Business level strategies are the specific actions required to ensure an organization meets its objectives and compete equally with the other businesses in the market. Business level strategies help to determine who the customers are, what the customers need and how they expect the product or service to be. These are the guidelines on how the business will operate depending on the various factors and conditions it is subjected to in their area of operation (Chron.com, 2012).
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The management at Kodak will be required to critically think and come up with strategies that will ensure it gets back to its initial position of profit-making. Some of the business-level strategies, as stated by Scott Gallagher (2004) that can be used include the following: cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy, and focus strategy amongst others.
Cost leadership strategy
In applying the cost leadership strategy, Kodak will be expected to have the lowest costs in the market. This does not mean they should have very low prices, but instead, their prices should be fair both to the customer and to the company. To become a cost leader in the market, QuickMBA, (2010) suggests that Kodak may need to invest more in their products or new technologies that will make them be at a notch higher than the competitors, thus improving them.
This strategy will help boost the company in gaining the confidence of the customer when it comes to their product prices and a bigger market share and gaining the profits they require to avoid filing for bankruptcy. Gaining customer confidence will also help Kodak sell the patents they have been marketing in the past six months (Christian Science Monitor, 2012). However, there are risks involved with employing this strategy because of factors like imitation or technological inventions will result in changes, yet they would have already invested in the products.
Differentiation strategy is a move to give customers a reason why they should prefer a certain product over another, and in most instances, the product being given preferences is the highest priced one. This strategy helps to gain more profits once a few of these products or services are sold. Differentiation strategy basically aims at putting the products on different scales from the low priced ones to the higher ones.
Another way of differentiating a product could be through aiming at penetrating several markets and ensuring the product gains enough popularity and market existence whereby it is available in every section of the market where potential buyers are situated. This helps address the performance gap of a company like Kodak Differentiating its products will be the ultimate goal in meeting the needs of the customers (Helium, 2012).
Differentiation of products, however, may not be effective if the competitors follow suit and do the same and also this strategy will require a lot of marketing skills for it to be accepted by buyers.
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Kodak may begin to do well if they concentrate intently on the market and aim at dominating the market. For example, the company should find out the regions where their business is doing well, even outside the main area of operations. This will help it identify exact needs of that specific market and also narrow it down to a smaller segment with more profits other than operating in a larger market with less profit as indicated by Tutor2u, (2012).
Focus strategy can assist Kodak in cutting cost on various products. This may curb excessive expenditures on the production of its core items such as inkjet printers, home photo printers and commercial inkjet presses, which Kodak has previously spent quiet a lump-sum of dollars. They should, therefore, take advantage of this and focus on marketing them to specific relevant customers. Concentrating on a specific niche of the market may not work well all the time because if that focused place does not pick up the product as expected, it will lead to losses.
For Kodak to survive in this era which has become digitally competitive, it will require to choose strategies and concentrate on improving its products’ presence and performance in the market. Choosing them however will require critical thinking and decision making to be able to design what best suits the company because not all strategies will work well with what they offer and also so as to avoid counter attack strategies (Differentiate your business, 2011).
As Slideshare (2012) puts it the main concern here is not which strategy Kodak will choose but how well the firm has aligned its resources and capabilities on that strategy. This is to say that the compatibility of the strategy must be there and the firm must be able to evaluate and know what exactly does the strategy mean and what it requires for it to work.
List of References
Christian Science Monitor, 2012, Bankruptcy protection, Kodak makes moves to stave it off. Web.
Chron.com, 2012, Five Types of Business-Level Strategies. Web.
Differentiate your business, 2011, Principles of Competitive Advantage. Web.
Helium, 2012, How a business differentiation strategy can help give a competitive advantage. Web.
QuickMBA, 2010, Porter’s Generic Strategies. Web.
Scott Gallagher, 2004, Why Does Firm Performance Differ. Web.
Slideshare, 2012, Aligning Manufacturing Strategy and Business- Level. Web.
Tutor2u, 2012, Competitive advantage. Web.