Monday, January 4, 2010

Strategic tools: Strategy Formulation

You’ve done with all the strategic analysis. Now, it’s time for you to choose the right strategy. There are four strategies you can choose from: Aggressive, Defensive, Diversify/Differentiate & Niche/Focus.In the previous article, you should have finished doing your SWOT analysis.

By now, you should have finished listing down the solutions for the four combinations between strength, weakness, opportunity & threats. One of the four inner squares should contain more solutions then others. Refer to example below:

In the example above the combination of Strength & Opportunity have the most solutions compared to the other 4 inner boxes.

This should indicate which kind of strategy you will adopt.
  • Strength + Opportunity = Aggressive
  • Strength + Threat = Diversify/Differentiate
  • Weakness + Opportunity = Niche/Focus
  • Weakness + Threat = Defensive


This strategy means that you can go all out and use your resources to the max. In the student club context do your activities as big and as flashy as you can. Promote your club and it’s activities without worrying too much of your competitors. However, this rarely happen in the student club’s community.


In the corporate context, a company should diversify it’s product offerings. In the student club context, it means you must offer more activities/events or conduct those activities in a unique & different way. For example, if everyone does an entrepreneurship carnival for their club, would you want to do it too? Why don’t you do an investment competition by collaborating with the business faculty?


Find the most compelling, unique aspect of your club and pool ALL your resources to make it as good as possible. This is so that your ‘customers’ (students) will remember you for that compelling reason. In business, there is a term called “Unique Selling Point, (USP)”, that ‘reason’ you want people to remember you for. Forget everything else, just focus on your USPs.


This is the opposite of the Aggressive strategy. Be careful in using your resources. Don’t try to compare your club with other club. Don’t try to start a fight. Just make sure at least this year you are doing as god as last year. Your goal should be to build the foundation for next year so that your successor would be in a better situation to adopt a more aggressive strategy by building your club’s strength.

Find the most suitable strategy for your club's situation and resources. As a student, I feel we are not in a position to stretch our resources so much. Putting to much pressure on students is not wise since we have studies & etc. Next article, I would close the strategic thinking series with a summary and conclusion.


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