No strategy is absolute, of course: Wal-Mart carries some organic produce, in response to consumer demand, but to find a wider variety of healthy cereals made with organic grains or gluten-free breads, rather than the cheapest price of Cheerios or whole grain Coco-Puffs, a consumer must go to the pricier Whole Foods that caters to his or her unique needs rather than Wal-Mart.
Balancing the need for differentiation and low cost can be a challenge, but Target has been able to achieve this delicate balance. Target is a low-cost department store that stocks a wide variety of products, but it also contains a number of higher-end makeup and clothing lines only found at the department chain.
It offers a unique, brightly-colored and cheerful brand image with some cache of luxury, and even wealthier consumers who might blanch and entering Wal-Mart will happily patronize Target. Middle and lower income individuals can still afford Target, however, in contrast to the highly specialized Whole Foods.
Harley, Guy. (2004). “Corporate-Level Strategy.” Week 5. Retrieved 30 Aug 2008 at http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:Em8-x5mRLkwJ:www.harley.net.au/TechOrgCh/TechOrgCh_Lecture_5.ppt+firm+corporate-level+strategy&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us&client=firefox-a.