Strategic group mapping
Big Business
Strategic group mapping
Strategic group mapping
Sole Trader

Strategic group mapping
A mechanism for understanding the other players that operate in your field

The big idea

Strategic group mapping is a technique for looking at your position in your sector, field or market. Hunt coined the term ‘strategic group’ in 1972 when he noticed sub-groups of businesses with similar characteristics in the same market. Michael Porter then expanded the concept in the 1980s. There are a number of benefits to strategic group mapping:

  • It can help you identify who your direct and indirect competitors (or possible partners) are
  • It can illustrate how easy it might be to move from one strategic group to another
  • It may help identify future opportunities or strategic problems
  • It ensures you take your customers’ or beneficiaries’ views into account when developing or assessing your strategy


The purpose of strategic group mapping is to make sure you take the needs or wants of your customers/beneficiaries into account. It encourages you to ask different questions about your future strategy, relationships with other businesses in your sector and your understanding of the people who ultimately benefit from your products or services.

The Tool

The tool helps you assess the top five other players working in your field or sector. You then map the results on a matrix. You can do it on your own or with a group. It is most suitable for SMEs and larger businesses but can be adapted. It will take several hours to complete a detailed map.