Business Vs. Corporate Strategy: What are the Key Differences?

Alexander Lim
5 min readMar 7, 2022


Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

All companies in every industry are very conscious of having strategies in order to achieve their goals, and also to be competitive and successful in their markets.

One of the most commonly used approaches to make business decisions is to develop business strategies and to create corporate strategies.

At the different management levels, the authority responsible for executing the strategies must develop various types of strategies. Some people like to compare the terms business strategy and corporate strategy.

So here we are going to show you the differences between them.

1. Management

Different management levels, in the same organization, tend to use different terminology when referring to their specific duties. However, each of these groups may be describing what is essentially the same process.

Business Strategy: Business strategy refers to the actions of a company that are designed to create and sustain a competitive advantage in its marketplace.

This may include such things as branding, product development, advertising, sales strategies, and so on.

In short, business strategy is how a company plans to achieve its goals. It defines the roles of employees and management within an organization.

It also identifies the strategies that will be used to address threats or opportunities in the marketplace (i.e., competition).

Corporate Strategy: Corporate strategy refers to how an entire corporation operates; it defines how all its divisions work together toward a common goal or vision for the future of the organization.

It includes all aspects of corporate operations from organizational structure and leadership team, through market analysis and communication strategies for customers and shareholders alike (the people who own stock in the company).


The main difference between business and corporate strategies is that business strategies deal with short-term issues such as meeting quarterly targets, while corporate strategies deal with long-term issues such as changing consumer trends or evolving technology.

Both business and corporate strategies can be either planned or emergent, depending on the nature of the issues involved.

Nature of Decisions

Another difference between business and corporate strategies is that business strategies deal with decisions that can be made by the CEO or his direct reports, while corporate strategies are decisions that require senior management to be involved.

This means that business strategies are relatively smaller in scale and involve fewer people, while corporate strategies require a lot of time and money to implement.

Business strategy may involve moving from one office to another, whereas corporate strategy may involve merging with another company or setting up a new factory.

Focus Area

A business strategy focuses on core activities and main operations of the organization, while a corporate strategy deals with all aspects of the organization.

A business strategy may look at how to grow profits, while a corporate strategy may look at how to save on costs by outsourcing certain activities.


The way in which business and corporate strategies are formed and implemented is also different.

A business strategy is generally formulated based on a clear understanding of the current market conditions, while a corporate strategy may be formulated without taking the market into consideration.

Corporate strategies may be formulated based on the long-term goals of the organization, while business strategies are generally formulated based on current operations.

Major Strategies

Business strategies are generally short-term in nature and focus on issues such as revenue generation, profit maximization, and customer satisfaction.

On the other hand, corporate strategies are long-term in nature and focus on issues such as acquiring new markets, developing new products, improving employee satisfaction, and increasing shareholder value.

Amazon is a popular online retail store that has come up with many business strategies to stay ahead of its competitors.

For example, it has started selling products from third-party vendors so that it can generate additional revenue without compromising on customer satisfaction.

Amazon also uses business strategies to grow its market share by selling its products at lower prices than those offered by its competitors.

However, the company has not always used business strategies; for example, it once gave customers a flat 30% discount if they paid using cash instead of credit cards or checks.

This strategy was implemented because Amazon had found that customers were more likely to pay using cash rather than checks or credit cards because they wanted to avoid paying additional fees charged by the banks for using credit cards or checks.

Amazon was able to reduce its operating costs and increase its profit margins.

IBM is a multinational technology and consulting company that has been using corporate strategies to stay ahead of its competitors.

For example, it has started providing enterprise-wide cloud solutions to its customers so that they can utilize the resources of the company in a cost-effective manner.

This strategy was implemented because IBM found that most of its customers were not ready to move their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud, but were willing to use certain cloud-based services such as email and collaboration tools.

By implementing this strategy, IBM was able to retain many of its customers and keep them loyal.

Pros and Cons

Business strategies generally have a positive impact on the organization because they help it to grow, increase its market share, and improve its financial performance.

On the other hand, corporate strategies generally have a negative impact on the organization because they involve huge costs and can have an adverse effect on the employees and shareholders.

Business strategies may be changed at any time, but corporate strategies are difficult to change once implemented. Business strategies may not require senior management approval, but corporate strategies do require senior management approval.

In general, business strategy is relatively easier to implement than corporate strategy is.

The main reason for this is that a business strategy is based on current market conditions and can be easily implemented without making any major changes to the organization’s structure or culture.

On the other hand, a corporate strategy is based on the long-term goals of the organization and may involve huge costs that may be difficult to justify if the economy goes into recession or if there are other external factors that can adversely affect business operations.


For businesses to be successful, they must have a strong business and corporate strategy in place. The examples that I have told you about Amazon and IMB prove that it is necessary to combine business and corporate strategy in order to gain advantages and help you as a company leader to reach your goal.

About the Author

I hope that my post has helped you know more about Business Strategies. Feel free to leave a comment and tag me and I will answer them. Follow my profile to get the latest content I post to stay ahead of the curve.

I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies, a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces, and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.

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Alexander Lim

Founder of Cudy Technologies (, a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and investor.