Communication for Business

Nike & United Colors of Benetton

In this assignment where I am asked to choose two companies and compare their communication form as well as make an analysis; I have taken up two such companies from the lifestyle and clothing genre. One is popularly known as United Colors of Benetton and the other is Nike. 

Talking about United Colors of Benetton; this company was founded by Luciano Benetton in the year 1965. The company initially started business selling sweaters and eventually took up global forms serving the customers with mainly clothing M Barela, “United Colors of Benetton—From Sweaters to Success: An Examination of the Triumphs and Controversies of a Multinational Clothing Company”, in Journal of International Marketing, vol. 11, 2003, 113-128.. However with the growth and development taking place; the company now has nearly 6000 stores in the international market earning a total profit of around 1.6 billion euros until 2013. The number of employees working under these stores count for around 10,335 until 2014. The company products mainly include kids’ wears; men’s wears and women’s wears. With the developing years; the company has however extended their business making sale of accessories like perfumes, handbags, stationeries, eye wears and travel bags. 

The second company taken into consideration is Nike, Inc. This is a multinational American company which started functioning in the year 1964 under the name Blue Ribbon sports but switched to the new name Nike, Inc. in 1971 I Strange, “Interview with Andrew Kilshaw, Chief Learning Officer at Nike Inc.”, in Development and Learning in Organizations, vol. 26, 2012, 32-34..  With Headquarters in Washington County, Oregon; the company today serves worldwide earning a revenue upto US $30.601 billion. The primary products which the company deals with are footwear apparels, accessories and sportswear for kids, women and men. 

The types of communication

The forms of communication in use are Written, Electronic, Verbal and non-verbal communication.

Written communication is defined as that form of communication whereby the communication between two groups or two persons take place through the exchange of written documents such as internal business memos, bulletin boards, formals letters, newsletters and other various methods. Individuals who wish to reach out to a number of people rather a large group across the nation or world with the same message; usually opt for written form of communication V Bisen & Priya., Business communication, in , New Delhi, New Age International Ltd., 2009.. This is because written communication forms helps in making the reader understand the concept if the text included in the message with the help of diagrammatic representations and charts if essential points which will help the customers in learning the view point of the company in depth. Another reason for the organizations in adhering to the written form of communication is to make sure that they possess documents if any case of misunderstanding leading to legal circumstances arises.

Electronic media or communication using electronic medium has become another growing form of business communication. With the growth of technology and modernization; it has opened new avenues for communication and business development for the entrepreneurs. Emails, web chats, social networking, mobile chats, and text messages are all example or forms of electronic communication in use S Edgerly, “Red Media, Blue Media, and Purple Media: News Repertoires in the Colorful Media Landscape”, in Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 59, 2015, 1-21.. The most advantageous fact of using electronic communication is that the messenger can create one single message and spread it worldwide to a host of receivers at the same time this means that all receiver receives the same message written in the same tone which prevents miscommunication or fragmented communication. This form of communication also helps the business group to communication its partners or investors in an efficient manner.

Talking about verbal communication; this form of communication is such a type of communication whereby the messenger and the receiver directly communicate with each other via phone or face to face interaction. Voice or spoken words act as the communication message whereas; Non-verbal communication refers to the use of gestures, sign language or body movements for indicating or directing the message. Here there is no use of spoken or written message.

Examples illustrating two excellent and two poor communication traits of the chosen form

Upon an in-depth evaluation and analysis; it has been noted that business groups like Nike and United Colors of Benetton extensively use written and electronic form of communication for their expansion of business while omitting the adherence of both verbal and non-verbal form.

First talking about two most beneficial forms of communication and their traits; you have Written and electronic communicationJ McCroskey et al., “Eysenck’s BIG THREE and communication traits: Communication traits as manifestations of temperament”, in Communication Research Reports, vol. 21, 2004, 404-410.. Now coming to those two mostly used forms of written communication; you have newsletters and formal letters. Understanding newsletters; they are reports which are written after proper analysis of eth business functions or about the product launch so as to inform the employees, the public and the media about the company products whereas formal letters also serve the same purpose like the newsletters and are also used by business groups to establish communication with their partners and investors. On the other hand; alike written communication; electronic communication also serves the same purpose of establishing sound communication with the use of emails and social networking sites. Both of these forms not only makes it easy to reach the global customers but also provides them with a proper and accurate details about the product being publicized as they are assisted by both images and graphical presentation of the product advertised K Hew, Student participation in online discussions, in , New York, Springer, 2012.. Apart from this; the business firm also retains a copy of the document used for advertising or communication so as to produce the same upon encountering any unfortunate or illegal instances. This shall help in safeguarding the company image.

While there are positive features in communication forms used by a business group; there are negative or poor forms of communication used mistakenly sometimes as well. Verbal and non-verbal communications are two such of them. They cannot actually make way for business communication as the former i.e. verbal communication being reliable only on spoken words via phone calls and face-to face communication and non-verbal communication using only gestures; stand inappropriate for international or national business groups for methods of establishing world class communication. Such communication form can stand invalid at any point of time when questioned in legal context.

Compare and contrast the nature of the communications being delivered

For understanding the functions of the communication forms being used in this context; here is a comparative analysis of these 4 forms.

Written Communication

Electronic communication

Verbal communication

Non-verbal communication

Written communication is that type of communication which makes use of written documents for establishing business communication “Written Communication Special Issue Call for Papers Writing and Medicine”, in Written Communication, vol. 26, 2009, 210-211.

Electronic communication is defined as that type of communication which relies on the electronic medic for establishing communication “Electronic Media”, in Communication Booknotes Quarterly, vol. 33, 2002, 260-263.

Verbal communication is defined as a common form of communication whereby the messenger delivers their message to the sender verbally H Hotier, “Non-verbal, communication, organisation – Exposé introductif”, in communicationorganisation, , 2000..

The communication which adheres to the use of gestures, sign languages, body, movements are the form of establishing communication is known as non-verbal communication.

Examples include Newsletters, Formal letters, Bill boards, Journal publications.

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn; Emails, Company websites, web conferences are examples of electronic communication.

Communication established through face to face, via phone calls and group discussions are examples of verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication refers to use of gestures like eye blinking, sign language, body movements.

Identify and explain which form of communication worked for the two above mentioned business groups and which two did not and why?

For the above mentioned business groups i.e. United Color of Benetton and Nike, Inc. those two forms of communication which worked best are Written and electronic communication. This is because these two forms are full proved to drag customer attention and best persuade the customers for their products since they used the communication pattern which includes all the requisite details of the information the company is willing to convey its stakeholders. Also using these two communications forms; help the business group in retaining documentations which can be produced upon legal enquiry whereas the verbal and non-verbal communication form lacks documentation retention as well as is not suitable in addressing the same message to the global customers.

Explain why the particular communication enhanced or degraded businesses

Enlisting the reasons why written and electronic communication means successfully helped both the companies in uplifting their public image; the first thing that can be ascertained is that  these two forms being widely acceptable by the public as well as the company organization have proved successful for not only these two companies but also for other business groups. They provide a better understanding of the product or the matter of discussion to the readers since the matter is available to them in a written form. They thus enjoy the privilege of going through the details and drawing personal conclusions rather than being carried away by false promises which usually happen in verbal communications L Hydén, “Non-verbal vocalizations, dementia and social interaction”, in Communication & Medicine, vol. 8, 2012.. Talking of non-verbal communication; this form bears high chances of misinterpretations which can bring down the company image completely.  Customers also fear of suffering loss; so does the investors. However talking in practical sense; no investors or employees of a business group o rely on contracts and promises made verbally. Along with that; this communication form is not considered since it lacks proper documents to answer legal contexts. On an addition; in case of verbal and non-verbal communication form; there are high chances of the actual communication message varying in meaning from one receiver to the other which is why verbal and non-verbal communication forms hampers business while written and electronic communications enhance it “Restructure and consolidation of Australian businesses”, in Filtration & Separation, vol. 41, 2004, 6. 

References

Barela, M, “United Colors of Benetton—From Sweaters to Success: An Examination of the Triumphs and Controversies of a Multinational Clothing Company”. in Journal of International Marketing, 11, 2003, 113-128.

Bisen, V & Priya., Business communication. in , New Delhi, New Age International Ltd., 2009.

Edgerly, S, “Red Media, Blue Media, and Purple Media: News Repertoires in the Colorful Media Landscape”. in Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59, 2015, 1-21.

“Electronic Media”. in , 33, 2002, 260-263.

Hew, K, Student participation in online discussions. in , New York, Springer, 2012.

Hotier, H, “Non-verbal, communication, organisation – Exposé introductif”. incommunicationorganisation, , 2000.

Hydén, L, “Non-verbal vocalizations, dementia and social interaction”. in Communication & Medicine, 8, 2012.

McCroskey, J, V Richmond, A Heisel, & J Hayhurst, “Eysenck’s BIG THREE and communication traits: Communication traits as manifestations of temperament”. in Communication Research Reports, 21, 2004, 404-410.

“Restructure and consolidation of Australian businesses”. in , 41, 2004, 6.

Strange, I, “Interview with Andrew Kilshaw, Chief Learning Officer at Nike Inc.”. in Development and Learning in Organizations, 26, 2012, 32-34.

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