A business strategy is formulated by selecting the target audience of the product and assembling the marketing mix. A firm can assemble marketing mix elements in many different ways so that the relative weightage of the different elements will be different in the different combinations. Because of this reality, business firms are employing an abundance of strategies and strategy stances. It is a relentless race to stay ahead of competition.
Basically, however, there are only two broad routes available for forging business strategies. They are the price route and the differentiation route. In other words, any strategy has to be ultimately either a price-based strategy or a differentiation-based strategy.
Companies taking the price route compete on the strength of their pricing and the price cushions they enjoy. Normally, those who resort to the price route and compete on price will enjoy substantial cost advantages, giving them flexibility in pricing and marketing. The differentiation route, on the other hand, revolves around elements other than price. The product with its innumerable features is one major source of differentiation. In fact, any of the ever-so-many activities performed by the business unit can constitute the nucleus for differentiation.
In other words, differentiation allows the company the freedom and flexibility to fight on the non-price front. Differentiation, therefore, is a crucial option for a firm in its search for a rewarding strategy. A good majority of business battles are in fact fought with a differentiation-based strategy rather than a price-based strategy.
As already mentioned, a business unit that opts for the price route in its competitive battle will enjoy certain flexibilities in the matter of pricing of its products, and use price as the main competitive lever. It will price its products to suit varying competitive demands. It will enjoy certain inherent cost advantages, which permit it to resort to a price-based fight.Business Strategy