When I was younger… I [didn’t] want to be pigeonholed… Basically, now you want to be pigeonedholed. It’s your niche. – Joan Chen, actress
A business strategy represents the game plan that your company will use to run its business, gain market share, and conduct operations. This plan of action determines how the company appeal to and satisfy customers, compete effectively, and accomplish managerial objectives. Developing a strategy should mean there is a managerial dedication to follow a specific group of actions that will advance the company’s financial market performance and increase its bottom-line.
How will management grow the business while building a loyal customer base and out competing rivals becomes the perspective for both short-term and long-term goals. In order to boost performance and succeed, each functional piece of the business (research and development, supply chain activities, production, sales and marketing, distribution, finance, and human resources) must be unified in operation. Clearly, management’s choice of strategy should be guided by the mission statement and the vision of the company. The strategic choice made for the company and by the managers speaks loudly… “Surrounded by the countless unique business approaches and ways of competing we might have selected, we have determined to use this particular mixture of competitive and operating approaches in driving the company in the planned direction, increasing its market position and competitiveness, and advancing execution.” Hardly ever are these conclusions regarding strategy uncomplicated and painless for any company, and some of the conclusions may turn out to be mistaken – but that is not a justification for not making a decision on a specific path of action.
When developing a business strategy, your company’s present situation must be considered. Managers should be driven to evaluate the business environment for the particular industry and the competitive forces, the company’s recent performance and market status, its strong points and abilities, and its competitive weak points. Depending on the needs and the vision of the company, managers are forced to set a clear path for direction. By no means it this path absolute. Setting foot on this path of action requires the company strategy to evolve over time with both proactive and reactive activity. Developing the company strategy is in a cinch intended to guide the company in the planned direction while growing the business, and improving financial and market performance. Thus perfecting the company’s vision and empowering the company’s mission statement.
This article describes the five basic competitive strategy options – which of the five to make use of is an important and fundamental choice for any company. In developing this overall strategy, your company is beginning its pursuit for a competitive advantage. The main differences among competitive strategies comes down to (1) whether your company sets aim on a market target that is broad or narrow, and (2) whether your company is pursuing a competitive advantage linked to low-cost or product differentiation.
The five distinct competitive strategy approaches that stand out are below:
The Five Generic Competitive Strategies
1. A low-cost provider strategy – striving to achieve lower overall costs than rivals and appealing to a broad spectrum of customers, usually by under pricing rivals.
2. A broad differentiation strategy – seeking to differentiate the company’s product offering from rivals’ in ways that will appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers.
3. A best-cost provider strategy – giving customers more value for their money by incorporating good-to-excellent product attributes at a lower cost than rivals; the target is to have the lowest (best) costs and prices compared to rivals offering products with comparable attributes.
4. A focused (or market niche) strategy based on low costs – concentrating on a narrow buyer segment and out competing rivals by having lower costs than rivals and thus being able to serve niche members at a lower price.
5. A focused (or market niche) strategy based on differentiation – concentrating on a narrow buyer segment and out competing rivals by offering niche members customized attributes that meet their tastes and requirements better than rivals’ products.
Each of these five generic competitive approaches stakes out a different market position. The decision on which generic strategy to employ is conceivably the most vital strategic commitment for your company. This commitment will drive the rest of the strategic actions that your company agrees to and it sets the entire tone for your quest of a competitive advantage over competitors while “Creating Your Own Lane” in business success.