Read article "How Small Italian Firms Married Style to Globalism" and responses to Wall Street Journal article questions:
What are "global tascabili?" Why are they probably becoming more common? Why is Giovanna Sbiroli a good example of one?
How did Giovanna Sbiroli go about building new customer bases in foreign countries? How did the firm enter the Chinese market, for example? How can a firm like this get help and expertise on how to penetrate new foreign markets?
Since the firm could not compete on costs, on what basis could it compete? What special resources and capabilities did the firm have for selling in Japan and developing countries? In what way was the firm able to transform some of its liabilities into assets?
In which foreign markets is Giovanna Sbiroli most active? Is this a good choice? Why or why not? Are there other markets you think Giovanna Sbiroli should target next?
Although globalization and technological change obviously expose the firm to low-cost competitors, these forces also provide the firm with new opportunities.
Think for example of the new information technology. In what ways can the firm potentially benefit from IT? How can the firm use IT to sell in foreign markets? How could the firm use IT to overcome its language barriers?
How Small Italian Firms Married Style to Globalism
By ROSAMARIA MANCINI February 25, 2008; Page B1
PUTIGNANO, Italy -- For more than half a century, wedding-dress maker Giovanna Sbiroli SRL built its brand and customer base by serving the Italian market. But over the past decade, the company -- one of around 40 small wedding-dress makers in and around this remote hill town -- watched its share of the Italian market drop by 20% as Chinese imports and goods made in other low-cost countries flooded...