boston matrix advantages and disadvantages

The Boston Matrix, also known as the Growth-Share Matrix, is a popular tool used by businesses to analyze their product portfolios. It helps in making strategic decisions based on the growth potential and market share of each product. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of using the Boston Matrix to assist business owners and managers in determining if this tool is suitable for their needs.


1. Simplifies complex dataThe Boston Matrix simplifies the analysis of a company’s products by categorizing them into four quadrants, based on their market growth rate and market share. This simplification makes it easier for decision-makers to understand the relative performance of each product.
2. Identifies star productsThis matrix helps in identifying the star products, which are those with high market share and high market growth rate. These products have the potential to generate high returns and should be allocated appropriate resources to maximize their success.
3. Highlights problem areasBy categorizing products into the four quadrants, the Boston Matrix helps identify products that may be underperforming. For example, products in the “dog” quadrant have low market share and low market growth rate, indicating low potential and the need for strategic decisions such as divestment.
4. Guides resource allocationBy understanding the position of products in the matrix, businesses can allocate appropriate resources to each product. For example, high-growth products (stars) may require heavy investment, while low-growth products (cash cows) may benefit from cost reduction strategies.


1. Simplistic approachWhile the Boston Matrix provides a simplified view of a company’s product portfolio, it may not consider all relevant factors. Other considerations such as market dynamics, competition, and customer preferences may need to be taken into account alongside the matrix analysis.
2. Limited focusThe matrix primarily focuses on market growth rate and market share, neglecting other important factors such as profitability, brand value, and technological advancements. This limited perspective may lead to overlooking important aspects of product performance.
3. Inaccurate categorizationThere is a risk of inaccurate categorization of products due to the subjective nature of determining market growth rate and market share. Different interpretations or unreliable data can lead to misplacement of products within the matrix, leading to incorrect strategic decisions.
4. Lack of flexibilityThe Boston Matrix assumes a static market and does not account for changing conditions or product life cycles. The matrix’s rigidity may hinder the ability to adapt and respond to dynamic market conditions, potentially resulting in missed opportunities or ineffective resource allocation.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the Boston Matrix can help businesses make informed decisions about its implementation. By understanding its limitations, businesses can mitigate potential drawbacks and use the matrix as a valuable tool to analyze their product portfolio and develop appropriate strategies.

In conclusion, the Boston Matrix has its strengths in simplifying complex data, identifying star products, highlighting problem areas, and guiding resource allocation. However, it also has limitations in its simplistic approach, limited focus, potential for inaccurate categorization, and lack of flexibility. Therefore, businesses should consider these factors when utilizing the Boston Matrix in their strategic decision-making processes.