The implementation of product strategies requires cooperation among different groups: finance, research and development, the corporate staff, and marketing. This level of integration makes product strategies difficult to develop and implement. In many companies, to achieve proper coordination among diverse business units, product strategy decisions are made by top management. At Gould, for example, the top management decides what kind of business Gould is and what type it wants to be. The company pursues products in the areas of electro-mechanics, electrochemistry, metallurgy, and electronics. The company works to dispose of products that do not fall strictly into its areas of interest.1
In some companies, the overall scope of product strategy is laid out at the corporate level, whereas actual design is left to business units. These companies contend that this alternative is more desirable than other arrangements because it is difficult for top management to deal with the details of product strategy in a diverse company. In this chapter, the following product strategies are recognized:
• Product-positioning strategy
• Product-repositioning strategy
• Product-overlap strategy
• Product-scope strategy
• Product-design strategy
• Product-elimination strategy
• New-product strategy
• Diversification strategy
• Value-marketing strategy
Each strategy is examined from the point of view of an SBU. The appendix at the end of this chapter summarizes each strategy, giving its definition, objectives, requirements, and expected results.
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