PowerSites (2013) identifies one primary market that is relevant for companies such as Google that operate in social media. This market is referred to as Fashionista Professionals, a younger market ranging from 25 to 34 which generally sustains very high disposable incomes (Powersites, 2013). The estimated market size for the Fashionista Professional is 47.2 million and this particular market segment wants to establish long-term relationships with their favorite brands in a social online community. Zhang & Chan (2009) identifies that when a product or service provides ample opportunities to build self-expansion opportunities in consumers (i. e.
cognitive growth or social growth), markets are likely to develop strong brand attachments. YouTube, by design, offers these opportunities for self-expansion with a variety of different opportunities for education or how-to instructional video access. A recent survey of 25 to 34 year-old markets identified that the majority of this market is content with their lives and tend to prefer premium products and services as a means of justifying their identities (Executive Digest, 2008). These psychographic market characteristics are what drives Google’s adaptability and competitive strategy development.
For instance, Google is able to isolate specific channels which cater to the 25 to 34 year old market (or the Fashionista Professionals) with integrated communications aligned with their social values, such as confidence, group membership, or expressing how Google can satisfy needs for self-expansion. The main competitive strength as aligned with meeting specific market values and characteristics is transparency in the social media environment, benchmarked after Apple’s humanistic model, building trustworthiness in important revenue-building markets by engaging target markets with communications relevant and similar to the lifestyle and social values of these consumers.
Diversity of market availability domestically and internationally essentially infuses a need for adaptability and flexibility in the business model that is not easily replicated by competition. Michael Porter (2012), a renowned business and strategic theorist, identified a risk from the external environment related to consumers, which is buying power of markets. For Google customers, switching costs for defecting to other companies (such as Yahoo! ) are extremely low, giving them much more influence in how Google chooses to implement different pricing structures or innovation development.
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