Positioning strategies adopted by large audit firms in Kenya
In the global market and developing economies like Kenya, competition among firms grows quickly while market share gets narrower by the day. In order to gain new markets and retain existing ones, firms strategize to gain superiority over their rivals by positioning their products, services and their brands aimed at consumer behavior and perceptions. Positioning is therefore regarded as the development of the image of a product or service in the minds of clients directly against that offered by competitors. The objective of this study was to establish positioning strategies adopted by 16 large audit firms in Kenya. The study used descriptive design. Data was collected from 5 senior managers from each firm. The managers played the role of key informants on various aspects of positioning strategies employed by their firms. Each manager represented a distinct area of focus in their respective firms. A total of 32 managers responded. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the data which was analyzed using MS Excel Spreadsheet. The study found that 100% of the audit firms used product positioning strategies, price positioning strategies, cultural symbols and competitor positioning strategies to gain and retain the market share where they control more than 70% of the market. The study further established that these firms concentrated on product responsiveness attribute in their positioning strategies while adopting time and location pricing strategies to stand out from their competitors. Further still, brand name and competitor positioning were very much in use by the surveyed audit firms as preferred positioning strategies. The study therefore concluded that the firms used different positioning strategies including product leadership, operational superiority and customer intimacy all at the same time. The choice of different positioning strategies has worked effectively for some in terms of growth of customer base and profitability while others are still struggling.