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Research paper

Ancient Gnosticism


The historical perspectives pre-empt on the dual existence of the Western Culture. These twin beliefs include the Greek rationality and the biblical faith from the Hebrew culture. The Greeks traditions were embedded on the individual rationality of the mind mainly from scientific research (Goodrick-Clarke, 2008, p. 27). The Hebrew traditions, on the other hand, inclined to the authoritative divine revelations as enshrined in the biblical scriptures. Therefore, the two traditions in the ancient period provided the benchmarks for the cultural development. Thus, there were selected groups of people who firmly believed on Faith while some based their cultural beliefs and practice on reason.

However, in the wake of the first centuries to date, a third component of the Western Culture has emerged. The third current of the Western Culture is unique to its kind. It contradicts both the doctrinal faith and the pure rationality of mind (Rüpke, 2011, p. 47). The new wave tradition is based on the two pillars of Gnosticism and Hermeticism. The culture stresses on the benefits of inner enlightenment (Gnosis) and the perspective of God. In the antiquity, the new wave tradition is explained in the beliefs of the Gnostics and Hermetists, Christian sects of the ancient religion.

The preceding discussions delve on the in-depth study of the Ancient Gnosticism and Hermeticism beliefs. The historical perspective of the beliefs and teachings of the pre-Christian era represent the genesis of the study. Specifically, Gnostic and Hermetic Sects from the antiquity would be the basis for the discussion.

Ancient Gnosticism

The revolution of ancient religion faced a myriad of challenges. The religious beliefs and practices encountered contradictions about Deity. Moreover, several heresies and teachings emerged to dispel religious myths that threatened the stability of the ancient Church (Goodrick-Clarke, 2008, p. 22-56). Gnosticism that portrays a religious and philosophical movement commenced in the early Christian period.

Specifically, the teaching focuses on Gnosis. The latter is a Greek word referring to knowledge (Pearson, 2007, p. 39). Therefore, Gnosticism as a movement denotes not only relational but also experiential knowledge about God. In addition to this, the teachings in the sect account for the Divine nature of Deity and spiritual attachment to humankind. The believers of the Gnosticism are known as Gnostics.

The Gnostics considers their belief to God as unique. The sect argues that they have secret knowledge of Deity, humanity, and the whole universe which populations from other unknown beliefs. In the first Centaury, Gnosticism has emerged as one of the three top religious belief systems in the pre-Christian era. Contrary to other religious beliefs and practices, Gnosticism embraced four major values (Pearson, 2007, p. 46). The religion had unusual beliefs about Gods, Bible, as well as the universe that differ from the other two religious beliefs. Gnosticism embraces religious tolerance of faiths both inside and outside the religion. Moreover, they acknowledged the equality of both the male and female gender and therefore did not discriminate on women. Ultimately, Gnostics believed in salvation, and that one achieves the latter in the process of acquiring experiential and rational knowledge.

Ancient Gnosticism is based on two themes. The first topic explores the dualism providing divisions of the world into conflicting aspects of right and wrong. Gnosticism holds negative views concerning the world and God as the creator. Accordingly, the traditions of the belief argue that the world and the creator are evil. However, the faith provides hope to humanity by acknowledging the presence of another god other than the creator considered evil. The True God as reiterated by the faith planted a divine spark to save humankind through Gnosis.

The second theme of Ancient Gnosticism explores the process of Gnosis. It denotes the direct as well as mystical knowledge of Deity within the self (Lewis, 2013, p. 76). Briefly, the argument accounts that an individual achieves Gnosis in a personal effort and not by intermediaries such as scriptures, sacrament, or priest craft. Salvation is therefore born by the individual, not by the support of religious leaders as other beliefs purport it.

Gnosticism is associated closely with the sect of the late Roman Empire. Moreover, the belief extends from Rome passing through Egypt and final lands to the Middle East. These sects are remembered through their increasing efforts of criticizing the Church heresiologists and theologians (Lewis, 2013, p. 109). Furthermore, the teachings of Gnosis are considered to increase the gap of social alienation, the breakdown of the kinship system, and the dominance of large empires over the ethnic minority groups. Economic deprivation and the burden to state religion emerge as some of the concerns raised about the sect.

Gnosis has faced serious allegations and controversies regarding its teachings and beliefs. Therefore, it has met oppositions not only from other religious denominations but also from the political front. The Catholic heresy missionaries and the Roman Army challenged the teachings and beliefs of the movement by the end of the fifth century. However, the belief of the faith currently experiences a gradual renaissance in Egypt. One of the Gnostic confidence in the modern era is the Novus Spirits. The faith has extended its roots from Egypt and currently runs churches in San Jose and Las Vegas. Novus Spirit is the modern Gnosis. The belief started its existence in the 1940s, and then continued to grow up to date. The belief has also encountered gradual changes and growth across various generational periods (Rüpke, 2011, p. 81). In April 1986, Sylvia Browne founded the Gnostic Christian Church. As the first church service of the faith was held on 12th July 1986, the faith has been in existence over the past 7200 years.

The Faith holds on various beliefs. First, the Church holds values on the reincarnations. The Church also believes in the dual existence of God as both masculine and feminine. Furthermore, the faith explains the tenets by which people can devote their souls to God as they live in the universe considered evil. Peculiar to other Christian beliefs, the Gnostic sect does not believe in sin or the existence of hell. Surprisingly, Gnostic churches do not recognize incarnation and the belief that Jesus Christ suffered for the redemption of man from sins. Indeed, Gnostic sect considers Jesus as human Messiah and that His living lays the foundation of an example that humankind should practice (Lewis, 2013, p. 136). The belief of the sect members is the existence of an all-merciful and benevolent God who manifests to the man through the prayer. In addition to this, Gnostics illustrates that the Holy Spirit is a God presented to humanity in order to enhance the spiritual conditions while evil spirits distract. Hence, the spirit of a righteous man who abides by the commandments of God enjoys an eternal life.


As opposed to Gnosticism, Hermeticism sect does not have numerous controversies. Hermeticism denotes to the belief of the writings of Hermes Trismegistus of the ancient Egypt (Tilton, 2009, p. 108). Therefore, followers of the Hermeticism are known as Hermeticists.

Hermes Trismegistus is considered to be one of the ancient wisest and holiest men. His position equates to Moses or Plato. Hermetic literary work is vast and includes theology, cosmology, magic, as well as mysticism. Ancient Scholars, therefore, embraced Hermeticism and appreciated its antiquity (Paganini, 2010, p. 17). What is more, Hermetic writings of the second and third centuries have inspired a lot to the renaissance of ancient theologians.

In 1610, Isaac Causabon, who was a Spanish scholar, was considered the first person to criticize the works of Hermes. In his view, the literary works of Hermes were from Greek and not Egypt as it was engraved in his books. Moreover, Causabon argued that Hermeticism belief was the development of both the intellectual and spiritual values of the Gnosticism (Hammer & Stuckrad, 2007, p. 61). The perspective of Causabon demeaned the works of Hermes and therefore Hermetic Philosophy disappeared from the public belief.

The renaissance of the late 15th Century uncovered the Hermetic Philosophy. It spread in the entire Europe up to the period of 16th and middle of 17th Century when it was accepted for the practice. The Hermeticist tradition explores the context of belief in the aspect of miracles and magical beliefs. Moreover, alchemy has also dominated the Hermeticism. The illustrations in the book explore the prophetic myths and the alchemical transformations together with the extraordinary nature of their occurrences (Hancock & Bauval, 2011, p. 71). Hermes asserts that the mystical phenomenon of the universe and the creatures have been found in the world. His works coincided to those of the Christian teachings and the alchemical changes in the world that lacked religious explanations. Hermes, therefore, is considered as the father of all the Theologians, Alchemists, and Magicians (Hammer & Stuckrad, 2007, p. 83). Hermeticism is the backbone of the modern theology, magic, and alchemy as it dispels the myths behind the occurrences of various events. The works of Hermes are believed to be similar to those of the Old Testament prophets who foresaw the events. According to Hermes, magic arises when the Spirit of God merges with that of man. The unity is achieved in the belief of God through His Son Jesus Christ who is the master of all magic in the Gospel.

Hermes is also considered to be the legendary inventor of all the arts and science. However, the illusion of the invention is symbolic of his unity of all the philosophical and mythical thoughts of the universe (Paganini, 2010, p. 30). Besides, Hermeticism is rooted in the symbolic unity of the Deity, human and the world.

The spread of the Hermetic philosophy has led to the development of the Western Esotericism. The latter was premised on the organic perspective of the world and the relationship between the spiritual and material components present in the universe. It, therefore, has assessed the scientific mechanization and the doctrinal beliefs that have led to the Reformation of the ancient Church.

In the 18th Century, the Counter-Reformation of the Old Church made a strong emphasis on the teachings of the Hermetic Philosophy. Specifically, associations of the lessons with magic, alchemy, and astrology created confusion between the religion and the science (Tilton, 2009, p. 109). The rationality in thought as occasioned by Enlightenment meant that scientific activities were considered backward and religious practices suspected.

Despite all the claims associated with Hermetic philosophy between the religion and the science, Hermeticism thrived and persisted in the current practices through Rosicrucianism and the Christian theosophy (Paganini, 2010, p. 74). Likewise, Hermeticism philosophy and practices occur in the secret religious sects such as the Freemasonry.


The different aspect of the humanity and universe has created disappointments. With the enlightenment, humanity is at crossroads on whether to follow the traditional religion or adopt the rationalism of the scientific studies. Conversely, the Gnosticism and the Hermeticism teachings dispel the myth to us. The study provides a reflection of man’s traditional practices and compares them with the current teachings to develop the New Age Thinking. The cultural and religious practices suspected at that time are therefore assessed on the literary works of scholars (Hancock & Bauval, 2011, p. 153). Therefore, the Gnosticism and Hermeticism studies provide a link between the Christian theology and the Enlightenment rationality of the current world. Nonetheless, the historical teachings are anticipated to solve the battle between the doctrinal teachings and the scientific enlightenment that commenced two decades ago.

Research paper



Most people spend between one and a half to five dollars a day on coffee. Over 60% of Americans spend time at the coffee shops just to enjoy their favorite drink. For many years, the Americans and now over sixty-eight other countries familiarize themselves with Starbucks. Starbucks is one of the most known coffee brand retailer and marketer in the world today. Starbucks has been the major contributor of the coffee globally something it still enjoys for the past 40 years. However, other coffee brands and retails are rising giving Starbuck a run for their money. Apparently, Starbuck still enjoys the market, and they have the best marketing team that keeps up with the changing world.  The paper aims to discuss the marketing strategies and implementation and the strength and weaknesses at Starbuck. Furthermore, the paper presents areas for improvement and recommendations.

Starbucks is the world’s leading coffeehouse with branches in over 68 countries. The company was started in Seattle in 1971 and known for the supply of both hot and cold beverages with snacks. The company keeps revolutionizing and lately it sold packaged products including mugs, coffee beans and coffee machines among many others.  It was started by Howard Schultz for the purpose of providing Americans with the real taste of coffee and save them from travelling to Italy and Germany for the same. However, Starbucks has had its downside and in 2007 Wall Street predicted its doom (Meola). Therefore, this paper addresses the marketing strategies and implementation at Starbucks. Additionally, the paper discusses the strengths and weaknesses to help understand how Starbucks has been in the market for a very long time. Finally, the paper provides for the suggestions on different recommendations.

Marketing Strategies

Starbucks over the years focuses on the creation and the sustenance of its own culture of coffee. The company thrives at serving quality coffee to an extent that most Americans refer to it as the “third place” meaning the place other than workplace and home they spend their quality time. Utilizing Porter’s five model that provides a marketing strategy, which emphasizes the differentiation, cost leadership and the focus. The design provides for emphasis of the market strategies, cut cost strategies and the product differentiation strategy. Despite the competition from Dunking Donuts and the local coffee retails, Starbuck still manages to lead the market. This section addresses the different marketing strategies (Cole).

The latest plan is the mobile app. Starbucks launched it in 2011 and ever since has spent a lot in bettering the app. In 2015, most of the company transactions were through the mobile app recording up to around 21% (Meola). The mobile app that started with the aim of rewarding loyal customers is changing the course of the user experiences through the order and pay functionalities. The company also enjoys messaging supported by the app for purposes of promotional offers. The target of Starbucks is to implement the new mobile marketing strategies that would boost the sales annually (Cole). Therefore, Starbucks enjoys its adaptability with the changing technology to remaining as the leading coffee retail.

Place Strategy

Starbucks have maximized the capability and the potentials that comes along with wholesaling and retailing. Every year the firm opens, new branches in form of retails that help the customers to have the experience within their reach and even while travelling can still enjoy the coffee. The customers can enjoy the coffee at their various places without having to travel long distances.

Starbucks has strength in this since their establishment. The company have always changed with the consumer behavior to provide something that satisfies the consumer. Customer preferences keeps changing and unless a company meets them, there is a huge chance of failing.

Product Strategy

Starbucks maintains its high product innovation in providing the customer with a new kind of experience. Most of the products are at the different Starbucks cafes. The products distribution is mostly through Cafes, Starbucks App, Retailers and the Online Store. The customers have a new experience, and they freely choose what works best for them. Therefore, the company keeps adapting to the changing market conditions, technology and times (Dudovskiy).

Promotion Strategy

Most of the initiatives supporting the sales promotion are customer centered. Therefore, Starbucks tends to utilize the marketing communication mixing knowledge. Most of the promotion activities involve customers earning more rewards on the stars collected with every visit made to Starbucks. The rewards range from simply buy one get one drink free to birthday month complimentary cake slice to drink customization. The company through its brand celebrates sales promotion integration and CSR programs achievement (Lingley 6).

Starbucks spends a lot of money annually on advertisements. The company uses the association between Starbuck’s brand and its superior quality and pleasing experience in the ad. The messages are in the form of both print media and media advertising via billboards and television. The company has set an example in the utilization of viral marketing and social media to achieve volume sales. The firm promotes its product through unique, engaging campaigns that customers are part of.

Starbucks have plenty of marketing strategies that include getting to know customers, the addition of value to their shops that is Wi-Fi available for customers, the coffee shops close to customers globally whenever they travel, excellent enticing customer offers and the word of mouth from customers. The mentioned strategies have seen the progress of Starbucks after the set back in 2007 and 2009 that led to closing down of some of their branches. One of the uniqueness of Starbuck is that they take the customer’s opinion with the seriousness it deserves (Westwood 13).

Price Strategy

The approach used by Starbucks is Premium pricing. This plan focuses on the tendency of individuals to buy the products based on high value to high price correlation. The coffee products from Starbucks are very expensive, unlike their other competitors. Additionally, unlike other competing products within the organization, the coffee products prices are still high. The pricing strategy helps the company to maintain its image as known by the customers as the high-end specialty. This strategy is critical for the company in the maintenance of its premium brand image.

Marketing Strategies Implementation

In the implementation of the marketing strategies, the process involves mobilization of the necessary people and equipment. The proper application of the strategies is critical to the growth of the organization and increase in revenue. The implementation process follows the guidance of the vision statement that aims at nurturing and inspiring the spirit of humans through sharing a cup at a time with the neighbor. Proper implementation of the strategies will ensure that the products from Starbucks are more accessible in both the new markets and the existing markets. The implementation mechanisms are as follows:

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is one of the most efficient ways of reaching the market in an easy way. The best way to implement the strategies is by carrying out direct marketing. Direct marketing engages the customers at the local levels and it is easier to know what their feedback is. Whether they enjoy or do not enjoy the products.

Implementation of the Product Enhancement

Starbucks works towards ensuring that their customers enjoy quality products from them. Some of the latest excellent products from them include Pike Place Roast that resulted from blending milder coffee.  The incorporation of new preparation methods of coffee and a proper design style architecture at the grassroots through their unique stores called Mercantile Stores.  Recently, the company released their instant coffee blender (Kerin et al. 222).

Implementation of the technology acuteness

Starbucks impresses technology to an extent that they target to minimize and eventually do away with their customers waiting long for the services. Through its app and other technologies at the company, they aim to better the customer services. Besides, the firm enjoys a Facebook fan base of over 27 million. Starbucks ’website usually manages approximately 12 million visitors at the end of every month (Harrington).

Implementation of the Lean Techniques

In a move to achieve excellence in operation, Starbucks implemented the Lean techniques. The result was an increase in efficiency while reducing the waste across the US. The different stores worked together to ensure an improvement in the processes, waste reduction methods and proper routines. The fruits of this have been a tremendous improvement in the delivery of the product on time, increased cumulative profits and satisfied customers (Ayub et al. 6).

Implementation of the Community and Social Standards

The core values based on its establishment was to ensure that there was social consciousness. Starbucks has always involved the community through social engagements. The firm has always engaged in community work such as reseeding grass, rebuilding houses and planting trees (Harrington).

The company reaffirms its commitment to the Fair Trade. This is through practicing ethical sourcing by providing coffee that is 100% Starbucks.

Implementation of the Staff Development

The best way to achieve the marketing strategies is through investing in its people. Starbucks has always ensured the wellbeing of the employees as a priority. They provide services for them ranging from training and free medical to equity in everything they participate. Through investing in employees, Starbucks has risen to where it is currently (Harrington).

Implementation of the Customer Engagement and Quality Service

The Transformation and SLT agenda reemphasizes on establishing the best efforts in ensuring quality customer service. Therefore, Starbucks has set up store designs, which work with the local crafters, and stores to provide unique stores that allow secure delivery for the customers. The end of this makes customers within their set environment and culture feel at home, as they enjoy the services. Customers can suggest for the product enhancements, improvements and even write reviews on The number of registered members is over 250,000 with over 100,000 submitted ideas (Schnaith 29).

SWOT Analysis (Weaknesses and Strengths)

SWOT matrix focusing on the weaknesses and strengths will help in the analysis of the future of Starbucks.


The following provides a clear overview of the few best-known greatest strengths in Starbucks:

Ethicality, Profitability and Quality

Starbucks, unlike other well-established fast food worldwide chains, they put quality above everything. Besides, the products are harmless to the environment and are consistent in all their various locations worldwide. Despite their high prices, customers still pay because of the quality that they enjoy. The result of this is the recognition as the best coffee chains globally (Roby 26).

The firm has been able to increase its assets fast globally compared to its debt. That means there has been a decrease on the record of the debt-to-asset ratio. The profit margin keeps improving and it stands at between 12.6% to 14.4%. The profit margin is an indication of efficiently managed operations. Besides, the sound financial position of the company gives the investors the confidence to invest in the enterprise. Therefore, the company enjoys the feasibility due to investors’ engagement in the investments speculations (Dudovskiy).

Reinvestment and Efficiency Strategy

The management in Starbucks has ensured that the profits made become part of the reinvestment into the expanding business. Evidently, Starbucks has been on the rise in the number of new locations globally. The firm has a proper plan in the manner of growth that currently works well for them (Bush).

Employees Treatment

Featuring in Fortune’s top organizations that provide the best environment for employees, Starbucks has a rule that ensures the happiness of the employees. The workers form the most important part of the organization according to the CEO (Jurevicius).


The kind of change in Starbucks is less of technology and more about the valued consumers' experiences and novel. This is through quality products that get better every year giving the users new experiences and tests (Kerin et al. 468).


Starbucks have always been in the frontline in embracing technology. The first company to maximize the usage of social media for advertisement. Besides, it is the first company to have over 10 million Facebook likes on their page. One of the fascinating things about their advertisements is their commercials, which are exciting always to watch (Macchiato 12).


Starbucks is not different from other organizations that have strengths and weaknesses. The company significantly recognizes a couple of flaws and are as follows:

High Prices

Even though most customers do not mind spending a lot of money on a cup of coffee, there are those that cannot afford to keep drinking that cup daily. Some of the customers who would be part of a vast number of loyal consumers do not have the means to make Starbucks a priority in the course of their lives (Wyman). Starbucks has exquisite ethical values and premium quality to attract many people, but the prices keep the same individuals away (Dudovskiy).

Overly Unique Coffee Products Lack

Starbucks lacks the unique market despite their unique products that include pumpkin spice lattes and Frappuccinos among many others. Many other small chains and coffee shops offer similar products and only cannot beat Starbucks in the market because of its financial capability and established name (tinageisel).

Dependence on the Home Market

The firm is in over 65 countries, but most of the branches are in America. Additionally, most of the revenue that runs the other businesses comes from the home market. Too much dependence on the home market leaves a vulnerability in a way that in the case the economy fluctuates then the business risks. Therefore, it is important for the organization to find a way that the other branches in other countries will run independently and cater for their operations (Staffuk 1).


New Channels for Product Distribution

Starbucks is leveraging into reaching its new customers via packaged goods operations. They are benefiting from the product line, product uniqueness and the market share. The company unlike previous, is benefiting from the new product line that is the sale of packaged coffee.

Expansion Overseas

Starbucks still has unreached market that longs for the use of their products. The company enjoys both the domestic and international markets. Starbucks is enjoying the China market where it has rapid growth reaching many parts of the country within such a short time.


Possible Stiff competition

Starbucks has recently witnessed competition in the coffee industry. The likes of Dunkin’ and McDonalds are coming up and playing a big role in the market. The competitors have customer conscious prices, which attract the customers (Roger).

Pressures on the Commodity

Diseases hitting coffee poses a threat to the price of the coffee in general. This in turn affects the frequent customers who enjoy the product. Starbucks coffee is already high and in the case of coffee rust then there is a chance of the pricing shooting beyond customer buying power.

Recommendations and Improvements

Starbucks known as one of the best companies in the world forms the largest part of the business market. However, there are key places that need improvement for it to be above the rest. Customers need a new experience in the revitalization and the reinvention of the Starbucks products. The firm should offer even non-coffee products including refreshments like yoghurt and soda. The proposed recommendations include the following:

  1. The world is experiencing the rise of middle-income individuals who would be willing to enjoy the cup of coffee at an affordable price. The emerging markets are particular and the places that the firm should reinvest if the growth is part of the organization.
  2. Starbucks needs to open up the opportunity for the selling of the other products instead of limiting itself to coffee products. Opportunities lie in fresh juice mix products and tea (Geereddy 7).
  3. Starbuck can help the customers to enjoy a good lifestyle without the worry of visiting the doctors. The firm can invest in tailoring new products that are healthy and promote a good way of life.
  4. The company should find the way of maintaining and obtaining customer loyalty. The process involves on building on the new concept of delivery using the order-delivery concept via the new mobile app and the website. Furthermore, the mobile apps can be efficient for the payment method, and they can establish the trust of the customers in the payment methods. Use of the mobile app for payment would reduce the waiting time in stores and thus ensure an increase in the efficiency (Roby 26).
Research paper

Mergers and Acquisitions: McDonald’s Acquisition of Boston Market

According to Bruner (2016), it is not atypical for an organization pursuing an acquisition or merger to convey elevated hopes that such transactions will ensure its growth in the market. The objective, quite logically, is that the resultant mixture of people, products, as well as pipelines will ensure that the business reaches a newer height. This was the objective of McDonald’s when it acquired Boston Market in 2000. Thus, McDonald’s utilized the growth-by-acquisition strategy to acquire Boston Market. This was also a downstream acquisition process given that McDonald’s acquired the firm with the objective of expanding its business.

As a strategy, growth-by-acquisition offers some advantages to the acquirer. Firstly, according to DePamphilis (2013), growth-by-acquisition as a strategy offers the acquiring organization the aptitude to reach a broader geographical target. Given that the main objective of growth through acquisition as a strategy is to increase the market share in addition to acquiring greater resources and ensuring business expansion, the acquisition of Boston Market enabled McDonald’s to increase its overall market share and to compete favorably with its competitors in markets that it had not entered before. Moreover, the acquisition enabled the company to reach out to its extant and prospective clients in geographical areas that it did not serve before, and this enabled it to increase its market share.

Secondly, as a strategy, growth by acquisition enables organizations to enter a market quite faster and in time to ensure that it competes favorably and gains a competitive edge over its rivals in the market. Thus, the use of growth through acquisition by McDonald’s enabled it to enter the markets served by Boston Market much faster compared to if the company had resorted internal development as a market entry strategy. The strategy is not only rapid but additionally enables the organization to ensure its presence within the target market in a short duration of time.

Thirdly, Bruner (2016) notes that growth through acquisition enables the acquiring firms to make the most of the existing synergies. Thus, growth through acquisition is much faster, far less risky and inexpensive proposition compared to the true and tried strategies of expanded sales and marketing efforts. Additionally, the strategy provides an array of other notable advantages that include immediate economies of scale and easier financing to the acquiring firm. According to DePamphilis (2013), the use of acquisition as a growth strategy also ensure that McDonald’s attain formidable competitive advantages that range from catching the firm’s competitors off guard to instantaneous market penetration in geographical regions in which McDonald’s might have been performing poorly to an elimination of rivals through acquisition.

Based on the above-noted reasons, it can be observed that the acquisition was a wise choice for McDonald’s. The strategy enabled it to attain its key objective of growth and expansion, which in turn ensures increased profitability.


One of the notable companies that Culver’s may acquire or merge with to attain growth and increased profitability is Ruby’s Diner. This is mainly as a consequence of the observation that the two companies serve different geographic locations hence a merger or acquisition will ensure attainment of the various aspects of the desired growth.

Firstly, by acquiring or merging with Ruby’s Diner, Culver’s will attain growth by increasing its market presence in areas where it initially did not have a presence. This will increase its market share over and above increasing its profitability as a consequence of the increase in its client base. Acquiring or merging with Ruby’s Diner ascertains increased profits and presence in various locations and this offers the company a competitive edge over its rivals (Hill & Jones, 2012). Culver’s is known to operate mainly in the Midwest region of the United States while Ruby’s Diner has shops in various parts of the United States including the East Coast and parts of California.

Secondly, Culver’s acquisition of Ruby’s diner is bound to offer it increased competitive edge over its rivals. For instance, the acquisition is bound to offer Culver’s a faster access to the market for its products in the regions that it did not serve before. This will not only increase the firm’s profitability but will also ensure that it gains access to properly established distribution channels in the areas that were served by Ruby’s Diner (Daum, 2013).

Thirdly, by either merging with or acquiring Ruby’s Diner, Culver’s is bound to experience tax gains and this will, in turn, result in revenue enhancement as a result of the market share gain. According to Furrer (2016), firms always merger and acquire other entities based on the notion that a joint firm will enable the generation of more value compared to single firms. Thus, by acquiring or merging with Ruby’s Diner, it is anticipated that the newly acquired shareholder value will be greater compared to the total value of the two separate entities.

McDonald’s International Business-level Strategy and Corporate-level Strategy

McDonald’s upholds an international business level strategy of cost leadership in the delivery of consistent food and quality services. To keep its international business level strategy fresh, McDonald’s innovates both its markets and products. The firm’s business level strategy is held up by its functional strategies including its aptitude to realize and sustain advanced quality, efficiency, customer service and innovation (Daum, 2013). McDonald’s efficiency is portrayed in its food production process as well as additional processes requiring minimal human knowledge and input.

McDonald’s international business level strategy within the primary markets includes cost leadership and product differentiation. As from its inception in 1954, McDonald’s has served over 47 million individuals daily through its more than 30,000 franchise stores. Moreover, by partaking in the sponsorship and marketing of events including the world cup, football, and the Olympics, McDonald’s has added value to its brand name and image. Also, the differentiation model and low-cost pricing have enabled the classification of McDonald’s as an analyzer owing to the observation that the company maintains a stable business model even as it innovates on the side. Being an analyzer enables the company to maintain its extant steady state with an effective strategy in addition to enabling it to target novel markets offering room for expansion (Hill & Jones, 2012).

Regarding the corporate-level strategies, McDonald’s’ built environment is a vital strategic tool that enables it to increase the quality of its store's furnishing, layout, design, lighting, and furniture. Such aspects are used in the reinforcement of fine products’ quality, which are its basic specialization tools.

Thus, McDonald’s corporate strategy is to sustain the consumer experience, which represents the services received by the clients. The services include the coffee aromas; the apt relations displayed among the workers, cool background music, and the overall atmosphere of its stores. McDonald’s is well linked with the professional, upwardly mobile and youthful markets throughout the world (Bruner, 2016). Consumption is a subjective feeling that is experienced by the people who are in then setting. According to Furrer (2016), in a study on the effects of the built environment on consumer spending, it was determined that the validity of marketing was formed by the environmental psychology, cognitive and ergonomics of the store layout. As a result, it can be observed that McDonalds displays a unique service-scape, which has an elevated influence on local practices, consumption, tastes, and lifestyles. As a result, McDonald’s constantly contemplates whether it should be an agent of enforcement of uniform codes or not.

Uniform/standardized codes refer to behavioral codes criticizing practices, voices, lifestyles and the experience of consumption (Bruner, 2016). Extant studies have disclosed that individuals’ beliefs and thoughts are way below the degree of awareness (DePamphilis, 2013). Nonetheless, individuals found within the capacity of attaining the degree of awareness represent a smaller number of individuals.

Business-level Strategy and Corporate Level Strategy that Culver’s may utilize

One of the notable strategies that Culver’s should employ as its international business level strategy is differentiation, which refers to the integrated set of deed employed in the production of services and products, that clients view as being divergent in ways that are vital to them. Thus, Culver’s should employ a differentiation strategy, which emphasizes the uniqueness of its products as well as customer experience, with a corresponding price (Daum, 2013). The organization should aim at selling more than just burgers by selling a ‘Culver’s experience’, that entails enabling its clientele to be able to chat with friends, relax, hold meetings as opposed to offering just a place for eating burgers. Additionally, Culver’s should position itself as a premium brand to make it difficult for its competitors to imitate as opposed to making attempts at being a low price leader (Hill & Jones, 2012). In case the clients value Culver’s unique experience, they will be ready to pay more for the services.

With regards to the corporate level strategies, Culver’s should employ a strategy that fully establishes it as a leading source of the best foods in the United States of America, while at the same time maintaining its principles in the course of its growth. Culver’s should ensure the supply of the highest quality for its food product even as makes attempts at maintaining diversity, enhanced work milieu, and client contentment. All workers in its retail outlets should be provided with a great work milieu and should additionally be offered several benefits. Lastly, Culver’s should acquire the best source along with incessantly adding and changing its product offers, in addition to upholding its diversity as well as the guarantee of the finest product quality. Thus, Culver’s should make attempts at satisfying its clients and providing unparalleled services even as it gives back to the society. Although it might be initially hard and expensive, the strategy will give Culver’s an advantage of being amongst the fastest growing firm in the country (Furrer, 2016).

Research paper

Compensation Management


The term annual salary refers to the agreement between an employer and an employee regarding the amount of pay for a job over a period of 12 months. Usually, this arrangement is indicated in the contract of employment. Individuals who earn annual salaries are termed as exempt employees. Such employees neither receive a higher amount of pay for working overtime nor are they paid little for working less. On the other hand, employees who receive wages earn for every hour worked. The total earnings are calculated by the number of hours an employee has worked (DeSchere 35).

Compensation Management

Some of the job postings in the Washington Times Newspaper that are paid in form of annual salary include Credit Union Examiner, Director for Office of Import Surveillance and Perioperative Services Clinical Nurse. These job postings are categorized under exempt employees who are entitled to an annual salary. Evidently, the positions above are associated with a high status and hence a higher pay. However, these jobs do not offer any pay for overtime hours.  Managerial duties, under the FLSA (i.e. Fair Labor Standards Act), are categorized under exempt pay scales. This act means that the manager is not paid overtime wages even if he works overtime. The duties an employee performs determine if the job is categorized as exempt or non-exempt. Evidently, the job postings above involve managerial obligations and thus can be classified as exempt. Some of the duties for exempt employees include supervision, management and assigning work to employees (Whittaker 56).

Some of the job postings paid hourly include Cashiers, Maids and Waiters & Waitress. For hourly employees, their salary is paid for the number of hours they work. If an organization wants more time from its employees, then the organization must pay for the extra hours. For the position of Cashiers, Maids and Waiters, the legal overtime refers to time plus a half. During holidays, most employers pay double for hours worked. Apparently, most of these positions have many overtime works. Additionally, these employees find it easier to draw clear lines between work and personal obligations. They can concentrate on family and other activities after work. An individual under a non-exempt pay scale can look for a second job that aligns with his free time. However, these job positions make employees vulnerable. For instance, if the company experiences financial constraints, non-exempt employees are significantly affected. An organization may choose to reduce one’s working hours when business is bad (United States Bureau of Labor Statistics 21).

The legal law used to determine a compensation form is termed as the Fair Labor Standards Act. This law controls compensation issues. After the amendments to the law, FLSA manages employee benefits. This act determines an employee’s minimum wage, equal pay and overtime pay. Generally, FLSA is objected to protecting both nonexempt and exempt employees. The law was passed in 1938. This law requires that exempt employees should work at least 40 hours in a week. The law was established to protect workers from being exploited by their employers. The law requires that an employee on a salary scale must earn at least 23, 600 US dollars. The company should give exempt duties to employees (Whittaker 58).

Often, sales jobs are paid in other forms besides salary and wages. Examples include Insurance Sales Representatives, Medical Sales Representatives. These job postings may be paid in the form of fringe benefits that include medical cover and accident benefits. Insurance companies also commit to their sales representatives based on a number of sales they bring.  These methods are usually chosen to motivate employees. Other organizations may fund the pension accounts of their employees. However, these forms of compensation are not so useful as compared to wages (United States Bureau of Labor Statistics 30).


Evidently, an organization that wishes to retain or attract the employees must have a competitive compensation strategy. An attractive compensation plan helps to steer an employee towards self-discipline and reduce the risk of employee burnout (DeSchere 69).

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