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Introduction

BreadTalk Group Limited is a listed bakery based in Singapore and was created in July 2000. It became a civic corporation on March 2003. Each BreadTalk outlet employs an urban clear glass and clean look accompanied with fine artwork unique to each locale. BreadTalk outlets also feature  "see-through" kitchens, often situated next to or within the retail outlets, separated from the main retail space by transparent glass panes, allowing the public to view the kitchens. It aims to promote public confidence in their hygiene and food standards.

The group presently has a chain of 24 retail outlets island-wide in Singapore, and is seeking to expand overseas by opening branches in Indonesia, Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Oman, Kuwait, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea, and Bahrain. This will result in a tally of more than 400 boutique bakeries, 40 food atriums and restaurants. As such, Bread Talk is a successful international business.

BreadTalk started with a common shared vision to be an international trend-setting lifestyle brand. It began as a home-brand whereby diverse, attractive and most importantly, delicious freshly baked pastries. Bread Talk has taken bold steps in introducing new food cultures with creative ideas and clear-cut differentiation as compared to fellow competitors. Bread Talk offers a wide range selection of over 50 kinds of freshly baked buns. Every individual bun itself is a distinct work of art. On top of its uniqueness, products are baked with passion using highly nutritious ingredients such as whole meal flour. This results in the highest quality of bread, and serves as an extremely lucrative reason for consumers to choose Bread Talk over other similar bakeries (More, 1995).

These innovative strategies provide BreadTalk with a competitive edge   over competitors in the same industry. At the same time, BreadTalk is successful in creating a household brand that is easily recognizable by consumers of all age groups in Singapore.  BreadTalk has brought about a revolutionized the bread business, winning multiple awards in the bread business, with multiple awards testifying to its branding and business successes.

BreadTalk has implemented various business strategies to achieve its goals of expanding into other countries. Such business strategies include new product development, marketing mix, and cultural differences, ongoing marketing assessments, research development and innovation.

Marketing Mix

BreadTalk recognizes the increasing level of health consciousness by consumer market, and hence produces pastries made with high nutritional value using fresh ingredients with succinct quality control. To sustain the consumers’ interest, BreadTalk has constantly introduced new buns with creative names to cater to the changing tastes of consumers. The pastries, which range from different breads to a wide array of cakes, are priced competitively against its nearest competitors.

Furthermore, BreadTalk capitalizes on promotions by offering UOB rebates for purchases on cakes or breads that encourages consumers to buy more for greater discounts. This strategy works two ways; firstly increasing the sales and simultaneously fostering good relationships with other corporations.

Additionally, BreadTalk is actively seeking opportunities to expand its business overseas and currently has stepped foot into 12 countries with 9 of them located in Asia. The rationale behind investing in Asia is due to the pastries from BreakTalk have been researched and designed to cater and suit the preferences of Asians. Moreover, the baking techniques and taste preferences of breads and buns are different for Asians compared to Westerners due to regional variations. Thus, it is wise to expand the business in Asia in order to build up a stronger foundation before venturing into western countries (Brandowski, 1990).

Pestle Analysis

Economic

External factors such as the economic downturn have a significant impact on such an organization. The Sars outbreak during 2003 hit the economy terribly and affected the economy in every part of the world. Retail sales in Singapore have taken a dip by up to 50 per cent since the SARS outbreak due to a steep decline in tourism and a fall in local demand.

 Inevitably, the sales of Bread Talk were affected. However, this difficult situation works as an impetus to motivate the organization by strengthening its operating system. New and more efficient work procedures were introduced which were designed with the thought of future unforeseeable crisis in mind.

In the future, due to annual inflation and increasing costs of goods, it is prudent for Bread Talk to foresee its demand in the future and purchase goods in bulk in the present to obtain the best prices before inflation. By doing so, they incur heavier operating expenses in the short run, but will be able to save more in the long run and thus maximizing profit margins. One example is the practice of using frozen dough, which can be kept fresh for longer periods, to combat the effects of rising labour and rental costs and at the same time still guaranteeing product quality

Sociological

Before sinking a huge sum of capital in a new location, it is quintessential to identify the demand and food preferences of the consumers there. Different countries have a diverse culture, which brings about varied tastes and likes. Thus conclusive research must be undertaken before such an investment. Although the confectionary business is extremely versatile in catering to different tastes preferences, it is imperative not to expand recklessly. It is fundamental and paramount to build a solid foundation for organizations, achieving a stronger house brand before attempting to globalize the branding.

The understanding and awareness of diverse business cultures in different countries is key to successfully collaborate with overseas business partners. These differences between cultures must be respected in order to communicate clearly and effectively, hence minimizing misinterpretations while negotiating agreements (Makides, 1999).

Demographics such as the population and the standard of living are factors that will influence the demand of Bread Talk's products. According to the statistics in Sing stat, there is a clear constant population growth in Singapore.

With the increasing population and rising standards of living, the public has an increase in spending power to purchase consumer products. This is turn boosts the demand and sales for Bread Talk.

Political

Breadtalk being based in Singapore is an advantage because the country is politically stable. A business is usually healthy when it is based in a politically stable country where there are fewer cases of riots, strikes and political violence. Singapore also has laws protecting the businesses in the country.

Technological

The rapid advancement of technology is highly beneficial for organizations when it comes to marketing and production. With the aid of upgraded machinery, goods can be produced within a shorter time and that will allow the company to minimize production cost and increase productivity.

Other than common marketing strategy such as giving out standard pamphlets and flyers, Bread Talk engages consumers through the Internet by providing information on their official webpages. Furthermore, with the widespread of social networks such as Facebook and twitter, the Internet is used as an advertising platform and this widens the reach of targeted audience regardless of age groups or nationality. In the case of language differences, BreadTalk has setup regional websites such as” Breadtalk.sg, .hk, .my” to cater to consumers with differing mother tongue. This is to better dispense information and ensure that they are sufficiently shared to the vast majority of the public.

Management of retail outlets has been greatly simplified with the use of technology. Accounting and the cash register have now merged into single machinery while cameras were installed in most of the retail stores including BreadTalk to assist managers in observing both staff and customers.

Legal

It is important to note that all firms are subjected to the rule of law and thus Breadtalk is no exception. Business law entails all the issues that regulate and influence the management of Breadtalk. This simply means that the legal aspect of the business is as important as other aspects. Bread talk should therefore have a legal interest on all the laws that govern the management and running of similar businesses. Other legal aspects that the firm should take in to consideration are the business licensing requirements. The licensing requirements are determined by the size of the business or the type of business. There are many laws that protect the customers or the consumers. In this case, Breadtalk should focus on consumer satisfaction and safety in order to avoid being in the wrong side of the law and make their customers happy. Breadtalk is sensitive to the law of agency and contract laws. This is because these laws are one of the core laws in business. This firm is therefore legally founded on contract law in which all the dealings of the business are conducted. The business’s trade mark is one of Breadtalk’s key assets. This is because the trade mark gives Breadtalk legal protection and the right to use these assets. On the same note, it is important to note that Breadtalk is a legal firm and will continue to flow all the legal aspects in the future (Handy, 1990).

Environmental

At Breadtalk , we realize that the firm does not in any way exist in a vacuum or space but in an environment. Breadtalks also realizes that unless the firm adapts to the environment, it is doomed to fail. In this case, breadtalks opts to interact and interdependent intensively on its environment. This simply means that Breadtalk will not only achieve prosperity but will also benefit from the opportunity and resources which will aid the existence of the firm in the particular environment. This simply means that as the environment provides Breadtalk with the resources it requires, Breadtalk provides desired goods in return. The environment has a great effect on Breadtalk. One of the effects is that the environment poses a threat or set limits in which may challenge Breadtalk or create fresh opportunities for the same.

SWOT Analysis

In order to fully understand the challenges and opportunities are faced by Breadtalk, the firm has put in place a technique that helps to audit the firm and its environment. This technique will not only help Breadtalk in planning but will also help the firm to focus on the main or key aspects in the business. This technique is known as the Swot analysis. It entails the strengths in the business, the weaknesses in the business, the opportunities in the business and the threats in the business.

Strength

Breadtalks main strength is the fact that the firm specializes in marketing enterprise. All points considered, Breadtalk is not only innovative in the production and implementation of their products and services but are has one of the highest quality procedures and qualities. This means that the strongest points of Breadtalk help to add value and advantage to the products and services of the firm. (http://essaysforstudent.com/Business/SWOT-PESTEL-Porters-Five-Forces/94212.html)

Weakness

Every business prospect that has strengths must also have weakness. At Breadtalk, we realize that knowing the weaknesses of the firm gives the firm an opportunity to focus on the weaknesses. N view of this, the firm realized that the greatest weakness lies on the
lack of market expertise. The other weakness that Breadtalk learnt of from the swot analysis was the fact that the firm’s competitor offer different products and services. In this case, the competitors have always been a step ahead of the firm. The location of the Firm also gives it a disadvantage to its competitors.  Most of Breadtalk’s competitors are located in central places where they can easily reach and attract more customers. Breadtalks has suffered immensely from bad reputation. This was contributed by the fact that this is still a small firm and any mistake would eventually harm the reputation of this firm. In this regard, Breadtalk will use the right approach to focus on this weakness in order to be a step ahead of its competitors. (http://www.areapal.com/social/news/Singapore/breadtalk%20singapore)

Threats

Breadtalk is facing numerous threats now. Some of the threats include; the emergence of a new competitor in the location and business, introduction of a new product by the firm’s competitors,  Most of the firm’s competitors have an upper hand in the channel distribution access and sometimes higher taxation is introduced on the goods and service. In this way, the firm has to bear the extra costs of the taxation before it is transfer to the consumer. Apart from the threats and weaknesses, Breadtalks has realized many opportunities in the market and environment. Some of the opportunities are emergence of a new international market among many others.

Opportunity

Breadtalk has the chances to grow and be a very successful organization. In the Food &Beverage industry, breadtalk has 7 brands. This is an opportunity for the organization to grow and be able to compete with its competitors.breadtalk has other brands that include:

  • Toast Box is a brand of coffee shops that was developed in the year 2005, Food Republic is another brand and it offers great dining services.
  • RamenPlay is brand that offers ramen dishes. It is Japanese ramen restaurants where customers can watch chef prepare the ramen dishes.
  • Din Tai Fung is another brand of breadtalk. It is one of the best restraints.
  • The Icing Room is a brand that offers variety of cakes with unique designs customers can choose their own designs.
  • Carl's Jr( china) is a brand that offers burgers.

New design concept store is important, as it is one of the most unique settings. It is a very important concept because this helps the customers to enjoy the unique services offered.

Launches The Icing Room targeted on young adults to engage in designing their own cakes. The icing room is an opportunity for the organization to grow as people come up with very unique designs. Giving customers a chance to design their own cakes promotes creativity thus a chance to come up with nicely decorated cakes.

Bread Society, a premium bakery showcasing euro and rustic bakery recipes ensures that the customers enjoy variety of high quality and healthy breads. It helps the customers to know the different types of breads.

 Breadtalk maximize brand awareness by organizing press events. for example flosss wonderland in Indonesia. This allows the potential customers to know about the brand and ensure that they maintain their customers. (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Strategy_dynamics).

Mode of Entry

Breadtalk had an initial challenge on mode of entry into international market. The mode of entry had numerous alternatives. Breadtalk considered all these alternatives and choose the best mode of entry. The mode of entry will include; the internet, licensing, exporting, strategic alliance among many others. The internet was a very challenging mode of entry because of its complex nature. The internet has not only enhanced the business but has also given the firm new opportunities and markets.Breadtalk used exporting as a mode of entry in the international market. In this way, Breadtalk made a commitment to the international market. This has not only enabled the firm to have control over the it’s brand but also over its operations in the international market. Breadtalk had developed relationships with other international companies and made marketing agreements in order to improve the firm’s products and services overseas.

Breadtalk engage in franchise. It is willing to work with other companies in the same industry, in the Asia Pacific region. The franchisors have to adapt to the rule of having see- through kitchens. breadtalk is very reputable for its high quality dishes and thus many companies are willing to either franchise or partner with it. BreadTalk has entered into partnerships with many countries like Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Philippines among other. (http://essaysforstudent.com/Business/Barnes-Noble-Strategic-Audit/19119.html)

Organization Management Strategies

At Bread talks we realize that we need to employ organization management strategies in order to achieve the objectives of the firm. This means that the firm employs an effect strategic plan in the implementation and utilization of resources in order to improve and enhance the performance of the firm. Bread talk employs or uses a strategic management system that not only controls but also evaluates the business in line with the strategic alignment. The firm has consistently followed the strategic plan and intends to continue doing so until it obtains its objectives. In this way, Breadtalk is able to reflect on its tactical objectives from the competitor analysis, self analysis and situation analysis (Louise, 2010).

Experience and lessons learned

The organization should have learnt a lot of lessons from the analysis. Some of the lessons include; that they need to employ management strategies in order to achieve their objectives and the swot analysis helps the firm to understand the challenges and opportunities available in the business environment. In this way, this analysis will help any business to prosper and improve its weak areas.

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