General Mills’ corporate-level strategies

Using the framework discussed in the background readings, critically analyze General Mills’ strategic choices at the Corporate level (remember that “corporate” level is the very highest level of the organization, with lower levels being the “functional” and the “business” levels).

What are General Mills’ corporate-level strategies? What generic Porter strategy does the company follow? Are General Mills’ strategic choices aligned with the Porter generic strategy you believe the company follows?

Each reply should be a paragraph in length (or about 125 words) and must be substantive in nature. Do not simply say “I agree” or “That is great.” Specify why and be detailed in your explanation. Use research in your responses, minimum of 2.

RESPONSES (3)

RESPONSE 1:

Class,

General Mills’ corporate level strategies have been focused on growth and diversification. This has been shown through expanding its portfolio through recent acquisitions and refreshing its products. The company has focused on expanding what it calls four differential growth platforms, made up of Haagen-Dazs, snack bars, Old El Paso Mexican food, and a selection of natural and organic brands (Sun, 2019). Because of its focus on growth and expanding its brands across a wide range of products, these strategies follow a differentiation strategy according to Porter’s Generic Strategies. General Mills has pushed for development of products that have unique attributes, rather than just cutting costs (“Porter’s generic strategies,” 2007).

Interestingly, this has not always been the case for General Mills. Before its current CEO took over about two years ago, it was focused on cost cutting (Painter, 2019). This previous strategy followed the cost leadership strategy in Porter’s Generic Strategies, because it had cut costs across its wide range of product categories (“Porter’s generic strategies,” 2007). Also of interest is that one of General Mills’ primary competitors in Kraft-Heinz is taking the cost cutting strategy, reducing its profit margins in order to boost sales (Sun, 2019). In contrast to General Mills, this is taking the cost leadership strategy of Porter’s Generic Strategies across its broad market of products (“Porter’s generic strategies,” 2007).

General Mills’ acquisition of Blue Buffalo, taking it into pet foods, is one example of how it is focusing on growth and diversification. It is also planning to conduct additional growth enhancing acquisitions. The company also wants to expand across all of its brands and geographies, further showing how its strategy is broad, matching up with Porter’s Generic Strategies in how it is looking at a broad, industry wide target (Sun, 2019). Due to these strategies that General Mills is following, I believe they are aligned with Porter’s Generic Strategies that it is displaying. They are showing a very distinct strategy than Kraft-Heinz (“Porter’s generic strategies,” 2007).

Finally, it will be interesting to see if General Mills’ strategies continue to show success. It has done well this year and is showing sales growth. However, will its more aggressive strategy be able to continue against Kraft-Heinz’ conservative strategy of cost-cutting? It also still has other formidable competitors that it has been struggling against for several years, and the industry is still struggling in getting North American sales back on track. But for now, it looks like it is heading in the right direction (Sun, 2019).

Mark.

References

Painter, K. (2019). General Mills underlines 2019 outlook, remains focused on sales growth. Star Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/general-mills-underline…

Porter’s generic strategies. (2007). Quick MBA. Retrieved from http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/competitive-advan…

Sun, L. (2019). 4 things General Mills wants investors to know. Yahoo Finance. Retrieved from https://finance.yahoo.com/news/4-things-general-mi…

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RESPONSE 2:

Classmates,

General Mills has integrated the corporate strategy that includes and incorporates Porter’s Generic Competitive Strategies that include the differentiation strategy regarding the production and focus on specific product attributes. In addition, it also includes the cost leadership strategy that compels the company to target a large market and uses the marketing strategies to persuade the customers that the company provides superior products than the competitors in the markets. The General Mill’s strategic choices are in aligned with the Porters generic strategy that focuses on the transformations of the company portfolio to become an extensive natural and organic food maker with the nine brands, and it is committed to the establishment of the relationships with the organization farmers that will support the company. General Mills utilizes the strategic choice model to determine its sales levels its products as well as the services in the target markets to their potential customers. Through the application and implementation of the strategic model, General Mills acquires its competitors and gains a larger market share in target markets (Ireland, Hoskisson & Hitt, 2012 p. 35).

The company is also committed to supporting the framework that in partnerships that will not only ensure the consistent supply chain but creates the effective management and transition to organic. Therefore, as the demand for organic foods increases throughout the United States, General Mills has increased its investments to meet the growing consumer interest in the natural and organic food that is anticipated to drive the double-digit industry sales growth over the next five years.

Brennen

Reference

Ireland, R. D., Hoskisson, R. E., & Hitt, M. A. (2012). Understanding business strategy:

Concepts plus. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

_______________________________________________________________________________

RESPONSE 3:

Classmates,

What are General Mills’ corporate-level strategies? What generic Porter strategy does the company follow? Are General Mills’ strategic choices aligned with the Porter generic strategy you believe the company follows?

General Mills’ CEO, Jeff Harmening expresses his commitment and corporate level strategy most focused on consumers. He relays to his Board of Directors that his commitment entails focusing on what consumers are looking for and by responding quickly to give them what they want (General Mills, 2018). With that being said his strategy to accomplish this is:

Global Growth Priorities (3):

Competing effectively

Accelerating differential growth platforms

Reshaping the portfolio

Competing effectivelymeans the balance of topline and bottom line growth by accelerated Holistic Management savings and Strategic Revenue Management the will in the end, generate positive price/mix benefits for all segments across the country (General Mills, 2018).

Accelerating growth happens with innovation and broadening their approach. Examples are YQ yogurt, EPIC performance bars and Betty Crocker mug treats. General Mills’ approach is by brand investment and leveraging a wide variety of vehicles beyond media advertising (General Mills, 2018).

Reshaping the portfolio is the company’s focus on Blue Buffalo’s growth opportunity within their portfolio. Divestitures is a part of this shaping strategy and the anticipated scope of this opportunity is about 5% of total company sales (General Mills, 2018).

The generic Porter strategy I feel General Mills follows is certainly Threats of Substitute Products or Services”. When the company’s competition produces new products that meet similar customer needs as General Mill’s they tackle this strategy by their innovation explained above and focuses on the customer’s needs and increasing the switching cost for the customers. General Mills displays a strategy of being service oriented instead of product oriented which trickles to the overall loyalty of consumers.

Liza

Reference:

General Mills (2018). General Mills Details Global Growth Priorities at Company’s Annual Investor Day. Retrieved on 20 Aug 19 from https://investors.generalmills.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2018/General-Mills-Details-Global-Growth-Priorities-at-Companys-Annual-Investor-Day/default.aspx

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