BCG Matrix

The Boston Matrix in all its glory

Boston Matrix

The Boston Matrix is a tool that helps businesses analyse their current business portfolio, decide which businesses should receive more or less investment, and develop growth strategies for adding new products and businesses to their portfolio, whilst at the same time deciding when products and businesses should no longer be retained. (tutor2u)

It does so by using a two-dimensional four-squared grid to classify products according to their market share and market growth.


Stars – Stars are high growth businesses or products competing in markets where they are relatively strong compared with the competition. Often they need heavy investment to sustain their growth. Eventually their growth will slow and, assuming they maintain their relative market share, will become cash cows.

Cash Cows – Cash cows are low-growth businesses or products with a relatively high market share. These are mature, successful businesses with relatively little need for investment. They need to be managed for continued profit – so that they continue to generate the strong cash flows that the company needs for its Stars.

Question marks – Question marks are businesses or products with low market share but which operate in higher growth markets. This suggests that they have potential, but may require substantial investment in order to grow market share at the expense of more powerful competitors.

Dogs – Dogs refer to businesses or products that have low relative share in unattractive, low-growth markets. Dogs may generate enough cash to break-even, but they are rarely, if ever, worth investing in.


“Product portfolio – the Boston Matrix (or Boston Box) Product portfolio – the
Boston Matrix (or Boston Box) .” Tutor2u. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2012.

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