Competitive strategies used by standard group ltd to sustain competitive advantage in the media industry
The study investigated the competitive strategies that Standard Group ltd has used to sustain its competitive advantage in the media industry in Kenya. Strategy is a set of decision making rules for guidance of organizational behaviour. A company is said to have a competitive advantage whenever it has an edge over rivals in attracting customers and defending against competitive forces. A sustainable competitive advantage is the persistence an organization applies despite efforts by competitors to copy or overtake it. The aim of every organization in the market is to outsmart its competitors. The objective of the study was to establish the competitive strategies used by Standard Group ltd to sustain its competitive advantage in the media industry in Kenya. Standard Group ltd has been in operation since 1902 and it remains one of the leading media houses in Kenya. It has built a strong brand name and continues to be a leading and dominant media house in Kenya. It was therefore of interest to study and find out the strategies it uses to remain a top media house throughout the years. This would therefore be useful to scholars and policy makers. The study was conducted using a case study design to gain in-depth knowledge. Primary data was collected using semi-structured interview guide administered through one to one interview. Secondary data was used to enrich understanding of the sustainable competitive strategies. Data collected was then analyzed using conceptual content analysis as presented through tables and figures. The respondents were senior management staff of Standard Group ltd. The research findings reveal that Standard Group has a clear drive for competitive strategies hence to achieve a competitive advantage in the market. To achieve the goal of competitive advantage, Standard Group has reconfigured its value chain by having advanced technology in its production processes and a good distribution network. In conclusion, with the dynamic business environment; organizations should undertake to align their strategies to the ever changing demands of the external environment. All managerial tasks such as resource allocation and organizational design should be directed at building the firm‟s market position. Most of the recommendations included in this report are not specifically external prescriptive as some were proposed by the respondents in the course of the interview. The company needs to address its inefficiencies and focus on product developments to suit customer needs and wants. The greatest challenge by Standard Group is the increased competition within the Industry and the cost of newsprint which is imported and affected by the currency exchange rates. Key words: Strategy, Competitive strategies, Competitive advantage and Value chain.