Analysis of Vera Bradley’s Case Study
Compose a minimum of 1,400 words in which you discuss the Vera Bradley Case Study.
Examine what resources were critical to getting the company off the ground.
Elaborate on what conclusions you can draw about the market research and the level of analysis and planning employed by Barb and Pat.
Explain your opinion of the company’s sales and distribution strategy, and its production strategy. Identify feasible alternatives to these, given Vera Bradley’s resources.
Explain your opinion of Vera Bradley’s initial focus on middle-aged and older women and whether this decision will lock it out of expansion to a younger demographic market.
Discuss your opinion of whether Barb and Pat’s focus on company culture is advisable during this early stage of company development and growth. Examine what would happen to the sustainability of that culture if and when the company experiences major growth.
Cite a minimum of 1 peer reviewed reference from the University of Phoenix Library and a minimum of 1 reference from Chapter 2 of Entrepreneurship.
Format assignment consistent with APA guidelines.
Analysis of Vera Bradley’s Case Study
Entrepreneurship and business development come with multiple opportunities and challenges. Entrepreneurs identify and exploit opportunities in the society. They seek to provide solutions to issues affecting the society in innovative and creative ways for profit or not. The establishment of a business comes with different challenges and requires commitment, dedication, vision, determination to the achievement of clearly set goals, hard work (Bygrave, 2004). The possession of these qualities among others by a person with a practical idea ascertains success in its implementation. The founders of Vera Bradley Designs, Barb and Pat, employed these qualities in establishing their business. Vera Bradley has grown to a successful business (ranked fourth largest handbag producer) from ample beginnings in Barb’s garage (Collins, 2014). This essay offers an articulate discussion of the Vera Bradley Case Study, outlining critical resources, the influence of market research, efficient strategy, the identification of the target market, and the development of organizational culture in propelling a business to success.
Analysis of Vera Bradley’s Case Study
The implementation of a business idea requires sufficient financial, human, physical, and educational resources. The creation of Vera Bradley required significant capital to start operations. While Barb and Pat borrowed from their husband for a kick-start, the continued expansion of the business required more capital input. Sufficient financial input was critical for the business for purchasing raw materials, production, and wages and other expenditures (Bygrave, 2004). Moreover, the growing company required employees to assist in the different business functions and operations. The need for more employees to undertake roles such as creating fabric patterns and sewing was critical for ensuring that the company met its goals, supplied quality products, and guaranteed customer satisfaction (Collins, 2014). Additionally, Vera Bradley required physical resources such as premises for conducting business apart from Barb’s garage and educational resources for training employees to ensure quality production. The integration of the different resources supported the entrepreneurial spirit of Barb and Pat and their idea, resulting in continuous improvement.
However, the success of the business would be impossible without sufficient market research, analysis, and planning. Barb and Pat focused on extensive market research before starting the business. The research facilitated the identification of the gap in the market, the needs of the target customers, and placed the founders at an elevated ground for making informed decisions. Vera Bradley Designs used a simple yet comprehensive market research technique that allowed objectivity. The trunk attendees and college students, without knowing the producers of the products, gave honest opinions and feedbacks. Further, the market research involved the identification of their competitors, their strategies, their products, strengths, and weaknesses, and focused on that to develop more appealing, attractive, and cheaper products. Therefore, Barb and Pat engaged in an in-depth analysis of the market thus making it simpler for them to identify the areas that required greater focus. Additionally, sufficient planning was essential for the development of an effective business that would later take on the main competitors in the market (Collins, 2014).
The production, sales, and distribution strategy of a company define the ability to reach the consumers and enable the constant supply of goods to meet the demand. Outsourcing the sewing to skilled people within the community enhanced quality and facilitated production efficiency. An alternative to the production strategy would have been the recruitment of fashion and design interns guided by a few professionals to assist with the sewing. This would have been cheaper and would create an excellent production team. Additionally, Vera Bradley Designs established an effective channel of distribution that ensured the continuous supply of its products to meet the demands of the market (Witt, 2006). The company started off with an inefficient distribution channel but it worked efficiently considering that the sales were low. However, the adoption of a more comprehensive and efficient distribution channel supported its distribution strategy greatly, enhancing sales and increasing profit efficiency (Trebilcock, 2013). The adoption of sales representatives was an impressive strategy. An alternative at the stage would have been the identification of different businesses dealing with handbags and luggage bags and supplying them while slowly establish their own depots or selling points.
The effective identification of the target market defines the success of a business and the potential for expansion and development. The initial identification of the middle-aged and older women as their target would have meant the creation of products that matched the needs of the market. The move would have resulted in developing products that appealed less or appeared unattractive for the younger demographic market. This would not entirely lock out the younger market since the Vera Bradley Designs’ products appealed to young college students in the initial stages of their development. However, the differing preferences for younger and older demographic markets require the diversification of the products to meet the needs of both groups. The market development and expansion to the younger generation required the redefinition of the products in accordance with their needs. For example, younger ladies may prefer trendy, fashionable, and easier-to-carry around handbags and purses while the middle-aged and older women may go for sophistication and class. The creation of bags that meet the specific needs and consumer preferences determines the success of the company expanding to the particular market (Trebilcock, 2013).
Apart from the issues discusses, organizational culture is an important element in promoting organizational development and success. According to Matinaro and Liu (2017), organizational culture defines and sets standards for employee behaviour and interaction, organizational values, and play a fundamental role in influencing performance. The establishment of a culture of respect, quality production and service, and commitment to organizational responsibilities, integrity, honesty, and transparency among others in the initial stages of business development ensures the continuation of the culture. As a business develops, the development of the culture continues with the help of current employees and management. Moreover, culture shapes performance, innovativeness, and efficiency (Hock, Clauss, & Schulz, 2016). Vera Bradley Designs’ focus on culture from the initial stages of its development set a ground for the growth of the culture as the company grew (Collins, 2014). Therefore, the culture is an important element of the company thus the need to nurture and develop it constantly. Even with major organizational growth, a well-established culture at the beginning remains adamant.
However, it is important to make constant adjustments as growth occurs to ascertain the sustainability of the culture. The friendly and fun culture with a sense of family that Barb and Pat focused on creating would be unsustainable with the significant continuous development of the company. While the duo focused on employing family and friends, the maintenance of the culture would be difficult with the growth of the company and the need to engage professionals and people outside their circle of friends. However, the culture would be continued in specific shops headed by their friends and family by employing people within their circles of friendship. As growth occurs, the need for organizational change is inevitable. I believe that the growth of the company and expansion to different geographic regions would require the management to slowly adjust the culture to fit within the contexts. This presents the culture created as unsustainable to a greater degree. However, it must be credited for developing and causing organizational development (Collins, 2014).
integration of resources, skills, competencies, and strategy into the Vera
Bradley Designs goals and objectives enhanced the company’s growth and
development. Starting the company required Barb and Pat to have sufficient
capital, enough human resource, a premise for operation, and training programs.
The different resources allowed the team to establish an efficient business
with an effective production, sales, and distribution strategy. Continuous research
and learning supported the development of the different functions of the
business. However, it was important for Barb and Pat to engage on an in-depth market
research and analysis to identify the opportunity in the cottage industry, the
market needs, their competitors and their strategies, products, strengths and
weaknesses. Most importantly, the research made it possible to develop an
efficient strategy for operation. However, the success of the business would
have been difficult without the prior analysis of the market niche and the
continuous development of the company’s culture upon establishment. The
analysis of the case study shows the influence and importance of the different
aspects on business.
Bygrave, W. D. (2004). Critical factors for starting a new enterprise. In A. Z. William D. Bygrave, The portable MBA in entrepreneurship. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Collins, A. (2014). How Vera Bradley Grew to Become Fourth Largest Handbag Maker. Mergers & Acquisitions Report, 29 (13), 31.
Hock, M., Clauss, T., & Schulz, E. (2016). The impact of organizational culture on a firm’s capability to innovate the business model. R&D Management, 46 (3), 433-450.
Matinaro, V., & Liu, Y. (2017). Towards increased innovativeness and sustainability through organizational culture: A case study of a Finnish construction business. Journal of Cleaner Production, 142, 3184-3193.
Trebilcock, B. (2013). Vera Bradley’s multi-channel success. Modern Materials Handling, 68 (9), 18-24.
Witt, C. E. (2006). Function Follows Fashion: Vera Bradley’s Distribution Strategy. Material Handling Management, 61 (2), 18-22.