In alignment with the assignments for the course please select a company of your choosing that you will work on throughout the course.  Then present and outline of the industry model using Porter’s Five Forces Model.  Identify past data points that can be used to formulate a future strategy.

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In week two each student must select a publicly traded company that will be examined throughout the entire course.  The week two assignment provides more information about the company selection process.  The selection does not have to be a large or famous company as long as it is publicly traded but should be a company that is of great interest to the student. 

Select one of the two options below based on the company you have selected:

Option 1:  In alignment with the assignments for the course please select a company of your choosing that you will work on throughout the course.  Then present and outline of the industry model using Porter’s Five Forces Model.  Identify past data points that can be used to formulate a future strategy.

Option 2:  Identify a product from your selected company, and provide a full description of what elements of this product are apparent in a Differential Strategy?


Michelle Milburn

I selected The Hershey Company, commonly known as Hershey. I live less than 2 hours from Hershey, PA and grew up visiting the factory. I admire the Hershey brand and its values.

Hershey’s milk chocolate bar was the original product. Milton Hershey, the founder of The Hershey Company, set a goal to make luxurious chocolate affordable and accessible for everyone. Hershey’s chocolate bar recipe includes farm fresh milk creating a unique, distinct taste in comparison to its competitors’ products. Hershey has achieved and sustained the founder’s original goal of making good chocolate affordable and accessible to all. Hershey’s strategy has made the Hershey chocolate bar the most popular chocolate bar in the United States.

Hershey’s capabilities differentiate the company from their competition. The company’s strategic supply chain and operations allow Hershey to produce high-quality chocolate in large quantities. Hershey can sell the high-quality chocolate at a low price, meeting the needs of its target market. 

Hershey also differentiates by their strong, innovative brand name in the United States. Hershey’s marketing is distinct, reflects the company’s values, and uses elements of their original logo. Hershey’s strategies have created a recognized, trusted, and preferred brand. Additionally, Hershey recognizes the changing snacking needs of its consumers and innovates as necessary. They’ve expanded their product range to create more opportunities within the industry. 

I selected to discuss Hershey’s original product, but Hershey is expanding to be known for sweet and salty snacks. Hershey’s strong brand and capabilities have supported the company through innovation and expansion of their product line. I look forward to researching and strategizing throughout the course.

Tracie White

For this, and the following, assignments, I’ve chosen Enphase Energy, Inc. as my company. They develop and manufacture solar micro-inverters, battery energy storage, and EV charging stations, for residential and commercial customers. 

One of the key products offered by Enphase Energy is its micro-inverter system, specifically the Enphase IQ Series Micro-inverters. These play an important role in solar energy systems by converting the DC (Direct Current) power generated by individual solar panels into AC (Alternating Current) power for use in homes and businesses. 

Their micro-inverter system demonstrates a clear differential strategy. The first being technological differentiation. Enphase’s micro-inverters stand out due to their unique technology and design. Unlike traditional string inverters that handle the entire solar array, Enphase micro-inverters are installed on each solar panel individually. This approach maximizes energy production by optimizing performance at the panel level, even in shaded or partially shaded conditions. The architecture of the Enphase IQ Series Micro-inverters offer high efficiency and reliability. It reduces power losses caused by shading, module mismatch, or system degradation, resulting in overall system performance. Additionally, the design provides redundancy, as the failure of one micro-inverter does not impact the output of the entire solar array. This enhanced performance differentiates their micro-inverters from others on the market. 

Another differentiating factor is the scalability and flexibility in solar installations. The micro-inverter-based approach enables the expansion of solar arrays incrementally without affecting the performance of the existing system. This is particularly valuable for residential and commercial customers who may want to start with a smaller solar installation and expand over time. Lastly, the micro-inverters are integrated with an advanced monitoring and control system called Enphase Enlighten. It is a cloud-based platform that provides real-time visibility into energy production, consumption, and system health at the panel level. This enables homeowners and installers to optimize system performance, identify issues quickly, and maximize energy savings. 

Overall, the technological differentiation, enhanced performance and reliability, scalability and flexibility, and smart energy management set Enphase’s micro-inverters apart from traditional string inverters in the solar energy market. These unique features contribute to the company’s competitive advantage and attract customers who prioritize optimal energy production, system monitoring, and flexibility in their solar installations. 

-Tracie White