7.1.1 Types of Diversification

Diversification is a strategic approach adopting different forms. Depending on the applied criteria, there are different classifications.

Depending on the direction of company diversification, the different types are:

  • Horizontal Diversification
    acquiring or developing new products or offering new services that could appeal to the company´s current customer groups. In this case the company relies on sales and technological relations to the existing product lines. For example a dairy, producing cheese adds a new type of cheese to its products.
  • Vertical Diversification
    occurs when the company goes back to previous stages of its production cycle or moves forward to subsequent stages of the same cycle - production of raw materials or distribution of the final product. For example, if you have a company that does reconstruction of houses and offices and you start selling paints and other construction materials for use in this business. This kind of diversification may also guarantee a regular supply of materials with better quality and lower prices.
  • Concentric Diversification
    enlarging the production portfolio by adding new products with the aim of fully utilising the potential of the existing technologies and marketing system. The concentric diversification can be a lot more financially efficient as a strategy, since the business may benefit from some synergies in this diversification model. It may enforce some investments related to modernizing or upgrading the existing processes or systems. This type of diversification is often used by small producers of consumer goods, e.g. a bakery starts producing pastries or dough products.
  • Heterogeneous (conglomerate) diversification
    is moving to new products or services that have no technological or commercial relation with current products, equipment, distribution channels, but which may appeal to new groups of customers. The major motive behind this kind of diversification is the high return on investments in the new industry. Furthermore, the decision to go for this kind of diversification can lead to additional opportunities indirectly related to further developing the main company business - access to new technologies, opportunities for strategic partnerships, etc.
  • Corporate Diversification
    involves production of unrelated but definitely profitable goods. It is often tied to large investments where there may also be high returns.