Why the Quadrants of BCG Matrix are Named as Star, Dog, Cow, Problem Child

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BCG Matrix > Best Practices > Why the Quadrants of BCG Matrix are Named as Star, Dog, Cow, Problem Child

Why the Quadrants of BCG Matrix are Named as Star, Dog, Cow, Problem Child
R.C. Natarajan, Professor of Marketing, India, Member
The BCG matrix's underlying assumptions are these:
(i) High market growth rate, by virtue of attracting competition, entails high resource usage for the firm;
(ii) High relative market share, by virtue of economies of scale, experience curve and power vis-a-vis channels and supplier of raw materials enables the firm to generate more resources.
Hence, the two axes can be better understood as "resource use" and "resource generation".
This makes it easy to understand that:
- A high-use low-generation is a problem child (or question mark, as called in many textbooks) that requires hand-holding and nurturing;
- A high use high-generation is a star that warrants continued support;
- A low use low-generation is a dog that can either be left alone or be divested; and
- A low-use high-generation is a cash cow that can be harvested.
Unfortunately, not many textbooks explain why the four quadrants are named so.

The Meaning of Star, Cow, Dog and Question Marks
Nikhil Jain
Dogs should be kicked out, cows should be milked, stars are high performers and question marks are uncertain.
All are speaking names, suggesting what to do with them...

BCG Matrix - Meaning of Dogs
Dennis Ngoma, Student (MBA), Zambia, Member
In normal life, you keep a dog to keep you company, for the relationship. Likewise in BCG Matrix, dogs are kept rather for relationship than for profit. You could have old good customers who you have to maintain for goodwill sake and because of new product on the market new customers are attracted to new product, hence a fall on the existing product.

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