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Boston Product Matrix


This places products of the product mix into one of four categories:

  • Star products - these have a large share of a high growth market.  They may require considerable amounts of cash to keep up with the competition, e.g., vodaphone (A).
  • Problem children - small share of fast growing markets.  They are potentially  successful, but they need protection and investment ,e.g., virgin mobile phones (B).
  • Cash cows - they have a large share of a slow growing market which has matured.  These products have already been developed and promoted, and they generate relatively high levels of cash.  They can be used to develop and protect other products, e.g., Oxo cubes and Heinz Ketchup (D).
  • Dogs - they have a small share of a slow growing market.  They could be revived, but may be dropped.  Dogs often take up more management time than they are worth, e.g., Salad Cream (C). 


Firms will want to have a mixture of products.  Cash cows can help fund the development of stars and problem children.  This can be shown on a Boston box model where products are placed in one of the boxes as shown below.




E-mail Steve Margetts