There are four generic strategies that are used to help organizations establish a competitive advantage over industry rivals. Firms may also choose to compete across a broad market or a focused market. We also briefly discuss a fifth business level strategy called an integrated strategy.
1. Cost Leadership – Organizations compete for a wide customer based on price. Price is based on internal efficiency in order to have a margin that will sustain above average returns and cost to the customer so that customers will purchase your product/service. Works well when product/service is standardized, can have generic goods that are acceptable to many customers, and can offer the lowest price. Continuous efforts to lower costs relative to competitors is necessary in order to successfully be a cost leader. This can include: * Building state of art efficient facilities (may make it costly for competition to imitate) * Maintain tight control over production and overhead costs * Minimize cost of sales, R&D, and service.
Porter's 5 Forces Model
Earlier we discussed Porter's Model. A cost leadership strategy may help to remain profitable even with: rivalry, new entrants, suppliers' power, substitute products, and buyers' power. * Rivalry – Competitors are likely to avoid a price war, since the low cost firm will continue to earn profits after competitors compete away their profits (Airlines). * Customers – Powerful customers that force firms to produce goods/service at lower profits may exit the market rather than earn below average profits leaving the low cost organization in a monopoly positions. Buyers then loose much of their buying power. * Suppliers – Cost leaders are able to absorb greater price increases before it must raise price to customers. * Entrants – Low cost leaders create barriers to market entry through its continuous focus on efficiency and reducing costs. * Substitutes – Low cost...