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Strategy Formulation | What it is with Best Tips to Practice in 2024


Astrid Tran 22 April, 2024 10 min read

Many people have acknowledged Strategy Formulation and strategic planning as the same, but it isn’t. The first step of strategic planning is the formulation process. For any company, Formulating a strategy is the most important part as it places the Forces before taking an action, and emphasizes effectiveness and rationale.

So What is Strategy formulation? In this article, we will explain more about the process of strategy formulation, what it is, the steps to formulating a strategy, and tips to create winning Strategy formulation for all kinds of businesses.

strategy formulation

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What is Strategy Formulation?

So, what is strategic formulation? Strategy formulation is the process of defining an organization’s direction, objectives, and plans for achieving those objectives. It involves analyzing an organization’s strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats present in its external environment to develop a comprehensive plan for achieving its goals.

The Need for Strategy Formulation

During the process of strategy formulation, an organization’s leaders consider a range of factors, such as market trends, customer needs, competitor behaviour, technological developments, and regulatory requirements. They also assess the organization’s resources, including its financial, human, and physical assets, to determine how best to allocate those resources to achieve its objectives.

The outcome of strategy formulation is typically a strategic plan that outlines the organization’s goals, objectives, and actions required to achieve them. This plan provides a framework for decision-making and guides the allocation of resources, as well as the design and implementation of specific initiatives and projects. Effective strategy formulation is critical to an organization’s success, as it ensures that its efforts are aligned with its overall mission and vision and that it is well-positioned to compete in its chosen markets.

Successful strategy formulation based on considerate analysis, teamwork, and collaboration | Source: Shutterstock

What are the Three Types of Strategy Formulation?

Cost Leadership Strategy

A company may adopt a cost leadership strategy to achieve a competitive advantage by being the low-cost producer in its industry. This involves identifying ways to reduce costs while maintaining quality and value for customers. For example, Walmart uses a cost leadership strategy to offer low prices to its customers by leveraging its scale, logistics, and supply chain efficiencies.

Differentiation Strategy

Competitive strategy is about being different. A company might offer unique products or services that are perceived as superior by customers in the race to stay ahead of rivals. This involves identifying ways to differentiate the company’s products or services from those of competitors. For example, Apple uses a differentiation strategy to offer premium, innovative products with a strong brand identity and customer experience.

Focus Strategy

A focus strategy can be utilized to achieve a competitive advantage by targeting a specific customer segment or market niche. This aims to identify a segment of customers with specific needs and preferences and tailor the company’s products or services to meet those needs. For example, Southwest Airlines uses a focus strategy by targeting budget-conscious travellers with a low-cost, no-frills airline experience that emphasizes efficiency and customer service.

5 Steps in Strategy Formulation Process

In order to put your organization on the right track for years to come, it is a challenging task. However, with the right Strategy Formulation at the beginning, it promises the company can determine the strategy’s long-term efficacy. And, here are 5 steps in formulating a business strategy effectively:

Step 1: Formulating the mission and vision

The first step in strategy formulation is to define the organization’s mission and vision. This involves clarifying the purpose of the organization and establishing specific, measurable goals that the organization seeks to achieve.

Remember that your mission and vision statements are not static. They should evolve and adapt as your organization grows and changes. Regularly review and update them to ensure that they continue to reflect your organization’s purpose and direction.

Step 2: Environmental Scanning

It is time for organizations to identify threats and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses, in other words, internal and external factors that may impact their success.

Environmental scanning involves the systematic collection and analysis of information about external factors that may affect an organization’s performance. These factors can include economic, social, technological, environmental, and political trends, as well as competitors and customers. The purpose of environmental scanning is to identify threats and opportunities that may impact the organization and inform strategic decisions. Using PEST analysis can help you in the scanning environment.

In addition, the second step of Strategy Formulation can also start with SWOT analysis. This analysis provides a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s current position and helps identify areas for improvement.

External factors affect formulation a strategy

Step 3: Identify the strategic options

Identifying strategic options is a critical step in formulating a strategy, which involves considering different approaches to achieving the organization’s goals and objectives.

Based on the situational analysis in the second step, the organization should identify strategic options for achieving its goals and objectives. This can include options for growth, diversification, focus, or market penetration.

Step 4: Evaluating the strategy

Once strategic options have been identified, they should be evaluated based on factors such as feasibility, suitability, acceptability, Return on investment (ROI), risk, timeframe, and cost. Here are some factors for the executive team to consider when evaluating strategic options:

Step 5: Select the best strategy

Come to the final step, after the company weighs the pros and cons of each strategic option against the organization’s goals and objectives, resources, and external environment, the time seems right to choose the best one and develop an action plan that outlines the specific steps that will be taken to implement the strategy.

What are three types of Strategy Formulation?

The scale of Strategy Formation needed to be considered at the beginning of the planning. The management team should formulate different plans for each level of management.

Three types of Strategy Formulation are compatible with three different corporate levels, as follows:

Corporate level

At the corporate level, strategy formulation focuses on defining the scope and direction of the entire organization. This includes identifying the businesses and industries in which the organization will operate, and determining how these businesses will be managed and integrated to achieve overall strategic goals.

Business level

The focus of Strategy formulation at the business level is developing a competitive advantage for a specific business unit or product line within the organization. The goal is to create value for customers and generate sustainable profits for the organization.

Functional level

The functional-level strategy formulation involves identifying the functional area, analyzing the internal and external environment, defining objectives and goals, developing strategies and tactics, and allocating resources.

5 Tips to Formulate a Successful Strategy

Conduct a thorough analysis

Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the internal and external environment to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will help to develop a clear understanding of the organization’s current position and the factors that may impact its future success.

Set clear objectives and goals

Set clear, specific, and measurable objectives and goals that are aligned with the organization’s mission and vision. This will help to guide decision-making and ensure that resources are allocated effectively.

Develop a flexible and adaptive approach

Develop a flexible and adaptive approach that can adjust to changing market conditions and customer needs. This will help to ensure that the organization remains relevant and competitive over time.

Involve key stakeholders

Involve key stakeholders, such as employees, customers, suppliers, and partners, in the strategy formulation process. This will help to ensure that diverse perspectives and ideas are considered and that the strategy is supported by those who will be responsible for its implementation.

Monitor and evaluate progress

Monitor and evaluate progress regularly against the objectives and goals set out in the strategy. This will help to identify areas of success and areas that may need adjustment and to make necessary changes to ensure the organization stays on track.

Brainstorm with AhaSlides

Don’t hesitate to take advantage of brainstorming tools to develop and select strategic options productively. AhaSlides’ well-designed brainstorming templates can be a good deal for the executive team.

Furthermore, using AhaSlides to collaborate with your team member and conduct surveys and polls to gather feedback from your team and stakeholders can be an amazing idea. This will help to ensure that everyone’s perspectives are considered and that the strategy is aligned with their needs and expectations.

Doing a survey before you decide on a plan | AhaSlides

Bottom Line

If there are significant structural changes in an industry, a company’s strategy may need to switch also. In that case, a multiple-approach strategy formulation can be the best solution. Never blur the company’s strategic position when you select strategic options for the implementation process.

Ref: HBS

Frequently Asked Questions

Strategy Formulation Refers to the…

Strategy formulation refers to the process of developing a well-defined plan or approach that an organization will use to achieve its goals and objectives. It is a critical phase in strategic management and involves making decisions and setting priorities to guide the organization’s actions and resource allocation. Strategy formulation typically includes the following key elements: Mission and Vision and Analysis of the Internal and External Environment

Best Strategy Formulation Examples?

Strategy formulation is a crucial process that varies widely depending on the organization, its goals, and the competitive landscape.. As the

strategy formulation examples should be based on Cost Leadership Strategy, Product Differentiation Strategy and Market Expansion Strategy…