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Strategic Planning Process 47
these dimensions of the environment yields insight into the opportunities and threats
that exist, to which the organization must respond in its overall strategic plan and
in subsequent functional plans.
In reviewing each of these environmental areas, the organization must ask: (1)
What are the changes and trends (2) How will these changes affect the organization’s
businesses and (3) What opportunities do these changes present Although these
changes will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter 3, consider one demographic
change—the aging marketplace—and its impact on company strategy.
For many years, the Gerber Products Company of Fremont, Michigan, defined its
business as “Babies are our business, our only business.” This was a great mission
in the early 1950s when the United States was witnessing a rapidly growing birthrate.
An aging population, however, as shown in
FIGURE 2-4, might necessitate some revi-
sions to that mission. A review of this environmental position might lead Gerber to
make some basic strategic changes.
As the population ages, Gerber must consider this trend and decide what impli-
cations it holds for its business. In what ways must the company respond, and what
opportunities does it present Does an aging population suggest a need for food that
1900 1940 1980 20201920 1960 2000 2040
65–74 years old
85 and over
Percentage in the population
FIGURE 2-4 Changing Market Demographics
Source: Administration on Aging. Department of Health and Human Services.
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