Top 51 Strategy Frameworks

Half of the success factors for any business unit depend upon the unique strategic framework they follow. Strategic frameworks are the backbone of your business, It can either make it or break it.

Here we have chosen the best strategic frameworks followed by giant business ventures:

1. SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis consists of four parts namely strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The framework is one of the most powerful strategies to detect and interpret the internal and external aspects that affects the progress of an organization.

2. Ansoff – Growth Matrix Strategy

Ansoff’s product/market growth matrix is one of the most successful strategy frameworks of all time. It implies that a business’ efforts to expand depend on whether the market is new, based upon existing products or the product can be new and market still an older one. 

Many leading strategies have followed this framework, for example, leading footwear firms like Adidas, Nike, and Reebok, which have joined international markets for expansion.

3. Gap Analysis

 A gap analysis is a system of estimating the variations in performance between a business’ information systems or software applications. These differentiations analyze through points like determining business requirements and to what extent they are being met. In case of any kind of failure of fulfilling business needs, what steps should be taken to minimize the damage and evolve from the situation?

4. Diffusion of Innovation

This dynamic Diffusion of innovation strategy framework serves the business to learn how a buyer adjusts around new technology, which encourages him to engage in a new line of products over the advancing time period.

 These five categories are:

  • Innovators
  • Early Adopters
  • Early Majority
  • Late Majority
  • Laggards

5. Nadler-Tushman Congruence Framework

This model divides an organizations’ performance into four sections: work, people, structure, and culture. The framework suggests studying the strengths and weakness of each area so they can be compared to the other sections.

The Congruence Model was introduced in the 1980s by organizational theorists David A. Nadler and Michael L. Tushman. It’s a potent tool for detecting problematic sections in a business and finding the ultimate solutions for them.

6. Rule of Three and Four

Bruce Henderson introduced a rule of Three and Four, the originator of Boston Consulting Group, in 1976. The theory states that a firm and competitive market has never had more than three important competitors where the biggest competitors have the lion’s share of the market which is almost equal to the four times of the smallest share in the market.

7. BCG Advantage Matrix

The Boston Consulting Group introduced a matrix which addressed the economies of scale decision rather more directly. It was developed in 1981 by Richard Lochridge. Interestingly, the matrix was first named as “Strategy in the 1980s”. The Advantage Matrix divides groups businesses into four divisions, categorized as: 

  • Volume
  • Stalemated
  • Specialized
  • Fragmented businesses

8. Six Sigma Framework

Six Sigma is a business development plan that was initially introduced at the Motorola Company. The methodology was developed to systematically cut down defects and reduce variations in a master business plan. Often known as the DMAIC, the framework has the following categories.

  • Define
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Improve
  • Control

9. Michael Porter’s Diamond Model

The theory explains how competitiveness varies between nations and thus affects many organizations and their performances. It also explains why specific companies in certain countries are superior inconsistent innovation than others. The ability of a particular company also depends upon interrelated geographic and national advantages, which are further categorized as:

  • Firm Strategy
  • Structure and Rivalry
  • Factor Conditions
  • Demand Conditions
  • Supporting Industries

10. Scenario Planning

It was originally introduced by Royal Dutch/Shell scenarios since the early 1970s. The theory is based upon assuming future situations which can occur in specific circumstances. It is also about your business environment that will change with respect to different varying factors.

11. Product Life Cycle Stages.

In the Product Life Cycle framework, there are four stages involved, namely, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. This framework is very similar to the diffusion of innovation model, which was explained by Everett Rogers in 1976.

12. PEST Analysis

PEST Analysis was first developed by Francis J. Aguilar, who was a Harvard teacher, in 1967. A PEST analysis is a vital enterprise mechanism used by companies to identify, evaluate, organize, and mark macro-economic factors which affects their business in any way. The analysis points out the opportunities and threats which can emerge from Political, Economic, Social, and Technological forces.

13. The Experience Curve

The Experience Curve was explained by Bruce D. Henderson in the 1960s. The experience curve was introduced in suggests that if a task is done often, then the cost of doing it will be lower. The equation is directly proportional. Each time increasing volume doubles, value added costs (administration, marketing, distribution, and manufacturing) decreases by a fixed and foreseen percentage.

14. Porter’s Five Forces

Porter Five Forces is a framework that recognizes and interprets five main units that develop every organization and indicate the company’s weaknesses and strengths. Following are those 5 forces

  • Competition in the industry
  • Potential of new entrants into the industry
  • Power of suppliers
  • Power of customers
  • The threat of substitute products

15. Logical incrementalism

The incremental theory was highlighted by Quinn (1980) under the influence of Lindblom (1959). Logical incrementalism is a methodical procedure that combines strategy formulation and implementation. Incremental approaches explain strategy as a minor chain of decisions that are managed incrementally.

16. The 3Cs

The dynamic 3C’s of Marketing was introduced by Japanese organizational theorist Kenichi Ohmae. The theory is a strategic triangle when integrated, a sustainable competitive advantage can be achieved.

  • The Customer
  • The Company
  • The Competitors

17. The Niche Strategy

A niche strategy is formed by three main factors: market, product, and strategy. The approach reveals the connection between niche strategy and the primary elements of that strategy.

18. TQM Framework

The development of Total Quality Management (TQM) started in the early 1920s. TQM stands for Total Quality Management. The theory refers to the management approach of a company.  It has a central factor quality linked with the performance of the company’s members and their determination for long-term success through customer satisfaction.

19. The Resource-Based Framework

The resource-based view is a managerial framework used to determine the strategic resources a firm can exploit to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. In 1991, Barney’s published an article “Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage”  became an effective resource-based framework in business.

20. Fishbone Diagram

A fishbone diagram, also famously known as, a cause and effect or Ishikawa diagram. It is a potent tool for dividing the possible roots of a problem in identifying the main factors of the issue. The fishbone was introduced by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, who was a Japanese quality control expert.

21. First Mover Advantage

First-mover advantage is a framework that explains the benefits gained by introducing something unique and successful for the first time in the market, or early purchase of resources.

22. Value Chain Analysis

Year of launch: 1995

The Value Chain sums up all the elements that are vital factors in your organization for adding value to your customer. M. Porter designed the common value chain model in 1995.

Here are the four key areas to the Value Chain:

  • Operations
  • Production
  • Marketing
  • Sales

23. Balanced Scorecard

Year of launch: 1999

Balanced Scorecard is a very useful decisive outlining system that enables you to plan your objectives and strategies with the help of these four key performance indicators from four different perspectives.  It was first proposed by accounting academic Dr. Robert Kaplan.

These are four elements:

  • Financials
  • Customer
  • Internal Business Process
  • Learning and Growth


Year of launch: 1999

VMOST has five aspects that assist in doing a proper alignment with your strategy. It was first introduced in Rakesh Sondhi in 1999.

VMOST stands for:

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics

25. The McKinsey 7-S framework

Year of launch: 1981

This strategic Mckinsey 7 S framework is used to assess an organization and its effectiveness. The basic model is comprised of seven internal aspects of an organization.

The model was published in the late 1970s by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman.

The seven elements in the model are:

  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • Systems
  • Shared values
  • Style
  • Staff
  • Skills

26. Blue Ocean Strategy

Year of launch: 2005

Blue Ocean Strategy simply states that a unique competitive position is an advantage if one understands it properly. The theory is based on an example of sailing the large ocean in a competition-free market. Because of your unique position, you can earn maximum profits until a new competitor enters the market. The theory was introduced in 2005 by Professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. 

27. D’Aveni’s 7S

Year of launch: 1980

D’Aveni’s 7S framework is designed to assist industries in maintaining the flow of their competitive success by initiating features for temporary advantages rather than permanent initiatives for structuring the firm. Thomas and D’Aveni’s introduced the theory in the 1980s.

The following elements were are the seven components of the theory:

  • Stakeholder satisfaction
  • Strategic soothsaying
  • Positioning for speed
  • Positioning for a surprise
  • Shifting the rule of the game
  • Signaling the strategic intent
  • Simultaneous and sequential strategic thrust

28. Value Migration

Year of launch: 1995

Value migration is the transformation of value-creating forces. Value migrates from outmoded business strategies to business plans that satisfy the customers’ priorities better.  The theory was introduced by Adrian Slywotzky in 1995 through his book.

29. Mass Customization

Year of launch: 1992

 Mass customization is one of the dynamic manufacturing systems that infuse fine selection through customer preferences with standardization of procedures which initiates mutual flexibility, affordable pricing, and premium quality.

30. Bowman’s Strategy Clock

Year of launch: 1996

Bowman’s Strategy Clock is a business theory used in marketing to study the competitive position of an organization in comparison to the sales offers of competitors. It was introduced by Cliff Bowman and David Faulkner.

31. Triple Bottom Line

Year of launch: 1994

The triple bottom is a framework used in accounting, and it consists of three main elements, which are: social, environmental, and financial.

Some companies have used the TBL framework to upgrade their performance to create better business value. The theory was introduced by business writer John Elkington in 1994.

32. Benchmarking

Year of launch: 1989

Benchmarking is a method in which a corporation estimates its performance in comparison to the top companies in their field. The company uses benchmarking to match its competitor’s growth and utilize the information to increase their performance.

33. The Resource-Based View

Year of launch: 1991

RBV which stands for the resource-based view. It is a managerial strategy used to find out the strategic resources of an organization so it can be analyzed to gain permanent competitive advantage. It was introduced through Barney’s article “Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage” in 1991.

34. The Competency Framework

Year of launch: 1999

The competency theory is a business model that mainly defines the possible potential for ‘excellent’ performance within an industry. Often the framework plan is comprised of multiple competencies, which can be applied in a broad spectrum to assign various roles within the organization.

35. Hyper-competition

Year of launch: 1999

The phenomenon of hyper-competition often occurs in relatively new markets and industries. Hyper-competition emerges on the surface when the product, service, or technology has never been offered before, turning into an unsustainable competitive advantage.

36. Coopetition

Year of launch: 1996s

Coopetition is the strategy of association between companies who are competitors. Therefore the business done by these industries is mutually involved in both competition and cooperation.

37. Diamond Model

Year of launch: 1999

Diamond Theory of National Advantage argues that companies are affected by their geographical location in terms of the country’s nation and their natural talents. The theory also explains how governments can play their role in developing an internationally competitive economic condition.

38. Delta model

Year of launch: 1999

Delta model is strategic management, which focuses on the features of a consumer economy rather than the product (product economics). It is a customer-centric model which encourages a powerful relationship between the company and the customer.

39. Digital Strategy Framework

Year of launch: 1999

A digital strategy framework is sometimes based upon a plan for obtaining maximum business benefits of data based information assets and technology-oriented initiatives.

40. The Profit Pools

Year of launch: 1999

The profit pool framework is a plan that encourages managers or companies to concentrate on profits, rather than the average revenue growth. The definition of the framework states that in order to see the outline of their industry’s profit pool, the company’s managers must look beyond revenues.

41. Tipping Point Leadership

Year of launch: 2000

Tipping point leadership is about the strategic plan that implements a strategy in minimum time and at a cheaper cost. It equips organizations with a particular structure to be used, for overcoming the four key business obstacles that slow down the process of implementation, which include the following:  

  • The cognitive
  • Resource
  • Motivational
  • Political hurdles

42. Strategy as Simple Rule

Year of launch: 2001

Strategy as Simple Rule defines the phenomenon of requiring a simplistic framework. The framework explains that when the market landscape was simple, corporations could afford to have complex tactics and complicated strategies. But since the market is growing complex itself, many companies need to simplify their innovation strategy.

43. Bottom of the Pyramid

Year of launch: 2002

Bottom of the pyramid (BOP) is also called the base of the pyramid. The phenomenon refers to the two-thirds of the economic human pyramid who lives the life of poverty. This pyramid beholds a crowd of more than four billion people. The framework suggests multiple plans to provide relief to the specific market by initiating economic developments that are mutually beneficial for the multinational corporations (MNCs) and this base of the pyramid.

44. Open Innovation

Year of launch: 2003

Open innovation is a framework which encourages the new age of open information to launch better innovation. The corporations supporting this strategy are open to external collaboration os ideas, unlike the secrecy and defensive culture of traditional corporate industry.

45. Distinctive capability

Year of launch:  2008

Distinctive capability is a unique competency factor that an organization posses which gives it a competitive advantage over other companies.

46. Business Model Innovation

Year of launch:  2009

A business model explains the basics of how a company produces, distributes, and gains value, in business covering all the social, cultural, and other aspects of society. The process also involves the construction of through development and modification.

47. Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy

Year of launch: 1974

 PIMS or Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy is open-ended research of policies that stimulate business profitability, cash flows, and annual revenues along with gaining sustainability and competitive advantage in the corporate sector. 

48. The Business Process Reengineering

Year of launch: 1990

 The business process reengineering or BPR is the interpretation and remodification of core business methods to obtain tangible improvements in its performance, productivity, and quality.

49. High-commitment management

Year of launch: 1991

High Commitment is a management framework which focuses on personal accountability, self-sufficiency, and empowerment of employees across all layers of a company instead of concentrating on the top level hierarchy. The framework, however, is hard to implement with an unusual corporate culture which is idealistic.

50. Porter’s three generic strategies

Year of launch: 1982

This strategy framework explains how an organization obtains a competitive advantage across its premium target market scope. It is comprised of three generic strategies, namely lower cost, differentiated, or focus.

51. Industrial Organization

Year of launch: 1959

Industrial Organization is a framework that studies the market as an institution, strategic collaboration among organizations and corporate policy, and business plans that evaluate a company; all in the retrospect of the worldwide economy.


So these are the top 51 strategy frameworks used by worldwide, successful companies to thrive in different aspects of the corporate sector. Each one of them has proven to be a valuable addition in the enormous world of business frameworks to increase professional evaluation and profit margins of an organization. 

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Brianna Parker

Brianna Parker

She is a creative writer, corporate storyteller and global brand consultant, who has a unique combination of a business and creative mindset.

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