Low Cost Strategy | Summary and Q&A

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June 12, 2018
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GreggU
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Low Cost Strategy

TL;DR

Low-cost leadership is an effective strategy to attract price-sensitive buyers by achieving lower overall costs than competitors through cost-effective value chain activities and product differentiation.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How can a company achieve low-cost leadership?

A company can achieve low-cost leadership by eliminating non-essential activities, outperforming rivals in essential activities, and continuously finding ways to perform value chain activities more cost-effectively.

Q: What are the two options for a low-cost leader to translate their advantage into profits?

One option is to underprice competitors and attract price-sensitive buyers in large numbers to increase total profits. The other option is to maintain prices, secure market share, and use the cost advantage to earn higher profit margins on each unit sold.

Q: What are the pitfalls of a low-cost provider strategy?

The pitfalls include overly aggressive price cutting, which can lead to lower profitability, relying on easily replicable cost reduction approaches, and becoming too fixated on cost reduction instead of considering product differentiation.

Q: When is a low-cost provider strategy particularly powerful?

A low-cost provider strategy is particularly powerful when there is intense price competition among sellers, the products are similar across the industry, and buyers are willing to switch suppliers without incurring high costs.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Striving to be the industry's lowest cost provider is a powerful competitive approach in price-sensitive markets.

  • Low-cost leadership requires achieving lower overall costs than competitors by eliminating non-essential activities and outperforming rivals in essential activities.

  • A low-cost advantage can be used to either underprice competitors and attract price-sensitive buyers or maintain prices and earn higher profit margins.

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