Strategic Positioning and Competitive Advantage of Commercial Banks in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Strategic positioning has been identified as an important weapon to manage the competition in the business environment. However, despite the use of strategic positions, many banks in the country are facing challenges from the competition destabilizing the position they hold. Thus, the sole reason of the project was to establish how strategic positioning affects competitive advantage of banks in Uasin Gishu County Kenya. The specific objectives were; to examine the effects of mono-segment positioning, multi-segment positioning, standby positioning, adaptive positioning and defensive positioning on competitive advantage of commercial banks in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. The study was guided by Resource-Based-View, The Game Theory, Market Based View Theory and Open Systems Theory. Explanatory research design was used in this study. The unit of analysis was commercial banks in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya and the unit of observation was 748 employees in 25 banks. A stratified random sample was used as a significant blend of categorization and randomization. A sample of 173 employees was selected. Questionnaires were used in collection of data. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis were used to analyse data. The study established a positive and significant relationship between mono-segment positioning, multi-segment positioning, standby positioning, adaptive positioning and defensive positioning on organizational competitive advantage. The study concludes that through mono-segment Commercial banks are free to devote all of their resources to attracting a single, narrowly defined type of customer with a specific need it can fulfill better than other companies. Through multi segment Commercial banks can analyze various customer groups and targeting specific products to meet their demands. Through standby positioning, commercial banks can base their strategy completely on a new segment which increases its focus and profitability. Through adaptive the brand loyalty of commercial banks definitely increases and also market segmentation increases competitiveness of a firm from a holistic view and defensive positioning leads to customer retention throughout customer life cycle. The study recommends that commercial banks in Uasin Gishu County implementing mono segment should concentrate all their efforts in a single segment with a single marketing mix so as to avoid confrontation with financial institutions. On multi segment, commercial banks should categorize their customers along demographic, geographic, behavioral, or psychographic lines or a combination of them. This will enable them offer products and services effectively by understanding distinctive needs of the groups. On standby positioning strategy, commercial banks should only opt execute a mono-segment positioning strategy only during unavoidable situations. To minimize response time, the banks should prepares a standby plan that specify the product(s) and their attributes as well as details of the marketing program(s) that would be used to position the new product. On adaptive positioning, commercial banks should aim at changing or reforming a bank’s marketing mix to suit to the particular geography in which the bank is operating. This will enable the banks to effectively tailor their products and service in rapid and unparalleled ways to meet their customers’ interests and needs. On defensive positioning, commercial banks should resort to position defense to ensure a new bank’s market entry does not impact or weaken their brand. They may also opt to preempt competitive strategies by introducing an additional brand in a similar position for the same segment.
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