I have provided links below to strategy development samples and templates. First, however, I think it is important to understand what “strategy” is and what it is not. I define strategy is the “how” to reach the goal. Others describe strategy as, “decisions taken to gain corporate advantage.”
I believe the most effective strategies are found within what Jim Collins calls the “sweet spot.” In other words, for an organization, it is where an organization’s talents and passions merge with economic opportunities.
Michael Porter captured this in what is referred to as, “Porter’s Generic Competitive Strategies.” The premise is that business needs to compete in one or more of the following areas:
Low Cost Strategy: Walmart is an example of a low cost retailer. It constantly seeks to leverage all sources giving it a cost advantage over its competition.
Differentiation Strategy: Apple seeks to be unique in the technology space. Tablet P.C.s have been around for many years. However, Apple developed an extremely user-friendly, sleek, unique, re-invented version of a Tablet P.C., called the “iPad” and again took the market by a storm. Firms that are most successful with a “differentiation” strategy often have talented product development teams, access to breakthrough research, world-class sales teams, and a brand for high quality and innovation.
Focus Strategy: A focus strategy can include a focus on cost and differentiation, but most importantly it focuses on a market segment(s) that is less vulnerable to competition. Southwest is an example of a firm that has a focus strategy. Its niche is on short point-to-point flights and low cost. It doesn’t compete head-on with the big airline carriers that use the hub-and-spoke model to leverage the most flight opportunities overall.
Amazon has achieved significant success in one of the most competitive industries. Developing and implementing sound strategies is paramount in the retail industry. To see the model and tools they used visit these links:
To see Amazon’s strategic plan, click here.
Students from the Western New England College School of Business developed business strategy presentations for several well known business (e.g., Ben & Jerry’s, Boeing, Mercedes-Benz, Euro-Disney, Campbell Soup.) These are not the actual business strategies for the firms – but the student presentations offer fun and helpful insights.
There are helpful tools that you can use to define your business strategy – Strategy Development Tools.
Strategy Development Samples and Templates