The resource underpinnings of competitive positions

Graham J. Hooley, Gordon E. Greenley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Competitive positioning is central to market-focussed management, comprising the choice of target market the firm will operate in, and how it will compete in that market. Positioning decisions are complex and require the firm to find a profitable match between market requirements and firm ability to satisfy them. Equally important, however, is the longer term sustainability of any position created in the market place. Drawing on theory from the strategic management and marketing domains the authors argue that the competitive position achieved is a key marketing resource with the potential to generate sustainable competitive advantage. The paper examines alternative competitive positions, the marketing resources necessary to underpin them, and how they are defended against competitor imitation or encroachment. Some positions are found to be inherently more defensible than others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-116
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • competitive positioning
  • market‐focussed management
  • target market
  • market
  • positioning decisions
  • sustainability
  • strategic management
  • marketing
  • marketing resource
  • sustainable competitive advantage


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