in the article: Targeting, Segmentation, Application of STP by Volkswagen (VW), Recommendations for Companies. 

Related article: Segmentation Targeting and Positioning Volkswagen

Market Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning (STP) With Company Examples

Segmentation Targeting and Positioning Volkswagen

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning by Volkswagen

Introduction

Many successful companies across the world apply segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) as part of their marketing strategies. Volkswagen (VW), a company that makes cars is one of the successful companies that apply STP. Established in 1937, the company manufactures several car brands including Audi, Seat, Lamborghini, Skoda, Porshe, Scania, Man, Bentley, Bugatti, and Volkswagen (Volkswgen, 2018a; Bhasin, 2017; Volkswagen, 2018b). While its headquarter is in Wolfburg, Germany, the company has several branches and plants spread out in different parts of the world. This enables it to meet the needs of its global clientele, with the help of a robust distribution network. This paper briefly discusses segmentation and targeting before focusing on how Volkswagen has segmented its market, its target markets (segments), and how the brand is positioned.

Related Article: Market Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning (STP) with Company Examples

Segmentation and Targeting

Market segmentation, according to William Stanton, is the process of dividing the heterogeneous market for a product into several sub-markets or segments, each of which tends to display homogeneity in all important aspects (Rudani, 2010; Tabavar n.d., p. 63).  Philip Kotler, on the other hand, defines segmentation as the process of dividing a market into discrete groups of buyers based on factors such as needs or characteristics, behaviour, marketing mixes, or who might require different products (Rudani, 2010). A company’s market can be partitioned or divided based on different bases. Some of the bases commonly applied in segmenting a market are demographic, behavioural, geographic, and psychographic characteristics (Anand, 2016). …

Targeting, according to Bihani (2004), is the process of evaluating how attractive market segments are and choosing the segment(s) to enter. It involves making choices taking into consideration available and necessary resources. Firms have a number of options with regard to the targeting strategy to apply. …

Segmentation and Targeting by Volkswagen

Volkswagen applies segmented marketing and has its market partitioned based on a mix of psychographic, … and behavioural factors to meet the specific needs of different groups of customers. The following section discusses Volkswagen’s market segmentation based on these factors/bases.

Psychographic segmentation involves partitioning a market based on customers’ values, beliefs, interests, attitudes, lifestyles, personality traits, social status, or other psychographic factors. Volkswagen has partitioned its market based on customers’ interests, … and lifestyles. In this regard some of the segments the company targets include consumers who simply need mobility, … enthusiasts, and consumers who need … and comfort.  These will be discussed in the following paragraphs. …  

The compact or small cars that VW manufactures such as the beetle, polo, and golf are aimed at catering to the needs of consumers who simply need mobility or who simply wish to enjoy the utility value of a car … The cars targeted at these consumers are simple in design, …, and are cheaper to buy and maintain. …

Positioning of Volkswagen/ Volkswagen Brand Positioning

Market positioning, according to Wilkinson (2013), is the process of establishing the identity or image of a product or brand so that it is perceived in a certain way by consumers.With regard to positioning, Volkswagen takes pride in being a leader in … and to this extent uses the
tagline “….”. … Volkswagen mostly positions itself as … that produces … vehicles which attrac
t … compared to most car brands with more or less similar specifications. Whichever place the Volkswagen car is marketed, it is positioned as a vehicle that promises … 

Conclusion

Volkswagen segments its market based on a mix of psychographic, … factors to meet the specific needs of different groups of customers. With respect to psychographic segmentation, the company has segmented its market based on customers’ interests, … and lifestyles. …. The company applies … given that it has segmented its market based on how consumers intend to use vehicles. There are consumers who need vehicles for … use while others need them for …. use. Going by …., Volkswagen positions itself as a …. brand that produces … efficient vehicles.  Continue reading

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Related article: Market Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning (STP) with Company Examples

Outline
Introduction
Segmentation and Targeting
 – Segmentation and Targeting by Volkswagen
       – Psychographic Segmentation
       – Demographic Segmentation
       – Geographic Segmentation
       – Behavioural Segmentation
– Positioning of Volkswagen
– Conclusion
– References

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning by Volkswagen

 

Pestle Analysis Sample: Small Law Firm in the U.K.

External Business Environment of Fenwick & Co. LLP

Economic Environment

The economy of the UK was greatly affected by the 2007-2008 financial crises. Ever since mid 2009, the country has been recovering from the crisis (Price Waterhouse Coopers 2016). Its recovery, although slower by historical standards, has been faster than that recorded by most of the other G7 economies over the same duration. While the country’s GDP growth dipped slightly in 2015, consumer spending remained relatively strong, the situation further boosted by lower oil prices. Analysts estimate that the country will achieve a GDP growth of 2% in 2016 as noted by Price Waterhouse Coopers (2016). It is also expected that consumer spending will remain strong during the year much as food and energy prices will remain low. Economists estimate that the inflation rate will gradually rise to the 2% mark from the current zero% later in 2017, which could prompt the Monetary Policy Commission (MPC) to raise the interest rates (Price Waterhouse Coopers 2016). For almost seven years, the interest rate has been maintained at almost zero percent.

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According to Spence (2016), the UK has a public debt in excess of £1.5 trillion. While this is the case, the government is steadily on track in repaying this debt. Analysts note that in 2015, the UK emerged as one of the fastest growing major developed economies. The rate of unemployment steadily fell during the year steadying at 5.4% while the housing market thrived (Elliott 2015). Consumer spending during the year also grew, a trend that will most likely continue in 2016 going by experts predictions. The country has also benefited from the strengthening of the pound against major currencies including the Euro and the US dollar in 2015 according to Elliott (2015). Although the first half of 2016 seems promising for the nation in economic terms, the second half is quite uncertain as noted by Elliott (2015). The uncertainty in this respect revolves around the impending referendum on Brexit.

Social-Cultural Environment

The UK has a population of more than 65.6 million people according to the Office for National Statistics (2018). Of this population, those ages 0-14, 15-24,25-54, 55-64 and 65 years and over account for 17.3%, 12.6%, 41%, 11.5% and 17.5% respectively (Index Mundi 2015). The population growth rate stands at close to 0.54%, the population comprising different ethnic groups, majority of which is White (87.2%). Close to 80% of the population of the UK lives in urban areas with London hosting over nine million residents (Index Mundi 2015). The nation has a literacy level of 99% according to Index Mundi (2015). The aging population in the country is steadily growing which also means that spending on the aging population by government and individuals is steadily rising (Kingsfund 2016).

London has a population of more than 8.8 million individuals according to Prynn  (2017). Majority of people living in London are in the 16-34 age bracket (Trust for London 2016). The city has a growing population of persons aged 65 and over. Reflective of national statistics, the city has a literacy level of 99%. The population of the city is mixed with ethnic groups including Whites, Blacks, and Asians (Trust for London 2016). Being a global business hub, London has a high population of foreigners from both EU and non-EU countries. The level of migration to and from London remains high at different times of the year. The prominent presence of foreigners in the city has seen residents of London embrace different lifestyles and cultures as influenced by visitors.

In general, people in the UK have divided opinions regarding whether the country should withdraw from the European Union. They are also divided on the net effects of a UK withdrawal from the EU in the immediate, medium and long terms. A recent opinion poll indicated that 46% of UK nationals want the UK to remain in the EU against 43% opposed to this view (Financial Times 2016). The population enjoys a lot of freedom in choosing what individuals do and where they work. Most individuals however work in urban areas where job opportunities abound.

Technological

One of the technologies that affect how business is conducted anywhere in the world is Information Communication Technology. Statistics indicate that over 90% of adults in the UK use computing devices on a daily basis (Office of National Statistics 2015). Statistics further indicate that close to 38 million adults, accounting for 77% of the country’s adult population, have access to the Internet on a daily basis (Office of National Statistics 2015). Between 2010 and 2014, usage of mobile phones to access the Internet grew from 25% to 58% (Office of National Statistics 2015). Well over 91% of UK households currently have access to broadband Internet.

Statistics show that over the years, use of ICT to procure or offer services has steadily grown among UK nationals (Office of National Statistics 2015). Some of the activities that people across the nation perform using the Internet include Internet banking, reading news, finding information regarding products, sending and receiving emails, buying or selling products, playing games, downloading software and social networking (Office of National Statistics 2015). The advent of social media has transformed the way businesses market themselves and interact with current and potential customers. Many businesses in London today have an online presence both in the form of a website or on social media. Businesses rely on social media to reach and respond to clients in real time. In general the Internet and social media have helped reduce the costs businesses have to occur in marketing their products, banking and in communicating with different persons. It has also made communication more efficient and effective. According to the Office of National Statistics (2015), close to 95% of households have televisions and roughly 93% of adults own a mobile phone in the nation.

Law firms in the UK and indeed other countries are fast adopting modern ways of doing business. Some of the law firms in London are going paperless as a way of reducing costs (Law technology Today 2015). The law firms are also using practice management software to schedule their activities and manage their resources for greater efficiency. As a way of reducing the risk of losing important information, many businesses are opting to store their data on the Cloud (Law Technology Today 2015). By backing up data on the Cloud, businesses are assured of having their information back in the event that the printed or soft copies they have locally are intentionally or accidentally destroyed or lost.

Legal Environment

The United Kingdom has a stable and reliable legal system. The country also has a reliable court system. Legislations and policies are instituted by the national and local governments through elected leaders. Several laws apply to businesses in the UK and London specifically. Some of these legislations relate to employment laws, contract laws, and environmental laws.

The national and local governments of the UK are concerned about the maintenance of a clean and safe physical environment. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 demands that domestic, commercial and industrial wastes be properly disposed to ensure that the environment remains clean (Tromans 1991). The law also aims at preventing harmful or unauthorised activities. The law places the duty of care on specific persons with a view of ensuring that wastes are properly managed without contravening on other people’s rights (Defra 1996). The London County Council has also instituted laws to ensure that the physical environment is conducive and that all kinds of pollution are minimised. Appreciating the fact that climate change is a serious global issue, the different levels of government of the UK are taking measures to ensure that nationals minimise emission of greenhouse gases.

Some of the policies and regulations that have been enacted recently and that will affect the operations of Fenwick & Co. LLP include the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims (2013), the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014), and the Finance Bill 2016 (Ministry of Justice 2013; UK Parliament (2016).

Environment

Being a major city, London has a huge population of people. The city has a good transport network comprising road, rail and air transport systems (London County Government 2016). In spite of the huge population of people in the city, the city’s environment is generally clean and well planned. More than 50% of the area in the city is covered in plants making the air quality much better that it is in most cities around the world (London County Government 2016). With parks and green spaces covering a huge part of the city, people in the city have several options to choose from when it comes to resting and leisure. The city has a reliable supply of clean water and well maintained sewer and drainage systems. In general, the city has a good infrastructural network that is vital for the success of businesses.

Recommendations

Fenwick & Co. LLP is operating in a business environment that is both politically, economically, and socially stable in spite of the changes that could result from the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. The huge population of London, its position as a business hub, its good environment and infrastructure together make it a strategic location for doing business. With the UK experiencing steady recovery from the effects of the global financial crisis, low interest rates, low inflation, increasing consumer spending power, and a growing population of elderly individuals, there are high chances that in the foreseeable future, small law firms like Fenwick & Co. LLP are bound to experience good economic times. Although the effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU are yet to be fully appreciated, there are high chances that small law firms in London will gain significantly from a withdrawal. This is the case given that many law firms owned by foreigners may exit the market as a direct result of the withdrawal leaving fewer players in the market.

The company needs to take a number of measures to position itself as an emerging leader in the market. One of the measures that the company should take is strengthen its online and social media presence as a way of attracting more customers and creating awareness of its brand. The company should also purchase and make use of practice management software as a way of increasing its efficiency. Although storing information on the Cloud comes at a cost, the business needs to go this direction as a way of insuring itself against the effects of losing vital information. The company should also take every measure to align its activities with legislations such as the employment laws. Recent changes in laws relating to crime, family, and Personal Injury Claims call for an update of the employees’ knowledge of the laws and their effects on the business and its clients. Fenwick & Co. LLP which intends to establish other branches in the near future may not be able to do so in other EU countries easily in the event that the UK withdraws from the EU. The company should consider seeking alternative sites as soon as the results of the referendum indicate that the UK will withdraw from the EU.

References

Allen & Overy (2016). What are the potential legal consequences of Brexit?, viewed from http://www.allenovery.com/news/en-gb/articles/Pages/Brexit.aspx (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

BBC (2016) Guide to May 2016 elections in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland, viewed from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-35813119 (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

Carney M. (March 2015) Remit For the Monetary Policy Committee. HM Treasury, London.

Defra (1996). Waste Management, the Duty of Care, A Code of Practice The Stationery Office, London.

Elliott L. (December, 2015) The UK economy in 2016: a flying start but watch the brakes, viewed from http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/dec/31/uk-economy-in-2016-flying-start-but-watch-the-brakes (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

Financial Times (2016) UK’s EU referendum: Brexit poll tracker, Financial Times, London.

Grandhi K. (December 15, 2015) Rise in UK minimum wage will cost businesses more than £1bn, viewed from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rise-minimum-wage-will-cost-businesses-more-1bn-1533368 (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

Index Mundi (2015) United Kingdom Demographics Profile 2014, viewed from http://www.indexmundi.com/united_kingdom/demographics_profile.html (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

Kingsfund (2016) Ageing population, viewed from http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/time-to-think-differently/trends/demography/ageing-population (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

Law Technology Today (2015) How Lawyers Will Modernize Their Firms in 2015, viewed from http://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2015/02/modernize-lawfirms-2015/ (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

London County Government (2016) Green Capital – Green Infrastructure for a future city, London County Government, London.

Ministry of Justice (2013) Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims, Ministry of Justice, London.

Office of National Statistics (2015) Internet Access – Households and Individuals: 2014, Office of National Statistics, London.

Price Waterhouse Coopers (2016) UK Economic Outlook – March 2016, Price Waterhouse Coopers, London.

Spence P. (2016) How large is the UK’s national debt, and why does it matter?, viewed from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/02/19/how-large-is-the-uks-national-debt-and-why-does-it-matter/ (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

The Law Society (2015) The EU and the Legal Sector, The Law Society of England and Wales, London.

Tromans, S. (1991). Environmental Protection Act, 1990: Text and Commentary. London: Sweet & Maxwell.

Trust for London (2016) London’s population by age, viewed from http://www.londonspovertyprofile.org.uk/indicators/topics/londons-geography-population/londons-population-by-age/ (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

UK Government (2016) Corporation Tax rates and reliefs, viewed from https://www.gov.uk/corporation-tax-rates/rates (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

UK Parliament (2016) Family law, viewed from http://www.parliament.uk/topics/Family-law.htm (Accessed 02 May, 2016).

 

 

 

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