After viewing the video by Simon Sinek on empathy, located in the learning materials section of this module, we can have a greater idea of empathy. As Mr. Sinek suggests, we have to start practicing empathy and relate to what others may be going through and it will profoundly change the decisions we make. It will profoundly change the way we see the world.  The video combined with the assignment below is a great exercise in developing an understanding of others; whether it be coworkers, the manager, or even clients/customers.

Empathy Map (designed by David Gray of XPLANE and author of The Connected Company and Gamestorming). Links to an external site.Note: Professor Ramsey was given permission by Mr. Gray to utilize this map via email where he also expressed interest in seeing what students come up with for this exercise!

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Empathy Map is a template designed to help development teams gain a deeper level of understanding of an internal or external stakeholder, such as a customer, a prospect, a partner or a peer in your own company.  Even if you don’t understand the stakeholder very well, the empathy-mapping exercise can help you identify gaps in your understanding and help you gain a deeper understanding of the things you don’t yet know.

Instructions: Students can use this map as if they are a manager trying to have empathy for an employee, or for a client.  It can also be viewed as an employee having empathy for a co-worker or even the boss. To take it a step further, it may also put you in the shoes so to speak of a company’s board of directors, executive management, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, and the local community.

Assignment Instructions

Select an issue facing a company today (i.e. pandemic, social injustice, etc.) and fill out the empathy map with one of these scenarios in mind:

  1. You are a manager trying to have empathy for one of your employees during this time who is personally affected by this issue.
  2. You are a board member having a communication issue with a manager of the company, but you have just learned that they have a sick family member at home.
  3. You are an employee who saw a change in your coworker’s performance but learned that they are having family issues that are affecting them at work.
  4. Design your own scenario that you would like to use to complete this exercise.

How to use the Empathy Map?

  1. Start with the GOAL section, by defining who will be the subject of the Empathy Map and a goal: something they need to do. This should be framed in terms of an observable behavior. Additionally, provide an example of a strategic or non-strategic decision this person could make as it relates to the company’s product or service.
  2. Once you have determined the goal, work clockwise around the map. The reason for this is to give you a chance to imagine what another’s experience might be like.
  3. After the outside elements have been determined, then the focus can shift to the large head within the diagram.  (This is one of the most important aspects of the map’s design; what it’s like to be inside someone else’s head.
  4. A completed Empathy Map exercise is a great addition for a value proposition design if one is designing the customer experience, products, or services.

New assignment here. Company name Nikola motors.

Nowadays, it is a company’s ability to track, monitor, and engage on various social media platforms which will help determine success. You need to use both measurable and written marketing analysis to be informed about key areas of your competition.  Visualizing Porter’s five-forces model for analyzing industry profitability as discussed in this module, focus on the following points:

  1. Platforms:Have a look to see if your competition only uses the social media standbys of Facebook and Twitter, or if they use other slightly more niche social media platforms. For example: LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram, and others. Also, see if they engage more often or more effectively on one platform in particular.
  2. Frequency:How often do your competitors share posts? What kinds of posts (videos, images, text only)? What time of day are they posting?
  3. Following:You want to look at the overall number of followers for your top competitors, and it’s not a bad idea to check back over time, to give you more insight into your competitor’s strategy, how well it works, and if their audience is growing. You can use the tools TweepiLinks to an external site. and Follower WonkLinks to an external site. to analyze your competitors on Twitter in more depth. (Note for BUS 460: do not pay to sign up for these tools).
  4. Content: Notice if your competitors are promoting their own content offers and articles or if they are giving equal play to other content creators that are in the industry. Also see if they are aiming content to the personalities of buyers or if they are sharing items that don’t really fit their profile; this will help better position your own content to be as relevant as possible for your user base.
  5. Response time:How are your competitors responding to customer questions or concerns on social media?  Quick responses are important to consumers, so a company that halts responding after 5pm isn’t in the best position. Aim to provide better customer service than your competitors on social. (credit to  Julie PetersenLinks to an external site. from her article 10 Ways to find out what your competitors are doing. to an external site.)

Assignment Instructions

For this exercise. you have been assigned the task of reporting back to the manager what the competition is doing.  Although a fictitious scenario, this does takes place in the real world and a great exercise to conduct since it can all be done online! Choose the industry you have a passion about (i.e. fashion, sports, hospitality, entertainment, food, beverage, etc.) and select a few of the competitors in that industry.  If you are actually working in the industry you have an invested interest in, then you can use the perspective from the actual company or organization where you work.

To reiterate the concept of Cost Leadership, by Michael Porter, in this module, this strategy describes a way to establish the competitive advantage. Cost leadership, in basic terms, is the lowest cost of operation in the industry. Because of the lower costs, companies are able to charge a lower price for its products and still make an adequate profit. While this can be highly successful, cost leadership may be strenuous to employ.

Researching competitors in your industry may be easier than you think.  For instance, you can read their online material, or even buy their products and services to compare them with your own. Overall, you should analyze what they may do better than you. Questions you can ask yourself about the competition:

  1. What is the price range of their product or service?
  2. Are their products of a high quality? Provide an example.
  3. Should the company differentiate its products or services on something other than cost, such as service or quality?
  4. How is their customer service (highly regarded or less than satisfactory? You can usually see this as well from feedback or posts online.
  5. Is their marketing material more engaging?
  6. Should the company focus on a niche with a less sought-after segment of the market that could be profitable, or compete with the major competitors for the biggest and most sought after market share?

Remember, what goes online stays online, and a response to posts on social media should positively reflect the mission and values of the company. See what you can find about your competitor’s responses where applicable.

Instructions: Using the five points of Platform, Frequency, Following, Content, and Response time, investigate how the competition is conducting themselves online and report back to the team and manager of your company how the competition is doing.  Please write a minimum of two pages double spaced with headings for each of the five categories as well as the answers to a. b. c. d. e. and f. above. I designed a template that students may download and type directly in a Word document, save and resubmit.

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