GBA 490 Chapter 5

A company’s competitive strategy deals with
A. Management’s game plan for competing successfully—the specific efforts to please customers, offensive and defensive moves to counter the maneuvers of rivals, the reactions and responses to whatever market conditions prevail at the moment and the initiatives undertaken to improve the company’s market position
B. What its strategy will be in such functional areas as R&D, production, sales and marketing, distribution, finance and accounting and so on
C. Its efforts to change its position on the industry’s strategic group map
D. Its plans for entering into strategic alliances, utilizing mergers or acquisitions to strengthen its market position, outsourcing some in-house activities to outside specialists and integrating forward or backward
E. Its plans for overcoming the five competitive forces
A
The objective of competitive strategy is to
A. Contend successfully with the industry’s 5 competitive forces
B. Knock the socks off rival companies by doing a better job of satisfying buyer needs and
preferences
C. Get the company into the best strategic group and then dominate it
D. Establish a competitively powerful value chain
E. Grow revenues at a faster annual rate than rivals are able to grow their revenues
B
A company achieves competitive advantage whenever
A. It is the acknowledged market share leader
B. It is the industry’s acknowledged technology leader
C. It has greater financial resources than its rivals
D. It has a well-known and well-regarded brand name, prefers offensive strategies to defensive strategies and has a strong balance sheet
E. It has some type of edge over rivals in attracting customers and coping with competitive forces
E
A company can be said to have competitive advantage if
A. It is the acknowledged leader in product quality
B. It has a different value chain than rivals
C. It has some type of edge over rivals in attracting customers and coping with competitive forces
D. It earns the largest profits of any firm in the industry
E. It has more resource strengths than weaknesses
C
While there are many routes to competitive advantage, they all involve
A. Building a brand name image that buyers trust
B. Delivering superior value to buyers and building competencies and resource strengths in performing value chain activities that rivals cannot readily match
C. Achieving lower costs than rivals and becoming the industry’s sales and market share leader
D. Finding effective and efficient ways to strengthen the company’s competitive assets and to reduce its competitive liabilities
E. Getting in the best strategic group and dominating it
B
The biggest and most important differences among the competitive strategies of different companies boil down to
A. How they go about building a brand name image that buyers trust and whether they are a risk-taker or risk-avoider
B. The different ways that companies try to cope with the five competitive forces
C. Whether a company’s market target is broad or narrow and whether the company is pursuing a competitive advantage linked to low cost or differentiation
D. The kinds of actions companies take to improve their competitive assets and reduce their competitive liabilities
E. The relative emphasis they place on offensive versus defensive strategies
C
Which of the following is not one of the five generic types of competitive strategy?
A. A lowcost provider strategy
B. A broad differentiation strategy
C. A best cost provider strategy
D. A focused low cost provider strategy
E. A market share dominator strategy
E
The generic types of competitive strategies include
A. Build market share, maintain market share and slowly surrender market share
B. Offensive strategies and defensive strategies
C. Low-cost provider, broad differentiation, best-cost provider, focused low-cost and focused differentiation
D. Low-cost/low price strategies, high-quality/high price strategies and medium quality/medium price strategies
E. Price leader strategies, price follower strategies, technology leader strategies, first-mover strategies, offensive strategies and defensive strategies
C
Which one of the following generic types of competitive strategy is typically the best strategy for a company to employ?
A. A low-cost leadership strategy
B. A broad differentiation strategy
C. A best-cost provider strategy
D. A focused low-cost provider strategy
E. There is no such thing as a “best” competitive strategy; a company’s “best” strategy is always one that is customized to fit both industry and competitive conditions and the company’s own resources and competitive capabilities
E
A low-cost leader’s basis for competitive advantage is
A. Lower prices than rival firms
B. Using a low cost/low price approach to gain the biggest market share
C. High buyer switching costs
D. Meaningfully lower overall costs than competitors
E. Higher unit sales than rivals
D
How valuable a low-cost leader’s cost advantage is depends on
A. Whether it is easy or inexpensive for rivals to copy the low-cost leader’s methods or otherwise match its low costs
B. How easy it is for the low-cost leader to gain the biggest market share
C. The aggressiveness with which the low-cost leader pursues converting the cost advantage into the absolute lowest possible costs
D. The leader’s ability to combine the cost advantage with a reputation for good quality
E. The low-cost leader’s ability to be the industry leader in manufacturing innovation so as to keep lowering its manufacturing costs
A
A low-cost leader can translate its low-cost advantage over rivals into superior profit performance by
A. Cutting its price to levels significantly below the prices of rivals
B. Either using its low-cost edge to underprice competitors and attract price sensitive buyers in large enough numbers to increase total profits or refraining from price-cutting and using the low-cost advantage to earn a bigger profit margin on each unit sold
C. Going all out to use its cost advantage to capture a dominant share of the market
D. Spending heavily on advertising to promote its cost advantage and the fact that it charges the lowest prices in the industry⎯it can then use this reputation for low prices to build very strong customer loyalty, gain repeat sales year after year and earn sustained profits over the long-term
E. Outproducing rivals and thus having more units available to sell
B
The major avenues for achieving a cost advantage over rivals include
A. Revamping the firm’s value chain to eliminate or bypass some cost-producing activities and/or out-managing rivals in the efficiency with which value chain activities are performed
B. Having a management team that is highly skilled in cutting costs
C. Being a first-mover in adopting the latest state-of-the-art technologies, especially those relating to low-cost manufacture
D. Outsourcing high-cost activities to cost-efficient vendors
E. Paying lower wages and salaries than rivals
A
A competitive strategy of striving to be the low-cost provider is particularly attractive when
A. Buyers are not very brand-conscious
B. Most rivals are trying to be best-cost providers
C. There are many ways to achieve product differentiation that have value to buyers
D. Buyers are large and have significant power to bargain down prices; buyers use the product in much the same ways; and buyers have low switching costs
E. Most rivals are pursuing focused low-cost or focused differentiation strategies
D
Which of the following is not an action that a company can take to do a better job than rivals of performing value chain activities more cost-effectively?
A. Striving to capture all available economies of scale and learning/experience curve effects
B. Trying to operate facilities at full capacity
C. Adopting labor-saving operating methods
D. Improving supply chain efficiency
E. Outsourcing all production-related activities
E
Which of the following is not one of the ways that a company can achieve a cost advantage by revamping its value chain?
A. Cutting out distributors and dealers by selling direct to customers
B. Replacing certain value chain activities with faster and cheaper online technology
C. Increasing production capacity and then striving hard to operate at full capacity
D. Relocating facilities so as to curb the need for shipping and handling activities
E. Streamlining operations by eliminating low value-added or unnecessary work steps and activities
C
To succeed with a low-cost provider strategy, company managers have to
A. Pursue backward or forward integration to detour suppliers or buyers with considerable bargaining power and leverage
B. Move the performance of most all value chain activities to low-wage countries
C. Sell direct to users of their product or service and eliminate use of wholesale and retail intermediaries
D. Do two things: (1) do a better job than rivals of pursuing cost savings throughout the value chain and (2) be proactive in revamping the firm’s overall value chain to eliminate low value-added activities and bypass “nonessential” cost-producing activities
E. Outsource the biggest majority of value chain activities
D
Achieving a cost advantage over rivals entails
A. Concentrating on the primary activities portion of the value chain and outsourcing all support activities
B. Being a first-mover in pursuing backward and forward integration and controlling as much of the industry value chain as possible
C. Out-managing rivals in performing value chain activities cost-effectively and finding creative ways to cut cost-producing activities out of the value chain
D. Minimizing R&D expenses and paying below-average wages and salaries to conserve on labor costs
E. Producing a standard product, redesigning the product infrequently and having minimal advertising
C
The best evidence that a company is the industry’s low-cost provider is that
A. It sells more of its product/service than its key competitors and is the market share leader
B. It has lower overall per unit costs for its product/service than other competitors in the industry
C. It has lower total operating costs on its income statement than do its competitors
D. It is earning greater total profits and a higher rate of return on investment than its competitors
E. It has lower manufacturing costs than other competitors in the industry
B
A company pursuing a low-cost leadership strategy must generally
A. Have products with good-to-excellent attributes so that its low prices will provide customers with more value for the money
B. Have acceptable quality products that incorporate a good basic design with few frills and offer a limited number of models/styles to select from
C. Have a wide selection of products that are of average or better quality
D. Design its product to emphasize a few chosen differentiating features and present a distinctive image to buyers
E. Offer customized products that fit the specialized needs of the company’s target group of customers
B
Being the overall low-cost provider in an industry has the attractive advantage of
A. Building strong customer loyalty and locking customers into its product (because customers have such high switching costs)
B. Giving the firm a very appealing brand image
C. Putting a firm in position to compete offensively on the basis of low price, win the business of price sensitive customers, set the floor on market price and defend against price war conditions should they arise
D. Putting the company in strong position to be more profitable than companies pursuing a differentiation strategy
E. Greatly reducing the strong bargaining power of key suppliers
C
A competitive strategy to be the low-cost provider in an industry works well when
A. Price competition among rival sellers is especially vigorous
B. There are few ways to achieve product differentiation that have value to buyers
C. Buyers incur low costs in switching their purchases from one seller/brand to another
D. Industry newcomers use low introductory prices to attract buyers and build a customer base
E. All of these
E
A competitive strategy predicated on low-cost leadership tends to work best when
A. There are widely varying needs and preferences among the various buyers of the product or service
B. There are many market segments and market niches, such that it is feasible for a low-cost leader to dominate the niche where buyers want a budget-priced product
C. Price competition is especially vigorous and the offerings of rival firms are essentially identical, standardized, commodity-like products
D. Buyers prefer that the products/services of competing sellers have widely varying attributes and prices
E. Buyers have high switching costs and there is considerable diversity in how buyers use the product
C
In which of the following circumstances is a strategy to be the industry’s overall low-cost provider not particularly well matched to the market situation?
A. When the offerings of rival firms are essentially identical, standardized, commodity-like products
B. When there are few ways to achieve differentiation that have value to buyers
C. When price competition is especially vigorous
D. When buyers have widely varying needs and special requirements and the prices of substitute products are relatively high
E. When entry barriers are low and there is a stream of newcomers to the industry
D
A strategy to be the industry’s overall low-cost provider tends to be more appealing than a differentiation or best-cost or focus/market niche strategy when
A. There are many ways to achieve product differentiation that buyers find appealing
B. Buyers use the product in a variety of different ways and have high switching costs in changing from one seller’s product to another
C. The offerings of rival firms are essentially identical, standardized, commodity-like products
D. Entry barriers are high and competition from substitutes is relatively weak
E. The market is composed of many distinct segments with varying buyer needs and expectations
C
In which of the following circumstances is a low-cost leadership strategy not likely to be particularly successful?
A. When the industry’s product is a standardized commodity
B. When buyers are looking for a good-to-excellent product at a bargain price
C. When the industry is composed of more than three strategic groups and the companies in at least one of the groups are pursuing full vertical integration strategies
D. When entry barriers are low and substitute products are making strong market inroads
E. When buyers are price sensitive and the industry is plagued with frequent price wars
C
Which of the following is not one of the pitfalls of a low-cost provider strategy?
A. Overly aggressive price-cutting
B. Trying to set the industry’s price ceiling
C. Not emphasizing avenues of cost advantage that can be kept proprietary or that relegate rivals to playing catch up
D. Becoming too fixated on cost reduction
E. Having the basis for the firm’s cost advantage undermined by cost-saving technological breakthroughs that can be readily adopted by rival firms
B
The essence of a broad differentiation strategy is to
A. Appeal to the high end part of the market and concentrate on providing a top-of-the-line product to consumers
B. Incorporate a greater number of differentiating features into its product/service than rivals
C. Lower buyer switching costs
D. Outspend rivals on advertising and promotion in order to inform and convince buyers of the value of its differentiating attributes
E. Be unique in ways that are valuable and appealing to a wide range of buyers
E
A company attempting to be successful with a broad differentiation strategy has to
A. Study buyer needs and behavior carefully to learn what buyers consider important, what they think has value and what they are willing to pay for
B. Incorporate more differentiating features into its product/service than rivals
C. Concentrate its differentiating efforts on marketing and advertising (where almost all differentiating features are created)
D. Have a widely known and highly respected brand name image
E. Provide a top-of-the-line product and sell it at premium prices
A
Successful differentiation allows a firm to
A. Be the industry’s best-cost provider
B. Set the industry ceiling on price
C. Avoid being dragged into a price war with industry rivals and not be overly concerned about whether entry barriers into the industry are high or low
D. Command a premium price for its product and/or increase unit sales (because additional buyers are won over by the differentiating features), and/or gain buyer loyalty to its brand (because some buyers prefer the differentiating features and are thus brand loyal)
E. Take sales and market share away from rivals by undercutting them on price
D
A company that succeeds in differentiating its product offering from those of its rivals can usually
A. Avoid having to compete on the basis of simply a low price
B. Charge a price premium for its product (because buyers see its differentiating features as worth something extra)
C. Increase unit sales (because of the attraction of its differentiating product attributes)
D. Gain buyer loyalty to its brand (because some, maybe many, of its customers will have a strong preference for the company’s differentiating features)
E. All of the above
E
A broad differentiation strategy improves profitability when
A. It is focused on product innovation
B. Differentiating enhances product performance
C. The differentiating features appeal to sophisticated and prestigious buyers
D. Unit sales increase and the extra price the product commands exceeds the added costs of achieving the differentiation
E. The differentiator charges a price that is only fractionally higher than the industry’s low-cost provider
D
Whether a broad differentiation strategy ends up enhancing company profitability depends mainly on whether
A. Many buyers view the product’s differentiating features as having value
B. Most buyers have similar needs and use the product in the same ways
C. Unit sales increase and the extra price the product commands exceeds the added costs of achieving the differentiation
D. Buyer switching costs are low and customer loyalty to any one brand is low
E. Buyers are prone to shop the market for sellers having the best price
C
Using a broad differentiation strategy to produce an attractive competitive advantage is least likely to be based on
A. Developing a superior performing product
B. Offering buyers a product which is superior in quality and reliability as compared to rivals’ brands
C. Giving consumers comprehensive support services
D. Providing buyers with a continuing stream of better-designed, better-performing and more stylish products
E. Undercutting the prices being charged by rivals
E
Opportunities to differentiate a company’s product offering
A. Are most reliably found in the R&D portion of the value chain
B. Are typically located in the sales and marketing portion of the value chain
C. Can exist in activities all along an industry’s value chain
D. Usually are tied to product quality and customer service
E. Are most frequently attached to a company’s manufacturing expertise and to its ability to achieve scale economies in production
C
Easy-to-copy differentiating features
A. Cannot produce sustainable competitive advantage
B. Seldom are perceived by buyers as having much value
C. Tend to give buyers a high degree of power in bargaining for a lower price
D. Should never be incorporated in a company’s product offering if its differentiation strategy is to succeed
E. Lead to vigorous price competition
A
The most appealing approaches to differentiation are
A. Those that are also being pursued by other rivals with differentiation strategies
B. Those that are the most costly to incorporate (because expensive attributes are perceived by buyers as more valuable and worth paying more for)
C. Those that can be made even more attractive to buyers via clever advertising
D. Generally related to flavor and taste or sophisticated use of Internet technology applications
E. Those that are hard or expensive for rivals to duplicate and that also have considerable buyer appeal
E
Perceived value and signaling value are often an important part of a successful differentiation strategy because
A. Of the diversity of buyer needs and preferences
B. Buyers seldom will pay for value they don’t perceive, no matter how real the value of the differentiating extras may be
C. Most buyers are heavily influenced by clever ads that signal value
D. Differentiation is all about smoke and mirrors
E. There are no other ways to differentiate a commodity product
B
A differentiation-based competitive advantage
A. Nearly always is attached to the quality and service aspects of a company’s product offering
B. Most usually is the result of highly effective marketing and advertising
C. Requires developing at least one distinctive competence that buyers consider valuable
D. Hinges on a company’s success in developing top-of-the-line product features that will command the biggest price premium in the industry
E. Often hinges on incorporating features that (1) raise the performance of the product or (2) lower the buyer’s overall costs of using the company’s product or (3) enhance buyer satisfaction in intangible or non-economic ways
E
Which of the following is not one of the four basic routes to achieving a differentiation-based competitive advantage?
A. Delivering value to customers via competencies and competitive capabilities that rivals don’t have or can’t afford to match
B. Incorporating features that raise product performance
C. Incorporating product attributes and user features that lower the buyer’s overall costs of using the company’s product
D. Appealing to buyers who are sophisticated and shop hard for the best, stand-out differentiating attributes
E. Incorporating features that enhance buyer satisfaction in intangible or non-economic ways
D
Achieving a differentiation-based competitive advantage can involve
A. Incorporating product attributes and user features that lower a buyer’s overall cost of using the product
B. Incorporating features that raise the performance a buyer gets from using the product
C. Incorporating features that enhance buyer satisfaction in non-economic or intangible ways
D. Delivering value to customers via competencies and competitive capabilities that rivals don’t have or can’t afford to match
E. All of the above are viable ways of building competitive advantage via differentiation
E
Broad differentiation strategies are well-suited for market circumstances where
A. There are many ways to differentiate the product or service and many buyers perceive these differences as having value
B. Most buyers have the same needs and use the product in the same ways
C. Buyers are susceptible to clever advertising
D. Barriers to entry are high and suppliers have a low degree of bargaining power
E. Price competition is especially vigorous
A
Broad differentiation strategies generally work best in market circumstances where
A. Buyer needs and preferences are too diverse to be fully satisfied by a standardized product
B. Most buyers have similar needs and use the product in the same ways
C. The products of rivals are weakly differentiated and most competitors are resorting to clever advertising to try to set their product offerings apart
D. Buyers are price sensitive and buying switching costs are quite low
E. The five competitive forces are strong
A
A broad differentiation strategy works best in situations where
A. Technological change is slow-paced and new or improved products are infrequent
B. Buyer needs and uses of the product are very similar
C. Buyers incur low costs in switching their purchases to rival brands
D. Buyers have a low degree of bargaining power and purchase the product frequently
E. Technological change is fast-paced and competition revolves around rapidly evolving product features
E
A broad differentiation strategy generally produces the best results in situations where
A. Buyer brand loyalty is low
B. Buyer needs and uses of the product are diverse
C. New and improved products are introduced only infrequently
D. Most rivals are pursuing a differentiation strategy and are seeking to differentiate their products on most of the same features and attributes
E. Price competition is vigorous
B
In which one of the following market circumstances is a broad differentiation strategy generally not well-suited?
A. When buyer needs and preferences are too diverse to be fully satisfied by a standardized product
B. When few rivals are pursuing a similar differentiation approach
C. When the products of rivals are weakly differentiated and most competitors are resorting to clever advertising to try to set their product offerings apart
D. When there are many ways to differentiate the product or service and many buyers perceive these differences as having value
E. When technological change is fast-paced and competition revolves around rapidly evolving product features
C
The pitfalls of a differentiation strategy include
A. Trying to differentiate on the basis of attributes or features that are easily copied
B. Choosing to differentiate on the basis of attributes that buyers do not perceive as valuable or worth paying for
C. Trying to charge too high a price premium for the differentiating features
D. Being timid and not striving to open up meaningful gaps in quality or performance or service or other attractive differentiating attributes
E. All of these
E
Which of the following is not one of the pitfalls of pursuing a differentiation strategy?
A. Trying to strongly differentiate the company’s product from those of rivals rather than be content with weak product differentiation
B. Over-differentiating so that the features and attributes incorporated exceed buyer needs and requirements
C. Trying to charge too high a price premium for the differentiating features
D. Differentiating on features or attributes that rivals can easily copy
E. Overspending on efforts to differentiate the company’s product offering
A
Which one of the following statements about pursuing a broad differentiation strategy is false?
A. Any differentiating feature that works well is a magnet for imitators
B. The best opportunities for achieving strong product differentiation are in the production technology and marketing portions of the value chain
C. A low-cost provider strategy can defeat a broad differentiation strategy when buyers are satisfied with a basic product and don’t think “extra” attributes are worth paying a higher price
D. A differentiator’s basis for competitive advantage is either a product/service offering whose attributes differ significantly from the offerings of rivals or else a set of capabilities for delivering customer value that rivals don’t have
E. Differentiation based on competencies and competitive capabilities tends to be more sustainable than differentiation based on product features
B
A company achieves best-cost provider status by
A. Selling a product with the best cost at the best price
B. Having the best cost (as compared to rivals) for each activity in the industry’s value chain
C. Providing buyers with the best attributes at the best cost
D. Incorporating attractive or upscale attributes into its product offering at a lower cost than rivals
E. Doing a better job than rivals of adopting the best operating practices
D
A firm pursuing a best-cost provider strategy
A. Seeks to be the low-cost provider in the largest and fastest growing (or best) market segment
B. Tries to have the best cost (as compared to rivals) for each activity in the industry’s value chain
C. Tries to outcompete a low-cost provider by attracting buyers on the basis of charging the best price
D. Seeks to deliver superior value to buyers by satisfying their expectations on key quality/service/features/performance attributes and beating their expectations on price (given what rivals are charging for much the same attributes)
E. Seeks to achieve the best costs by using the best operating practices and incorporating the best features and attributes
D
Best-cost provider strategies
A. Aim at using the best operating practices to achieve lower costs and charge lower prices than companies pursuing low-cost provider strategies
B. Involve charging a lower price for a product that has more upscale attributes and features than the products offered by companies pursuing either focused differentiation or broad differentiation strategies
C. Seek to attract buyers on the basis of charging the best price for a mid-quality, average-performing product
D. Aim at giving customers more value for the money
E. Deliver superior value to buyers by providing them a top-of-the-line product at a below-average market price
D
The objective of a best-cost provider strategy is to
A. Deliver superior value to buyers by satisfying their expectations on key quality/performance/features/service attributes and beating their expectations on price (given what rivals are charging for much the same attributes)
B. Offer buyers the industry’s best-performing product at the best cost and best (lowest) price in the industry
C. Attract buyers on the basis of having the industry’s overall best-performing product at a price that is slightly below the industry-average price
D. Outcompete rivals using low-cost provider strategies
E. Translate its best-cost status into achieving the highest profit margins of any firm in the industry
A
The competitive objective of a best-cost provider strategy is to
A. Outmatch the resource strengths of both low-cost providers and differentiators
B. Position the company outside the competitive arena of low-cost producers and differentiators
C. Meet or exceed buyer expectations on key quality/performance/features/service attributes and beat their expectations on price (given what rivals are charging for much the same attributes)—thereby achieving a value-based competitive advantage
D. Deliver superior value to buyers by doing such a good job of cost control that it ends up with the best cost (as compared to rivals) in performing each activity in its value chain
E. Identify and concentrate on those differentiating features that are inexpensive to incorporate
C
For a best-cost provider strategy to be successful, a company must have
A. Excellent marketing and sales skills in convincing buyers to pay a premium price for the attributes/features incorporated in its product
B. Resource strengths and competitive capabilities that allow it to incorporate upscale attributes at lower costs than rivals whose products have similar upscale attributes
C. Access to greater learning/experience curve effects and scale economies than rivals
D. One of the best-known and most respected brand names in the industry
E. A short, low-cost value chain
B
The competitive advantage of a best-cost provider is
A. Having the best value chain in the industry
B. Its brand name reputation
C. Its capability to incorporate upscale attributes at lower costs than rivals whose products have similar upscale attributes
D. A distinctive competence in delivering top-notch quality and customer service
E. A distinctive competence in supply chain management
C
The target market of a best-cost provider is
A. Value-conscious buyers
B. Brand-conscious buyers
C. Price-sensitive buyers
D. Middle-income buyers
E. Young adults (in the 18-35 age group)
A
Best-cost provider strategies are appealing in those market situations where
A. Diverse buyer preferences make product differentiation the norm and where many buyers are sensitive to both price and value
B. A company is positioned between competitors who have ultra-low prices and competitors who have top-notch products in terms of both quality and performance
C. Buyers are more quality-conscious than price-conscious
D. There are numerous buyer segments, buyer needs are diverse across these segments, only a few of the segments are growing rapidly and seller’s products are strongly differentiated
E. Buyers are more performance conscious than value conscious
A
The big danger or risk of a best-cost provider strategy is
A. That buyers will be highly skeptical about paying a relatively low price for upscale attributes/features
B. Not establishing strong alliances and partnerships with key suppliers
C. That low-cost leaders will be able to steal away some customers on the basis of a lower price and high-end differentiators will be able to steal away customers with the appeal of better product attributes
D. That it will be unable to achieve top-notch quality at a rock-bottom cost
E. Becoming too highly integrated and not relying enough on outsourcing
C
A company’s biggest vulnerability in employing a best-cost provider strategy is
A. Relying too heavily on outsourcing
B. Getting squeezed between the strategies of firms employing low-cost provider strategies and high-end differentiation strategies
C. Getting trapped in a price war with low-cost leaders
D. Being timid in cutting its prices far enough below high-end differentiators to win away many of their customers
E. Not having a sustainable distinctive competence in cost reduction
B
Focused strategies keyed either to low-cost or differentiation are especially appropriate for situations where
A. The market is composed of distinctly different buyer groups who have different needs or use the product in different ways
B. Most other rival firms are using a best-cost producer strategy
C. Buyers have strong bargaining power and entry barriers are low
D. Most industry rivals have weakly differentiated products
E. Most industry participants are also using focused low-cost or focused differentiation strategies
A
What sets focused (or market niche) strategies apart from low-cost leadership and broad differentiation strategies is
A. The extra attention paid to top-notch product performance and product quality
B. Their concentrated attention on serving the needs of buyers in a narrow piece of the overall market
C. Greater opportunity for competitive advantage
D. Their suitability for market situations where most industry rivals have weakly differentiated products
E. Their objective of delivering more value for the money
B
Companies pursuing a focused low-cost or focused differentiation strategy strive to
A. Build a value-based competitive advantage keyed to product uniqueness
B. Develop the capability to simultaneously serve buyers in a variety of distinct and different market segments
C. Do a better job of serving the needs and expectations of buyers in the target market niche than other competitors in the industry
D. Position themselves midway between low-cost leaders and broad differentiators
E. Become the industry market share leader by totally dominating sales in their target market niche
C
A focused low-cost strategy seeks to achieve competitive advantage by
A. Outmatching competitors in offering niche members an absolute rock-bottom price
B. Delivering more value for the money than other competitors
C. Performing the primary value chain activities at a lower cost per unit than can the industry’s low-cost leaders
D. Dominating more market niches in the industry via a lower cost and a lower price than any other rival
E. Serving buyers in the target market niche at a lower cost and lower price than rivals
E
The chief difference between a low-cost leader strategy and a focused low-cost strategy is
A. Whether the product is strongly differentiated or weakly differentiated from rivals
B. The degree of bargaining power that buyers have
C. The size of the buyer group that a company is trying to appeal to
D. The type of value chain being used to achieve a low-cost competitive advantage
E. The number of upscale attributes incorporated into the product offering
C
A focused differentiation strategy aims at securing competitive advantage
A. By providing niche members with a top-of-the-line product at a premium price
B. By catering to buyers looking for an upscale product at an attractively low price
C. With a product offering carefully designed to appeal to the unique preferences and needs of a narrow, well-defined group of buyers
D. By developing product attributes that no other company in the industry has
E. By convincing a narrow, well-defined group of buyers that the company has a true world class product
C
A focused low-cost strategy can lead to attractive competitive advantage when
A. Buyers are looking for the best value at the best price
B. Buyers are looking for a budget-priced product
C. Buyers are price sensitive and are attracted to brands with low switching costs
D. Demand in the target market niche is growing rapidly and a company can achieve a big enough volume to fully capture all the available scale economies
E. A firm can lower costs significantly by limiting its customer base to a well-defined buyer segment; its two options for achieving a low-cost advantage are (1) out-managing rivals in controlling the factors that drive costs and (2) reconfiguring its value chain in ways that deliver a cost edge over rivals
E
The chief difference between a broad differentiation strategy and a focused differentiation is
A. The size of the buyer group that a company is trying to appeal to
B. The degree of bargaining power that buyers have
C. Whether the product is strongly differentiated or weakly differentiated from rivals
D. The type of value chain being used to achieve a differentiation-based competitive advantage
E. The number of upscale attributes incorporated into the product offering
A
Which one of the following does not represent market circumstances that make a focused low-cost or focused differentiation strategy attractive?
A. When it is costly or difficult for multi-segment competitors to put capabilities in place to meet the specialized needs of the target market niche and at the same time satisfy the expectations of their mainstream customers
B. When the industry has many different segments and market niches, thereby allowing a focuser to pick an attractive niche suited to its resource strengths and capabilities
C. When industry leaders do not see that having a presence in the niche is crucial to their own success
D. When the target market niche is not overcrowded with a number of other rivals attempting to focus on the same niche
E. When buyers are not strongly brand loyal and most industry competitors are pursuing some sort of a focused strategy
E
The risks of a focused strategy based on either low-cost or differentiation include
A. The chance that competitors outside the niche will find effective ways to match the focuser’s capabilities in serving the target niche
B. The potential for the preferences and needs of niche members to shift over time towards many of the same product attributes and capabilities desired by buyers in the mainstream portion of the market
C. The potential for the segment to become so attractive that it is soon inundated with competitors, intensifying rivalry and splintering sales, profits and growth prospects
D. The potential for segment growth to slow to such a small rate that a focuser’s prospects for future sales and profit gains become unacceptably dim
E. All of these
E
The production emphasis of a company pursuing a broad differentiation strategy usually involves
A. A search for continuous cost reduction without sacrificing acceptable quality and essential features
B. Strong efforts to be a leader in manufacturing process innovation
C. Efforts to build-in whatever differentiating features that buyers are willing to pay for and striving for product superiority
D. Aggressive pursuit of economies of scale and experience curve effects
E. Developing a distinctive competence in zero-defect manufacturing techniques
C
The marketing emphasis of a company pursuing a broad differentiation strategy usually is to
A. Underprice rival brands with comparable features
B. Tout differentiating features and charge a premium price that more than covers the extra costs of differentiating features
C. Out-advertise rivals and make frequent use of discount coupons
D. Emphasize selling direct to end-users and promoting personalized customer service
E. Communicate the product’s ability to serve the customer’s every need
B
The keys to sustaining a broad differentiation strategy are
A. To stress constant innovation to stay ahead of imitative rivals and to concentrate on a few differentiating features
B. To charge a premium price that more than covers the extra costs of differentiating features and to convince customers to be brand loyal
C. To out-innovate and out-advertise rivals
D. To emphasize personalized customer service and to add as many differentiating features as possible
E. To keep prices close to the average of all rivals and to spend heavily on new product R&D
A
The marketing emphasis of a company pursuing a focused low-cost provider strategy usually is to
A. Tout the company’s lower prices
B. Tout the lack of frills and extras
C. Out-advertise rivals and make frequent use of discount coupons
D. Communicate the attractive features of a budget-priced product offering that fits niche members’ expectations
E. Communicate the product’s ability to serve the customer’s every need
D
One of the big dangers in crafting a competitive strategy is that managers, torn between the pros and cons of the various generic strategies, will opt for
A. A low-cost provider strategy because it is usually the safest, least risky competitive strategy
B. A “stuck-in-the-middle” strategy
C. A broad differentiation strategy because it is frequently the most profitable competitive strategy
D. A best-cost provider because it has the biggest potential for generating the largest market share
E. A focused low-cost or focused differentiation strategy because they are more insulated from competitive pressures
B