Generic strategies

Within a typical industry, some firms have a competitive advantage – they consistently make more money than others. Generic strategies are the basic choices firms make – low cost, differentiated, focused – that enable them to develop competitive advantage.

When to use it

  • To choose how to position your firm or product in a market-place.
  • To analyse your competitors’ strategies.
  • To build an organisation and a set of capabilities to support your chosen position.


Michael Porter is the originator of the concept of generic strategies. There had been research on different strategies before (for example, Ray Miles and Charles Snow talked about ‘analysers’, ‘defenders’ and ‘prospectors’ in the late 1970s), but Porter ...

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