A manager who has done all of the analysis described so far in this chapter has some decisions to make based on all of the information the analysis has revealed. A firm’s decisions on how to serve customers and compete against rivals is called strategic positioning. In order to develop its position, a firm combines its understanding of the competitive environment, including the firm’s own resources and capabilities, its industry situation, and facts about the macro environment. A strategic position includes a choice of generic competitive strategy, which a firm selects based on its own capabilities and in response to the positions already staked out by its industry rivals. The firm also determines which customers to serve and what those customers are willing to pay for. A strategic position also includes decisions about what geographic markets to participate in.
Most importantly, a firm’s strategic position should try to be unique in some way that competitors cannot imitate quickly or easily. Competitive advantage is achieved when a firm attracts more customers or makes more profit than rivals. This cannot happen unless the firm organizes its activities to provide customers with better value than rivals.
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