Corporate Strategy

“Long-term aims and objectives of a company and ways of achieving them by allocation of resources” (IBO)

By exploring corporate strategy a company or organisation can make the difference between success and failure in the fast-moving business environment. Often, managers and entrepreneurs are so busy dealing with the day to day they don’t have the time to devote to corporate strategy planning, but strategic planning for your business is essential to moving forward.

At the heart of this process there may be a product champion, that is a person who takes an inordinate interest in seeing that a particular process or product is fully developed and marketed. The role varies from situations calling for little more than stimulating awareness of the item to extreme cases in which the champion tries to force the item past the strongly entrenched internal resistance of company policy or that of objecting parties.
For example: When a city is seeking to host the next Olympics or World Cup, different people are involved in selling that city to the organisers, from architects to bankers, sponsors, celebrities, politicians and and athletes, they are all product champions.


A strategy of trying to be the first to market new types of products. The highest order of innovativeness.
For example: Apple and Sony


The imitative strategy aims to develop a product similar to the “pioneered” product as quickly as possible. It takes advantage of R&D invested by others, and is less risky, but is based on a strong development capability.

Hybrid Strategy

Companies that use a mixture of imitative and innovative strategies in order to maximize profit and sales and results in a quick turn around, and the benefits are there will be less disruption within the company should something go wrong.

Market Penetration

Increasing sales to existing customers or finding new customers for an existing product a strategy that a company would use to enhance market penetration is through advertising and promotion with existing and new customers.

Task 1:

  • Look at the site Victorinox
  • Each part of the Swiss Army Knife or 'Multitool' is an existing piece of technology (scissors, saws, Knife, tweezers, etc.) Each element is re-packaged in a new form which appeals to a new market
  • List the various user groups that Victorinox (the manufacturer) is aiming with its products:
external image rb_mt_sporttool.jpgexternal image uebersicht_swisscard.jpgexternal image rb_mt_swisstool.jpg

Market Development

The identification of new markets for products, for example, nylon was originally developed for parachutes

Task 2:

  • Find out about the market development of plastic Nylon
  • For what purpose was it originally developed?
  • What other applications is Nylon used for now?

Task 3:

  • See how many variations of the Kit Kat bar you can find?
  • Which elements have been changed and which have stayed the same?


Product Development

Which is defined as the creation of new, modified or updated products aimed mainly at companies existing customers. For example read the following blogs which examine the marketing strategies of Microsoft and compares them with Apple.



"Involves a company both in the development of new products and in selling those products to new companies" (IBO)
A manufacturer or business can increase its market share by considering diversification.Growth by creating new products or services to sell to existing or new customer bases is inherently risky, but handled well it can transform a business.By understand the risks diversification could be the biggest driver to growth and profitability. Mishandled, it could damage the productivity and relationships with existing customers.

Market Sector

web-bizjobs-logo-160x70.gifA part of the market that can be described, categorised and then targeted according to its own criteria and characteristics; sectors are often described as 'vertical', meaning an industry type, or 'horizontal', meaning some other grouping that spans a number of vertical sectors, eg., a geographical grouping, or a grouping defined by age, or size, etc.

Market Segmentation

Check out the link to the following presentation, examine slide 5 & 6

Breaking a total market down into groups of customers and/or potential customers who have something significant in common in terms of their needs and wants or characteristics.

Robust Designdef.jpg

"Flexible designs that can be adapted to changing technical and market requirements"(IBO)
Design of a product so that its functionality varies minimally despite of disturbing factor influences

Product Family

The set of products which have been derived from a common product platform. Members of a product family normally have many common parts and assemblies. Read more click on the image below:


Task 3:

  • Select a product which in your view is an example of a robust design that evolved into a product family

hondalogo.gifAn example of the application of robust design capabilities is Honda's success to be adaptable and to focus on leadership in the technology of internal combustion engines. For example, the high power-to-weight ratio engines Honda produced for its racing bikes provided technology and expertise which was transferable into mopeds. These value are consolidated into a core subassembly common across a product family.

  • Read the following abstract from the following link:

"With the increasing desire for products suitable for widely varying markets worldwide, this study offers insight into capabilities associated with successful robust design in global product markets. These robust design capabilities (i.e., the possibility for success under varying circumstances or scenarios) are a potential organizational response to rapid change and uncertainty, which also improve the likelihood of product acceptance on a global basis. From literature, executive interviews, and anecdotal evidence, four capabilities associated with robust product design are derived: (1) functional; (2) aesthetic; (3) technological; and (4) quality based. A model is proposed and an empirical test conducted that considers the moderating influence of environmental uncertainty on the relationship between these robust capabilities and firm performance. The findings suggest that the use of robust design capabilities are affected by uncertainty and have an important influence on firm performance and speed to market. Specifically, the product development process tends to be characterized by aesthetic and technological robust design capabilities in more certain environments and functional robust design capabilities in more uncertain environments when seeking to improve firm performance. Alternatively, technological design capabilities in more certain environments and functional design capabilities in more uncertain environments are associated with improved speed to market."
Exploring Robust Design Capabilities, Their Role in Creating Global Products, and Their Relationship to Firm Performance
by K. Scott Swan, Masaaki Kotabe, and Brent B. Allred