This strategy is used by companies, which do not have their own distinctive areas. They are gaining leading competitive position, by mimicking the technology, production patterns and strategies of business leaders on the market. Imitation strategy (follower strategy) is based on the acceptance of a small market share, often limited to a few market segments. Companies that use this strategy do not use intensive advertising measures, even though they produce products of good quality.
The result of this strategy is the manufacture of products that are not identical, but related with the products of market leader. A further consequence is the use of advertising and promotion of market leader. Educated customers can appreciate and choose products of imitator. Cost savings in terms of research and development, as well as with regard to promotion, allows the imitator to maintain a steady market share. Sometimes lower prices may encourage people to buy, and therefore can provide imitator access to clients with average income.
Forms of imitation strategies
This strategy may take different variants:
- imitation of a leader in as many segments operated by him as possible,
- selective imitation, imitator follows the leader in some segments, in others not, using a variation of the product.
This strategy is also comprised of the following varieties:
- clone strategy - involves copying the product produced by the market leader, as well as the duplication of its distribution and advertising, etc. The company referred to as a clone does not create anything, only "free rides" on the effort of others. In some case it is simply a forger, who produces a copy,
- imitation strategy - reproduction of certain products of market leader, However, the imitator differentiate product in terms of packaging, pricing, advertising, etc.,
- strategy of improvement - company adapts product and try to make it better than the one that already exist and were created by the leader. He may be threatening leader by improving his products.
- Zarządzanie strategiczne-wykłady dr Pawła Cabały,
- Leksykon zarządzania, Warszawa 2004 Difin.