Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction 8.1 Strategic direction: Choosing which markets to compete in and what to offer Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Learning outcomes Strategic direction What you need to know: Factors influencing which markets to compete in and which products to offer
Strategic direction and Ansoffs matrix The reason for choosing and value of different options for strategic direction. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Starter discussion: strategic direction The consumer electronics market is dominated by large multinational firms such as Apple, Samsung and Google. These fast-moving, innovative companies have put pressure on many traditionally successful firms. The past market leaders have responded in different ways to this challenge. Panasonic diversified away from phones and televisions into components for car production and house construction. Hitachi focused on heavy machinery instead. Both
made the decision to target more stable and less dynamic markets, away from these dominant rivals and new market leaders. Sony and Nokia decided to continue to compete in consumer electronics (mobile phones, televisions, etc.) and take on rivals head on. Both firms went through extensive restructuring and retrenchment. Sony are still struggling to produce a profit and Nokia were bought by Microsoft as they failed to turn the company around. Discuss the following statement in pairs/small groups: A firm operating in a difficult market must change its strategic direction and operate elsewhere to improve its profitability. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Strategic direction A strategy is a long-term plan of how a business sets out to achieve its aims and objectives. As part of this strategy, firms must decide what direction they would like to move and then set out a plan to achieve it. The strategic direction a business chooses determines the products it sells and the markets it operates in. Most firms operate in dynamic markets with changing internal and external factors. This constant change will require the firms strategic direction to constantly be assessed and changed when necessary. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Strategy
At the start of this course, we saw that strategy is the medium-to longterm plans that will allow a business to achieve its objectives. Such plans include details about what is to be done and the financial, production and personnel resources required to implement the plans. Strategies should not be considered until corporate objectives have been agreed. Once they have, the business should: Analyse the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business (both financial and non-financial) Analyse the external environment to assess opportunities and threats that face the business Applying investment appraisal, where appropriate, of planned strategic options, in order to assess their financial viability Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Strategy
In most cases, strategy is based around a businesss strengths. However, it may be possible that a business will need to adopt a strategy of strengthening areas that are presently weaknesses in order to achieve its objectives. In all cases, an awareness of potential changes in the external environment is crucial if the business is to move forward in the right direction In most cases strategic direction is concerned with a business using its understanding of its internal and external environments in order to choose: The products it should produce The markets in which to sell those products Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Ansoffs matrix One way in which the strategic direction of a business can be analysed is by using Ansoffs matrix (also known as Ansoffs growth matrix). It is a decision-making model for strategic planning that was developed by Igor Ansoff. Ansoff (19182002) was an influential management thinker and was described as the father of modern strategic thinking. The matrix sets out different strategic directions a firm may pursue. It differentiates these options by considering the products a firm offers and the markets in which it will operate. It provides companies with strategic choices (options) to move forward, each with different degrees of risk. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Ansoffs matrix Market penetration Market development Product development EXISTING E X I
S T I N G N E W Increasing risk Hodder & Stoughton NEW
Increasing risk Diversification M A R K E T S PRODUCTS Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Ansoffs matrix EXISTING NEW E X I S T I N
G Market penetration Product development N E W Market development
Diversification Increasing risk Hodder & Stoughton Increasing risk M A R K E T S
PRODUCTS Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction A3 Paper Activity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMFXsJxi05U Watch the following video, and draw an A3 version of the Ansoff Matrix. Write notes in each quarter based on the points of each strategy Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Ansoffs matrix 1: market penetration Strategies to promote higher sales in an existing product and existing market. The main aim is to boost brand loyalty and market share from what the firm already has. This will often be done by modifying the marketing strategy, e.g. increased spending on promotion, new product features, price changes. This strategic direction has the lowest risk of all on Ansoffs matrix, as the company already knows its market and its product. It may not be the most beneficial for long-term success, especially if market growth is slowing. However, many companies can produce high returns for many years by pursuing market penetration with a well established and popular product. It is a useful direction for firms in stable, predictable markets and those that are risk-averse, e.g. fast-moving consumer goods such as Heinz baked beans, Head & Shoulders shampoo There is also the option to consolidate, where a firm will focus on maintaining its current market position without any ambitions for growth, to protect its existing market share. This is likely with small firms or when the external environment is hostile, e.g. during a recession.
Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Ansoffs matrix 1: market penetration A business can also look to consolidate its present position, withdraw from the market altogether or do nothing Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Retrenchment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnGHF-QkSUA Hodder & Stoughton
Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Ansoffs matrix 2: market development Entering a new market with an existing product. May involve exporting to new geographic locations or targeting a new market segment. The main aims are to increase the companys sales and profit, increasing its scale of operations and spreading its risk across more than one market. This is riskier than market penetration as the new market is not as well known. However, it is a long-term strategy, as it looks to expand the business outside of its existing market. There are chances of failure when entering new markets for various reasons, including: Firms may not understand/misinterpret the new consumers tastes, buying habits, behaviour. They may fail to adapt to the culture of the market, language differences, different distribution channels, suitable promotion methods, etc.
Existing rivals in that market may make it difficult for new entrants. Market research will need to be gathered and accurately analysed. Examples: Brompton Bicycles exporting to China; Johnson's baby shampoo targeting usage by adults as well as children; Kelloggs promoting its cereals to be eaten at different times of the day as part of a weight-loss diet; Tescos failed attempts to expand to the USA with its Fresh & Easy brand. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Market development https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzbEHCZwgPE Hodder & Stoughton
Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Ansoffs matrix 3: product development A firm targeting a market in which it already operates but with a new product. The main aim is usually to keep up with developments in the market, anticipating future trends, adapting to changing consumer tastes and keeping pace with technological advancements. This can be risky as it may require expenditure on research and development (R&D) and there is no guarantee that the money spent will produce a successful final product. Also, although the company may know the market and market segment, it does not mean the market will purchase and adopt the new product. It may take further investment in promotion to establish sales and customer loyalty. However, being associated with an existing established brand may increase the
products chances of success. This strategy will also help to spread the firms risk as they are not dependent on just one product and they will increase their product portfolio. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Ansoffs matrix 4: diversification Launching a new product in a new market: the most risky strategic direction on Ansoffs matrix. As with many of the other strategies, it will help a firm to spread its risk by operating in more than one market and by selling more than one product. It may also help to increase their sales, profit and brand awareness. Although this strategy decreases the chance of the company failing, there are high levels of risk due to the lack of knowledge of both product and market. The
firm will need extensive research to ensure they understand the new market and how it will respond to their new product. The firm may lack relevant past experience as the product and market are new, making mistakes and poor decision making more likely. It will be a good strategy for those firms looking to escape difficult or declining markets. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Factors impacting the choice of strategic direction A firm deciding on its strategic direction considers many factors, including: The level of risk involved, including the management and owners attitude to risk. The level of shareholder support. Do they support the new direction?
The impact on the existing brand image and customer reaction. The existing employee reactions. Labour turnover? Loss of skills? Existing strengths, assets and skills and their fit with the new direction. Availability of staff, skills, assets and investment that the firm currently does not have and will need for the new strategy. Costs of pursuing the strategy and the firms financial position. How will it be funded? The likely returns in sales and profit. What will the ROCE be? The opportunity costs. What else could have been done by the firm with the investment required? What are the alternative strategic directions that could be pursued? CSR and ethical factors, e.g. will a new market bring issues with labour conditions? Any potential government intervention. Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Reasons for choosing and value of market penetration
Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Task Find 2 successful and 2 unsuccessful examples of businesses that used market penetration. Explain why they were successful or unsuccessful. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Reasons for choosing and value of product development Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Task Find 2 successful and 2 unsuccessful examples of businesses that used product development. Explain why they were successful or unsuccessful. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Reasons for choosing and value of market development Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Task
Find 2 successful and 2 unsuccessful examples of businesses that used market development. Explain why they were successful or unsuccessful. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Reasons for choosing and value of diversification Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Reasons for choosing and value of diversification Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Task Find 2 successful and 2 unsuccessful examples of businesses that used diversification. Explain why they were successful or unsuccessful. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Exam-style question We will now attempt to answer the starter question in full exam style. Initially plan this answer in a group, based on your earlier discussion, before writing it individually. Re-read slide 3. Question:
To what extent do you believe that a firm operating in a difficult market must change its strategic direction and operate elsewhere to improve its profitability? Justify your opinion. (25 marks) Exam tip: Planning your answer first will help you to think about the most significant and relevant points. Note down the points in a table then cross out the ones you feel will be the weakest arguments. This planning process will ensure you only write the points you feel are strongest and will be able to apply and analyse in most depth. This will help you to write the best answer possible that answers the actual question and gains you the most marks. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction
Ansoffs matrix plenary discussion 1. What are the four strategic directions proposed by Ansoff? 2. Discuss what you feel are the three most important factors that will determine what strategic direction a firm will pursue. Hodder & Stoughton Unit 8 Choosing strategic direction Summary Firms have a number of different strategic directions they may wish to follow. These choices will be determined by their current internal position and their external environment. Ansoffs four different strategic options for a firm are:
Market penetration Market development Product development Diversification All have differing levels of risk due to the uncertainty with regards to launching new products, entering unknown markets or a combination of both. No strategy is better than any other but their success is determined by the skill in planning and implementation. The correct strategic direction is essential for long-term business success. Managers need to forecast future trends and make sure they have the right products, in the right markets, at the right time. Hodder & Stoughton
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