Strategic plan 1
This articleproposes and discusses the viability of introducing solar panels aspart of John Deere’s product portfolio. The project will be run inthe CSR division. It aims at achieving two objectives using onestrategy. Firstly, it seeks to portray the John Deere as a sociallyresponsible company. Secondly, it intends to improve theorganization’s profitability through the sale of solar panels. Thetwo objectives are mutually reinforcing.
Keywords: Solar panel products, CSR, and profitability
The new producttargets the CSR division of John Deere Company. The intention of thisproject is to combine two different business aspect into onestrategy. In the past, corporate social responsibility was approachedas an independent event. However, this strategy aims at ensuring thatthe company makes a profit and promoting its image at the same time.John Deere Company’s commitment to environmental conservation andprotection is unquestionable and can be attested to the developmentof machinery which emit less carbon toxic gasses into the atmosphere.They are also designed in a way that makes them efficient utilizer ofenergy, thus reducing their reliance on non-renewable energy.
The proposedproduct follows this line of thinking because it seeks to provide abetter alternative to existing energy sources such as diesel andhydroelectric power. Therefore, this division proposes thedevelopment and promotion of powerful solar panels to power theequipment used in agriculture such as water pumps and lightingsystems among others. This plan is divided into two sections,including the development and selling of powerful solar panels, andthe vigorous CSR campaigns. These parts are mutually reinforcingwhile serving specific purposes of the company. Powerful solargadgets will diversify the company`s business idea, thus enhancingits profitability as well as financial security in times of economicrecession.
On the other hand,the vigorous promotion regarding solar panel usage will beinterpreted as the company’s attempt to provide a viable solutionto the problems related to over dependence on non-renewable energy inthe agricultural sector. The aim is to make as many people aspossible to use solar panels to provide power for their agriculturalequipment through campaigns. The company will be credited with theachievement, whether people buy John Deere solar panels or otherpanels. Either way is beneficial to the organization regarding theincrease of profit margin. Many people are likely to purchase thegadgets following spirited campaigns.
The mission of thisproject is to facilitate positive change by providing research-basedenvironmental conscious technological solutions to agriculturalprocesses.
The vision of theproject is to be the leading promoter of responsible technology-basedchange in agricultural practices.
How does the Division Plan to Address CustomerNeeds and Achieve Competitive Advantage?
Whereas there aremany ideas regarding how a business can address customer needs, thisdivision focuses on value co-creation. Value co-creation can beperceived as an economic approach which seeks to bring variousorganizational stakeholders together with the aim of developingproducts and services which are acceptable to everyone (Ranjan &Read, 2016). It is the most appropriate consumer engagement approachbecause of it makes it easy to focus on a particular group of peoplecompared to other methods. In this case, the valued stakeholder arethe targeted customers. Therefore, the plan is to initiate customerengagement with the intention of facilitating value co-creation.
Social media sitessuch as Facebook and Twitter provides the best platform for provokingresponses from consumers and collecting their views on the product.Thus, it is easy to gather people’s opinions regarding productaspects such as design, efficiency, price, and utility among others.These pieces of information would enable the division to determinethe extent of the impact of the solar panels. Future adjustmentswould be made on the characteristics of the products depending on theresponses. Likewise, social media also serve as a reliable source ofgrapevine. The strategic management of the division can assesspeople’s responses regarding whether they think that the project isan essential initiative to encouraging more people to use renewableenergy than was possible in the past.
The division’scompetitive advantage strategy includes portraying John Deere as asocially responsible company. CSR can be utilized as a marketing toolbecause it can facilitate the creation and enhancement of companyimage in the market (Mihalache, 2011). A lot of people tend toassociate and remain loyal to a company when they think that it isserving their interests. Apparently, the community’s awarenessregarding the adverse impact of environmental degradation hasincreased. They also know that harmful agricultural practices havecontributed to environmental degradation. For instance, the increasedusage of carbon emitting energy sources has contributed to thedepletion of ozone layer, consequently leading to global warming.Therefore, any initiative that seeks to provide better energyalternatives is likely to be accepted by individuals. Consumers arelikely to buy solar panels when they are advertised as better energysolutions compared to diesel.
The Business Model for the New Division
The core of thebusiness model of this division is the advertisement. As discussed inthe preceding paragraphs, the intention is to achieve two objectiveswithin a single strategy. The division plans to advertise solarpanels as corporate social responsibility initiatives to reduceover-reliance on non-renewable energy rather than typical products.CSR campaigns the foundation for launching the products andfacilitating acceptance from a larger section of the market.
Secondly, themodel will also be based on cost leadership strategies. Themethodology for achieving the best cost leadership in the market isby reducing the cost of operation. This approach will provide abetter leverage for reducing the price of solar panels. The productswill also be advertised as viable options since they are renewableand require relatively fewer resources compared to other energysources such as generators, alkaline batteries, and hydro-electricpower.
The division willuse integrated advertising strategy to popularize the division`s CSRagenda, and pave the way for the introduction of solar panels. Thisapproach is useful because it uses various advertisement platforms topass information. As a result, relatively more people will receivethe CSR messages compared to using a single or few channels.
Vision, Mission, and Value Alignments
The vision of JohnDeere is “to become the first choice in marketing the highestquality agricultural equipment and providing superior productsupport” (John Deere, 2016, n/p).This statement aligns with themission statement of the division of becoming the leading promoter ofresponsible technology-based change in agricultural practices. Therationale is that the company will become the first choice inmarketing the highest agricultural equipment if it uses technologythat is conscious of the welfare of the environment.
The provision ofresearch-based and environmentally conscious alternatives adds intothe list of objectives indicated in John Deere`s mission statement.Lastly, the values of the division acknowledge the values of thecompany because they emphasize and share similar goals. Importantly,the division will not be operated as an independent entity, butrather as an extension of the organization`s mainstream agenda.
The mission andvision of the division will act as the guide towards the intendedstrategic direction. The mission of the company, which encompassesthe usage of research to facilitate positive change in agriculturalpractices, defines the path which the division will follow to fulfillits objectives. Therefore, the company will increase its researchparticipation as well as the consumption of the outcomes of otherstudies to influence positive change in energy consumption amongagriculturists. The vision of the division, which includes promotingpositive and responsible energy solutions, provides the direction ofthe project. Therefore, the strategic direction is to use research toinform the development of solutions such as powerful solar panels toprovide energy for agricultural practices in the United States amongother countries.
Guiding Principles and Values
The guidingprinciples are recognized as essential in setting the divisiontowards a path that is acceptable for customers. Therefore, the workculture of the unit emphasizes on exercising justice, fairness, andtransparency to enhance the value delivered to consumers. Theseprinciples are reinforced in the values of the department as statedbelow:
To prioritize on objectives which align with the need of customers and contribute to the conservation of the environment.
To enhance fairness and transparency in the related processes.
To provide quality products and services irrespective always.
The proposedproject involves developing and producing powerful solar panels toprovide better energy alternative to agriculturists. It is adaptedfrom the company’s mainstream business model, culture, mission,vision, and values among other attributes. Its core purpose is toconcurrently improve the image and enhance the profitability of JohnDeere Company through value co-creation and research. It is a uniqueproposal because it seeks to achieve multiple objectives using onestrategy.
John Deere. (2016). About John Deere.Retrieved September 13, 2016, from https://www.deere.com/en_US/corporate/our_company/about_us/about_us.page
Mihalache, S. Ş.(2011). Csr–A Marketing Tool?. Annals of SpiruHaret University, 159.
Ranjan, K. R., & Read, S. (2016).Value co-creation: concept and measurement. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 44(3), 290-315.