Porter’s Generic Competitive Strategies

The Etsy business model brings together the artists and the business savvy of investors who are keen to support the ideas and talent of craftsmen. Both cost leadership and differentiation are comparatively broad in https://1investing.in/ market scope and can embrace both strategic advantages on a smaller scale. If it targets customers in all parts based on attributes other than price to command a higher price, it is a differentiation strategy.

  • In cost focus a firm seeks a cost advantage in its target segment, while in differentiation focus a firm seeks differentiation in its target segment.
  • What kind of actions are competitors likely to take and how are they responding ?.
  • Porter avoided technical jargon and wrote in a straightforward way to help readers see that his evaluation of the problem was strong.
  • Porter’s second type of competitive advantage is product differentiation.
  • Porter’s generic model useful purely as a source of theoretical guidance even if they don’t practically implement any of the generic competitive strategies suggested by Porter.
  • Countless manufacturers became steadily reliant on Wal-Mart, while their margins slimmed down.

Examples of companies following a cost leadership strategy include Deccan Airlines. By doing so, the company also enjoys deep economies of scale. The company enjoys effective insights because of the smaller size of market. Thus, automatically the company enjoys market power within the niche. The only challenge in using customer focus strategy or niche market strategy is choosing markets where the customers are lesser prices sensitive.

Executing successful marketing segmentation process

He proposed that a combination of these strategies will not yield good results for the firm. According to this reasoning if a product differentiates itself from others it should not be priced below them. Thereby porter’s generic competitive strategies are incompatible with each other. Differentiation has many advantages for the firm which makes use of the strategy. Some problematic areas include the difficulty on part of the firm to estimate if the extra costs entailed in differentiation can actually be recovered from the customer through premium pricing.

porter's competitive strategies

Economies of scale require potential rivals to enter the industry with substantial capacity to produce, and this means the cost of entry may be prohibitive to many potential rivals. This could mean having lowest cost among some competitors where each firm enjoys pricing power and high profits. Increasing profits by reducing costs, while charging industry-average prices. When the above two strategies are applied to a narrow segment the strategy is known as Focus Strategy.

Porter’s generic strategies

Companies that choose to be cost leaders offer products with very little differentiation. Such companies will align their functional units towards cost reduction. In the focus strategy, it is still essential to decide whether a company would like to pursue Cost Leadership or Product Differentiation. The “something extra” that the organizations adds can contribute to reducing costs or to increasing differentiation. Similarly, Holiday Inns founded the market for average price, average quality motel rooms. Holiday Inns was left stuck in the middle, with its undifferentiated product and average costs.

Michael Porter categorized competitive strategies as cost leadership, differentiation, or market segmentation . The generic strategy of focus rests on the choice of a narrow competitive scope within an industry. The focuser selects a segment or group of segments in the industry and tailors its strategy to serving them to the exclusion of others.The focus strategy has two variants. In cost focus a firm seeks a cost advantage in its target segment, while in differentiation focus a firm seeks differentiation in its target segment. Both variants of the focus strategy rest on differences between a focuser’s target segment and other segments in the industry.

According to Apple, competing on price can hurt your business – and knowing this apple has never wavered on its pricing strategy. Inspired by Apple, Xiaomi also educates consumers on its design philosophy, emphasizing a focus on simplicity and specialization in its products. Xiaomi first kept its low price before diving in-depth into its flagship product’s high level of integrated technology and hardware performance.

A Critique of Porter’s Cost Leadership and Differentiation Strategies: An Update

McDonalds , for example, is differentiated by its very brand name and brand images of Big Mac and Ronald McDonald. The challenge to firms is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage through deploying their resources capably. Porter suggests a way through his matrix incorporating a source of cost and differentiation advantage juxtaposed against broad and narrow markets in which the firm competes. This matrix helps to create generic strategies that can offer a competitive advantage to the firm.

  • Here the company will focus on cost reduction strategies in a single market.
  • On the other hand in the best cost strategy, the firms try to provide the best value at the lowest cost.
  • Michael E. Porter’s 1980 book Competitive Strategy is a fine example of critical thinking skills in action.
  • Both these companies have a niche of premium products available at a premium price.
  • It is a truism that cost is a fact and price is a strategy.

First Time Manager Program and allow them to master all varieties of generic competitive strategies. Porter’s generic model useful purely as a source of theoretical guidance even if they don’t practically implement any of the generic world largest ngo competitive strategies suggested by Porter. Generic strategy provides an outline of how an organization should try to grow by framing objectives, selecting processes, and appealing to customers in the most effective ways.

The article focuses on the main aspects of Porter’s generic strategies / porter’s generic forces. The three generic strategies of cost leadership, differentiation, and focus are discussed along with the advantages and risks inherent with each strategic option. Differentiation is a marketing term used to describe the process of developing promotional messages that distinguish products from those offered by competitors. The differentiation plank is created in the minds of target customers.

Porter explains the strategies of cost leadership and differentiation against the scope of its business activities. So, companies might offer their products and services to a broad market or to a narrow market . So is a company is targeting a narrow market, it may adopt a focused cost leadership or a focused differentiation strategy. Cost leadership strategies are those that are employed by companies to keep their costs low and thus pass the advantage to customers in the form of low prices. On the other differentiation is achieved by offering above average value in the form of quality products, services, distribution and others by charging a premium.


These strategies are lowering the cost of product, product differentiation, and focus on the niche market. Implementing one of the generic strategies successfully goes out to show an organisation’s strategic power. In 1980 Michael Porter described three generic strategies which a company of any size can choose to pursue its competitive advantage. The three generic strategies are lower cost, differentiated or focus.

  • For new businesses especially entering established markets, it is very important to find a competitive advantage.
  • Innumerable records of the team and its players speak volumes about the success of the cub.
  • However, there are certain industries where it is very difficult to sell products just based on a single feature.
  • The outlets are strategically located, and people who want to discuss matters at leisure over a cup of coffee will choose CCD over any other outlet.
  • Firms can do customer journey mapping or Market surveys to find out specific requirements.

Darpan is a Marketing Strategist & Consultant by profession and a blogger by hobby. He is an engineer by qualification and also an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management , Udaipur. Darpan has worked as a Product Head of the biggest vertical of an education technology company in New Delhi. The moment Coffee Day fails to retain its competitive advantage, you can see a host of competitors entering the fray and carving a decent market share for themselves. Distinctiveness in selected market niches where it better meets the needs of customers than the broad differentiators. Here the company’s aim is to differentiate within a single segment.

Porters Generic Strategies

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This allows the company to sell their items at low prices and they earn profits through thin margins gained from high volumes of business. Porter’s generic strategies framework constitutes a major contribution to the development of the strategic management literature. Generic strategies were first presented in two books by Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School .