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The following questions are all based on the GoPro case study published in the Forbes Magazine. Basing your arguments on the topics that you have studied throughout the unit, write a report addressing all of the following questions. The report/questions will cover both aspects of the unit.
Assignment structure and marking allocation
Entrepreneurship (25 marks)
Question 1: Whilst Nick Goodman was confident that his business idea for a cinema-grade mini camera could ultimately lead to success, he did initially question his ability to bring his product to market ie. 'He gave himself four years to make it work before he would drop his idea and enter the workforce'. Therefore, it is clear that there is a 'dark side' of entrepreneurship. Discuss three major traits that are associated with the dark side of entrepreneurship. Justify your response with reference to academic sources (e.g. academic journal articles, textbooks, etc.). (10 marks)
Question 2: Peter Drucker, a leading scholar in the fields of entrepreneurship and marketing, is cited in your unit material numerous times. When speaking of entrepreneurship, Drucker once stated: 'Most of what you hear about entrepreneurship is all wrong. It's not magic; it's not mysterious; and it has nothing to do with genes. It's a discipline and like any discipline it can be learnt'.
What evidence exists in the GoPro case study that supports and/or refutes this statement? Ensure your argument(s) are developed through direct reference to concepts, tools and techniques evident in the unit material. (15 marks)
Marketing and Strategic Planning (60 marks)
The role of planning within the firm has been discussed at length in this unit. We introduced aspects of entrepreneurial planning and explored how marketing planning gives direction to both corporate planning and marketing management.
Question 1: How did GoPro gain a competitive advantage from their marketing processes? Provide a theoretical analysis of the reasons for the achievement of this advantage. (30 marks)
Question 2: The GoPro case study specifically identifies future threats to the company's strategy. Provide a theoretical analysis of this threat scenario and give recommendations on how GoPro should respond to this. (30 marks)
Academic rigour (15 marks)
This is a substantial piece of scholarly work and will require extensive engagement with both unit theory and the case study.
School extension policy
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GoPro is an action camera and first of its kind product. It helps people to take pictures and record videos while they are performing some actions. Its founder took four long years to build the first prototype. It expanded its operations at a very fast rate. Since its debut in 2004, its sales has doubled almost every year (Woodman, Bould & Beck 2014). They manufacture all sort of wearables and the best part of the GoPro cameras is that they can be fixed on virtually anything. It obtains its revenue mostly from the United States of America, but they are expanding all over the world at a very high growth rate. This assignment is an attempt to understand the entrepreneurship and its principles by considering Nick Woodman, the founder of the company. It discusses the common traits and the dark side of an entrepreneur. In the second part of this assignment, marketing and strategic planning concepts are discussed. It discusses the factors that helped GoPro to gain competitive advantage over others in its initial years. The advent of smartphones have posed a big threat to the company. The steps taken by the company to keep its existence alive is also discussed in this section.
There are certain characteristics of entrepreneurs. They like to take charge of their work, hate daily and monotonous work, hard work and perseverance (Fini, Lacetera & Shane 2014). This is all combined with a good amount of risk appetite to make their ideas get into reality. There is an argument that most of the entrepreneurs start their own business because they are hard to work under someone else. As the organization starts to become big, the dark side is bound to be exposed (Klotz & Neubaum 2016). A few such traits could be:
The need for control attitude of an entrepreneur is evident from the characteristics like dominating behavior and discomfort to work as someone's subordinate. In addition, they do have big desires and ambitions and these are left at the mercy of the employees to complete it. They also like to get involved in the decision making process at each and every stage. It was Nick's continuous monitoring and involvement in all the crucial issues that made GoPro become a big success.
Entrepreneurs have a sense of distrust. They have a fear of falling victim to people's lack of dedication towards a work. In this particular case Nick is seen to possess similar trait. He took four long years to come up with the prototype all alone. Neither did he asked for anyone's help nor did he involved anyone with himself.
Entrepreneurs live a life of grandiose and feel that their present success will not last long unless they keep coming up with newer ideas. They like to get praised for the work they do. Nick showed these features with his high ambition and continuous improvement of the GoPro action cameras. When posed with a threat by the smart phones, he went to look out for other ventures like software development and creative content marketing.
According to Peter Drucker 'Most of what you hear about entrepreneurship is all wrong. It's not magic; it's not mysterious; and it has nothing to do with genes. It's a discipline and like any discipline it can be learnt' The case of Nick Woodman is a classic example of this statement. The dedication and discipline showed by him is impressive. He did a good demand forecast by seeing that there exists a market for wearable cameras. Not only did he figured out this need but also he worked day and night to achieve it. He dedicated four complete years to build a prototype of the idea in his mind (Looker 2016). The case shows a few instances where during a party he walks to his friends to share his ideas about GoPro and its improvements. These small instances show his complete focus, dedication and discipline which should be there in an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs should be disciplined with respect to few basic things. These include conducting proper market research to understand the industry structure, competitors and target market. Nick did a good market research by finding the gap which was that people were unable to record their adventures and cherish them later. The next thing is testing the ideas and Nick did it well by introducing several variants of GoPro over the time and finally he was handling a device which can literally fix to anything. The final thing an entrepreneur should be disciplined about is to possess a high level of mental toughness. When GoPro was facing stiff competition from the high end smartphones, Nick did not give up and kept on venturing into other avenues along with trying to improve the original product.
GoPro's main strategy was to develop cameras which could shoot action videos under any weather conditions. For this, Nick Woodman, had developed a camera in 2004 which one could strap on his/her wrist and shoot good memories even by being under water. They developed these technological devices way before these cameras turned to be synonymous to being cool. They constantly focused on the pain points which people encounter while capturing, editing and sharing of video content. In order to take this further, they constantly focused on the development of new devices which can capture memories in the form of videos with the help of technologies like digital signal processing, audio, design and sensors among others (Clark et al. 2016). They strived constantly to provide mini and versatile cameras which could capture videos with extremely high quality. Another strategy used by GoPro was the pulsing strategy. This implies the optimized usage of costs and benefits in order to allocate resources. This is one of the strongest advertising strategies used by many companies. This focusses on low levels of advertising during the entire year and higher levels of advertising during the peak period.
In addition, GoPro focused heavily on customer engagement through various social media platforms. It had targeted the right channels in order to promote itself and the features that its camera has to offer to its customers. The first channel where GoPro made its presence felt was on YouTube. GoPro was famous for its action cameras and was known for its features like high resolution and quality. So, the marketing team constantly searched the web for videos shot by their cameras (Woodman, Bould & Beck 2014). This team used to share some of these videos on YouTube which would in turn have an emotional impact on its customers, both current and potential ones. Some of these videos had content, while the rest of the videos which were shared would simply depict the beauty of life. In order to take a step further in this regard, GoPro team used celebrity endorsements, especially celebrities as brand ambassadors in order to promote some of the key features of their cameras. One noteworthy mention in this aspect of using YouTube was the constant connect with its customers. The marketing team used to read the comments about the GoPro products and the videos shot from them. They also used to advice the customers in case some feature is not working in the purchased product or in case they want to buy a new GoPro product. They never spammed their users to like their videos but at the same time they never forgot to thank their customers for their contributions on this channel. Also, they studied their customer market and exactly knew which videos to share with them. They shared videos which were packed with action and did not compromise on the quality of the videos. The side benefit was the indirect promotion of the various features of their cameras. With the passage of time, GoPro also made its presence felt on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Facebook, though their main channel is YouTube. In spite of Woodman not having an account on Twitter, he ensures that enough amount of money is spent every year on promotions and advertising which occur through this channel in the form of GoPro hashtag. Today, GoPro has over 220 million views on its YouTube channel and more than 4.8 million likes on Facebook. In addition to this, it has more than 1.2 million Twitter followers and about 3 million followers on Instagram. This shows the powerful impact that GoPro has on its customers and also the advantage of choosing the right platform for promotions and advertising.