Evaluation of competitive strategies implemented by barclays bank of Kenya
The service sector is expanding at an increasing rate and is becoming intensely competitive. As such, the success of a company‟s competitive strategy depends on how it relates to its environment. The objective of the study was to evaluate the competitive strategies adopted by Barclays Bank of Kenya and used criteria proposed by Rumelt and focused on Porter‟s three generic strategies that describe how an organization pursues competitive advantage across its chosen market scope which are differentiation strategy, cost leadership strategy and focus strategy. The research design adopted was a case study which focused on Barclays Bank of Kenya. The data collection tool was an interview guide and seven respondents from the organization were interviewed using a Personal Interview Guide (copy attached as Appendix I). The respondents were drawn from middle and top management. Content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative primary data collected. The study found that the bank used differentiation and cost leadership and did not use focus strategy as a competitive strategy. A low-cost or cost leadership strategy is effectively implemented when the business designs, produces, and markets a comparable product more efficiently than its competitors. The study established that the bank identifies customer segment and comes up with products which are suitable for customers. The respondents indicated that the bank targets markets that are less vulnerable to substitutes or where competition is weakest. The respondents indicated that the bank targets markets that are less vulnerable to substitutes or where competition is weakest. The bank differentiated itself in terms of product quality and service, unique branding which is the mark of quality, transparency and integrity thus resulting in reduced price elasticity, firm reputation, customer service, price differentiation, categorizing its customers according to their needs, market segmentation and engaging in infrastructure development. Implementation of low cost strategy was achieved through attraction of customers through policies and procedures which enhance the strategy, business plan formulated on low cost strategy and continuous innovation of new customer friendly products. It was recommended that the bank further reduces overhead costs through streamlining operations. It was also recommended that the bank could study market trends on pricing to enable it price competitively.