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Formulate strategic recommendations

Billabong International is a major competitor in the niche, highly competitive market of surfwear, worth $4. 5billion and growing 10-12% annually. With Billabong seeking to achieve annual revenue growth of 20-25%, the organisation is challenged to find ways to meet these revenue targets within the current confines of its competitive environment. To enable the organisation to achieve its growth goals, new strategies must be identified and implemented. This report has examined both Billabong and the competitive environment in which it operates in order to formulate strategic recommendations.

An internal analysis covering the company’s operations, finances, human resources, corporate governance and marketing strategy provides the framework to identify the core competences and areas of competitive advantage for Billabong. An external analysis of the competitive environment sets the framework for identifying strategic opportunities for Billabong in the market place. Once a set of strategic options were identified, analytical tools including but not limited to options ranking, stakeholder analysis and competitive strength grid were used to ascertain the attractiveness of each option.

The strategic options were reduced to two options that could be implemented over a short-term and long-term time frame. The short-term strategic option is one of increasing market share and revenue through market

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and product diversification. By adopting this strategy, Billabong will stretch their existing core competences into new market areas thus creating greater opportunity for revenue growth. Billabong’s corporate culture has been influential in the success of the organisation thus far and in implementing a stretch strategy, Billabong should look for new markets that have synergies with their current culture.

The current core competences of Billabong result from a number of processes of development. Billabong must continue to invest in the development of these processes with specific consideration given to an enterprise wide customer-centric focus. The recommended long-term strategy for Billabong is one which addresses the broader issue of an aging population. Billabong’s target market is the 10 to 24 year age bracket. The fact that the developed countries have a diminishing birth rate, the size of Billabong’s target market will subsequently diminish.

Through careful brand acquisition and marketing modified to an older audience, Billabong has the opportunity to take advantage of an aging consumer population. Whilst a strategy will generally fall into either a stretch or fit category, it should be noted that to define a strategy in isolation is inappropriate. All organisations will have some melding between a stretch and fit strategy. Going forward, Billabong must not only answer questions regarding strategies for revenue growth but also address issues regarding appropriate leadership for the organisation and determine whether the values of the organisation are sustainable.

This study provides a comprehensive and critical strategic analysis of Billabong International Limited’s operations, stakeholders and leadership structure, and the efforts taken to grow its market share since its inception in the early 1970s. Strategic tools including SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, McKinsey Growth Pyramid, leadership analysis and stakeholder mapping have been used to highlight factors that have contributed to Billabong’s success and to identify and assess strategic options.

This report looks inward at Billabong’s distinctive capabilities and assets that have contributed to the organisation’s continued revenue growth over the past three years. It also looks outward, providing a strategic analysis of the industry and its competitors in which Billabong operates and the potential opportunity of markets in which its core competences may yield competitive advantage. The stretch perspective – the strategy theory of identifying and developing one’s core competences which can then be stretched across several dimensions to achieve growth from a number of sources1 – figures prominently throughout this analysis.

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