Strategic Opportunities

Abraham (2012) asserts that Abell proposed that a firm’s mission is always determined by three dimensions. This dimensions have come to be regarded as the “Abell’s three-dimensional business-definition model”. Initially, it was common to define a business using its programs of activity or resource capabilities using tools such as the market grid (Furrer, 2010). Abell suggested that the dimensions were insufficient, and came up with the three dimensional model. The dimensions involved in the model include customer needs, capabilities and technologies and customer groups. From the model, all needs of the consumers that are deemed relevant to an organization are identified and listed. The needs are determined on the basis of services and products as a result of which links are made to consumer benefits. A good example is how a company involved in developing software responds to consumer needs by developing products that are easy to install for everyone. In addition to this, the companies offer free antivirus and clean up software. They also provide telephone helpline and clear manuals. When it comes to the customer groups, it is clear that without buyers a market would not exist (Kozami, 2011). Every organization wants to attain a substantial market share hence market segmentation has become an important aspect. Having sufficient knowledge regarding the target groups gives an organization the ability to make targeted product offers. The technology dimension is interpreted broadly. Apart from the technologies used to produce products, other technologies used to deliver the products to the market are also considered among others. Among the major strength possessed by the three-dimension model is that it has identified customers as the central point of focus. They are the individuals that determine whether an organization will remain as a going concern for as long as possible.

Abell’s three-dimensional business-definition model can be utilized in a variety of areas. Among them is during the development of a company’s mission statement. A company’s mission statement needs to answer several questions for it to be concise to anyone who comes across it. The questions that need to be answered include who are the target consumers, what functions are provided to these consumers, and how are the functions provided to the consumers (Kozami, 2011). The model can also be utilized  by an organization searching for new opportunities. The organization can check the components of its consumers and ascertain what other products and services might be offered to them. This is usually dependent on the needs of the consumers and the changing trends being expressed by certain consumer groups (Furrer, 2010). Some companies also utilize Abell’s model for strategic positioning. This is mainly through the entrepreneurial approach whereby they have to ask themselves questions regarding customer motivation and competition. The companies try to find out why consumers would buy from them as opposed to competitors, and maximize on this aspect.

Reader’s Digest can offer other additional products to its consumers using the existing distributional channel. Using the Abell’s model it is easy to identify the company’s customer group. It is apparent that the company’s target group entails families. This is based on the people that subscribe for its products. With such consumers, the Reader’s Digest can design magazines whose content touches on family issues. This includes the good, the bad and the ugly. This move would be aimed at creating more value to consumers since it will help them in one way or another in their daily lives. Things to do with how to take care of families, effects that neighborhoods have on families, pets in families among other issues should be included in this special magazine. It should go into detail on the issues being discussed so that it can have value for the families that have already subscribed to the main magazine.  Reader’s Digest could also offer coupons through their existing distribution channel. Customers that are going to be awarded these coupons are those that have been loyal to the organization with matters regarding to the usage of their services and products. This makes consumers feel appreciated. Abell’s model ascertains that identifying and fulfilling the needs of the consumers is among the vital elements that ensure they remain loyal to a business for as long as possible (Furrer, 2010).  Showing appreciation to consumers goes a long way in proving that they are being recognized, and this will act as a motivation for them to continue utilizing the company’s products. Based that most of the subscribers are families, they would really embrace the coupons being provided.




Abraham, S. C. (2012). Strategic management for organizations. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Furrer, O. (2010). Corporate Level Strategy: Theory and Applications. London: Routledge.

Kozami, A. (2011). Business policy and strategic management (2nd. ed.). New-Delhi: McGraw-Hill Published.

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