To begin with, BCG is the acronym for Boston Consulting Group—a general management consulting firm highly respected in business strategy consulting. BCG Growth-Share Matrix (see figure 1) happens to be one of many of BCG's strategic concepts the organisation developed in the late 1970s, and is being taught at leading business schools and executive education programmes around the world.
It is a management tool that serves four distinct purposes (McDonald 2003; Kotler 2003; Cipher 2006): it can be used to classify product portfolio in four business types based on four graphic labels including Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks and Dogs; it can be used to determine what priorities should be given in the product portfolio of a company; to classify an organisation’s product portfolio according to their cash usage and generation; and offers management available strategies to tackle various product lines. Consider companies like Apple Computer, General Electric, Unilever, Siemens, Centrica and many more, engaging in diversified product lines. The BCG model therefore becomes an invaluable analytical tool to evaluate an organisation’s diversified product lines as later seen in the ensuing sections.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN ASPECTS OF THE BCG GROWTH-SHARE MATRIX?
The BCG Growth-Share Matrix is based on two dimensional variables: relative market share and market growth. They often are pointers to healthiness of a business (Kotler 2003; McDonald 2003). In other words, products with greater market share or within a fast growing market are expected to wield relatively greater profit margins. The reverse is also true. Let’s look at the following components of the model:
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