student response Strategic Groups and Competitor Analysis, management homework help

INSTRUCTIONS: Please RESPOND to this answer from the Point of view as a student. Use credible sources and respond as if you are a manager of a marketing agency. Tell this student what your marketing agency would think of each of these answers from a Management perspective:

“Strategic groups are distinguishable cluster of competitors within an industry. It is a subset of firms that because they have similar strategies, resources, and capabilities, compete against each other more intensely than with other firms in the industry” (Carpenter & Sanders, p.12, 2008). For example, the restaurant industry can be divided into several strategic groups including fast food and fine dining based on variables such as pricing, presentation, and preparation time. Strategic group maps, which show the different positions of different firms in an industry based on chosen criteria, allow managers and researchers to not only develop a classification of strategy conducted in their industry but comparing over different time periods allow the competitive dynamics and evolution of an industry to be more clearly understood. Ways Strategic group maps can be constructed are such as:

1)Analyze the overall industry and identifying those competitive characteristics that differentiate firms in the industry. Variables selected as axes for the map should identified during the industry analysis (Strategic group mapping, 2010).

2)Variables selected as axes for the map could be product line breadth (wide, narrow), price (high, medium, low), quality (high, medium, low), geographic coverage (local, regional, global) etc. Using two variable maps, plot all the firms in the industry. For example, price can be plotted on x axis whereas product line on y axis and all the firms can be plotted accordingly (Strategic group mapping, 2010).

3)All the firms that fall in the same strategy space should be allocated to the same strategic group

4)Finally, sketch circles around each group and size of the circles depend upon the share of a strategic group in the total industry sales revenue (Strategic group mapping, 2010).

Institute competes with other companies in the industry in terms of dues it charges its members and database of journals (has more than 100,000 or 10,000 and less journals). Based on this criteria mapping can be done to find out how Institute can overcome those variables of price and database to withstand the competition.

It is important for every organization to profile its competitors. Implementing the four step approach by porter provides a more grounded approach to understanding competitors and includes identifying the following:

  • Drivers: What drives your competition and moves them forward? If you understand what your competitors’ goals are, you will know whether they are likely to change course or not in the future.
  • Strategy: What is your competitor’s strategy? Are they succeeding with their current strategy or are they failing and are likely to change direction? If the benefits of their strategy are not realized, they are likely to change course. You can use this insight to prepare your business for impending changes that may happen.
  • Capabilities: Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor: What are their strengths? What is their competitive advantage?
  • Management Assumptions: What does your competitor believe about themselves and others? What assumptions have they made about their environment and their strategy? These assumptions have an impact on the strategic direction they take. Analyzing your competitor’s assumptions will help you identify their weaknesses and blind spots (Four Corner’s analysis, 2015).

Porter’s four step approach helps in analyzing competitors to understand their moves, industry shifts, and environmental changes. This can help prepare business in future on competition and industry overall.

Scenario planning is analytical tool which can prepare and planning for “what ifs” and how you will need to react to future to remain relevant. Based on that, strategies can be drafted by being aware of the environment. In previous class, I did work in Scenario planning for completing MBA. I did that based on drivers of success and external factors that could impact on it.

1)First, I identified drivers of success such as Career Growth, Higher Income, Higher Educational Credentials, and Better leadership and managerial skills.

2)Then I identified factors such as political, social, technological and economic that could have impact on it which can hinder completion of the program.

This helped me prepare for the factors that could come up and don’t be surprised by them since I had anticipated and based on that, made plans to overcome them.


1)Four Corner’s Analysis — Business Analyst Learnings. (2015). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from…

2)M. Carpenter & Wm. Sanders (2008). Strategic Management. A Dynamic Perspective. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall

3)Strategic Group Mapping – MBA LECTURES. (2010). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from…

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