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How can the BCG Growth-Share Matrix be used to evaluate the potential of new business models in the sharing economy?


This article provides a detailed response to: How can the BCG Growth-Share Matrix be used to evaluate the potential of new business models in the sharing economy? For a comprehensive understanding of BCG Growth-Share Matrix, we also include relevant case studies for further reading and links to BCG Growth-Share Matrix best practice resources.

TLDR The BCG Growth-Share Matrix helps organizations strategically evaluate and allocate resources for new sharing economy ventures based on market growth and share.

Reading time: 4 minutes


The BCG Growth-Share Matrix, a strategic business tool developed by the Boston Consulting Group in the 1970s, provides a framework for evaluating the potential of different business units or product lines based on their market growth rate and relative market share. This model categorizes business units into four quadrants—Stars, Question Marks, Cash Cows, and Dogs—each representing a specific strategic consideration. In the context of the sharing economy, this matrix can be particularly useful for organizations looking to evaluate new business models or ventures. The sharing economy, characterized by peer-to-peer based sharing of access to goods and services, has seen exponential growth, driven by digital platforms that connect users and providers.

Application to the Sharing Economy

In applying the BCG Growth-Share Matrix to the sharing economy, organizations can categorize their ventures or potential business models into the four quadrants to determine strategic actions. For instance, a new sharing platform with a high market growth rate but low market share would fall into the "Question Marks" category. This signals the organization to consider significant investment to increase market share or to reassess the venture's viability. Conversely, a well-established platform with high market share in a mature market could be seen as a "Cash Cow," indicating that the organization should capitalize on this venture to fund other projects.

For sharing economy ventures in the "Stars" quadrant, characterized by high growth and high market share, organizations should focus on growth strategies and investment to maintain or enhance their market position. This could involve expanding into new markets, enhancing platform features, or increasing user engagement. On the other hand, ventures in the "Dogs" quadrant should be evaluated for divestiture or repositioning, as they represent low growth and low market share.

It is crucial for organizations to continuously monitor and reassess their portfolio of sharing economy ventures using the BCG Matrix as market conditions evolve. This dynamic approach allows for the reallocation of resources to maximize overall portfolio value and strategic alignment.

Learn more about BCG Growth-Share Matrix BCG Matrix Growth-Share Matrix

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Strategic Insights and Actionable Recommendations

Organizations should leverage the BCG Growth-Share Matrix to identify strategic priorities and allocate resources efficiently across their sharing economy ventures. For "Question Marks," it is imperative to conduct thorough market research and competitive analysis to inform the decision on whether to invest heavily for growth or to divest. This involves understanding user needs, market trends, and the competitive landscape to identify opportunities for differentiation and market capture.

For ventures classified as "Cash Cows," organizations should focus on operational excellence and efficiency to maximize profit margins while exploring opportunities for reinvestment in other quadrants. This might include leveraging data analytics to optimize platform performance, reduce costs, and enhance user experience, thereby sustaining profitability and funding growth initiatives.

"Stars" require aggressive investment in marketing, innovation, and expansion strategies to sustain growth and fend off competition. Organizations should prioritize these ventures by deploying their best talent, investing in technology, and exploring strategic partnerships to solidify their market position and capitalize on growth opportunities.

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Real-World Examples

Airbnb, a leader in the sharing economy, exemplifies a "Star" venture that has successfully capitalized on its market position. Through continuous innovation, global expansion, and strategic partnerships, Airbnb has maintained its growth trajectory and market dominance. The organization's focus on enhancing user experience, expanding its offerings, and entering new markets has allowed it to sustain its "Star" status within the BCG Matrix framework.

Uber, another prominent player in the sharing economy, has navigated through different quadrants of the BCG Matrix over time. Initially a "Question Mark," Uber invested heavily in market expansion and technology, transitioning into a "Star." The organization's strategic focus on diversification, such as expanding into food delivery with Uber Eats, illustrates the dynamic application of the BCG Growth-Share Matrix in guiding strategic decisions and resource allocation.

These examples underscore the importance of using the BCG Growth-Share Matrix as a strategic tool for evaluating and guiding the development of new business models in the sharing economy. By categorizing ventures according to their market growth and share, organizations can make informed decisions on investment, divestiture, and strategic focus, ultimately driving sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

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Best Practices in BCG Growth-Share Matrix

Here are best practices relevant to BCG Growth-Share Matrix from the Flevy Marketplace. View all our BCG Growth-Share Matrix materials here.

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BCG Growth-Share Matrix Case Studies

For a practical understanding of BCG Growth-Share Matrix, take a look at these case studies.

BCG Matrix Analysis for Semiconductor Firm

Scenario: A semiconductor company operating globally is facing challenges in allocating resources efficiently across its diverse product portfolio.

Read Full Case Study

E-commerce Portfolio Rationalization for Online Retailer

Scenario: The organization in question operates within the e-commerce sector, managing a diverse portfolio of products across multiple categories.

Read Full Case Study

Strategic Portfolio Analysis for Retail Chain in Competitive Sector

Scenario: The organization is a retail chain operating in a highly competitive consumer market, with a diverse portfolio of products ranging from high-turnover items to niche, specialty goods.

Read Full Case Study

BCG Matrix Evaluation for Agritech Firm in Competitive Landscape

Scenario: An Agritech firm operating within a highly competitive sector is seeking to evaluate its product portfolio to better allocate resources and drive focused growth.

Read Full Case Study

BCG Matrix Analysis for Specialty Chemicals Manufacturer

Scenario: The organization in focus operates within the specialty chemicals sector, facing a pivotal moment in its strategic planning.

Read Full Case Study

Luxury Brand Portfolio Optimization in the High-End Fashion Sector

Scenario: A luxury fashion house is grappling with portfolio optimization amidst shifting consumer trends and market volatility.

Read Full Case Study

Explore all Flevy Management Case Studies

Related Questions

Here are our additional questions you may be interested in.

Can the Boston Matrix be effectively applied in non-profit organizations, and if so, how?
The Boston Matrix can be adapted for non-profit organizations to evaluate programs based on potential impact and effectiveness, aiding in Strategic Planning, Resource Allocation, and Impact Maximization. [Read full explanation]
How does the Growth-Share Matrix align with agile methodologies in product development and management?
The Growth-Share Matrix and Agile methodologies complement each other in Strategic Planning, Resource Allocation, Market Responsiveness, Innovation, Performance Management, and Operational Excellence, enhancing decision-making in product development and management. [Read full explanation]
What role does artificial intelligence play in optimizing the Growth-Share Matrix for predictive analytics and market trend forecasting?
AI transforms the Growth-Share Matrix into a dynamic tool for Strategic Planning, enabling precise market trend forecasting and optimized decision-making for sustainable growth. [Read full explanation]
How can the Growth-Share Matrix be adapted for digital businesses, especially those operating on platform models?
Adapting the Growth-Share Matrix for digital platforms involves incorporating Network Effects, Data Monetization Potential, and Scalability, with examples like Spotify and Netflix illustrating the transition through quadrants via data utilization and customer-centric innovation. [Read full explanation]
How can the BCG Growth-Share Matrix be used to evaluate and prioritize investments in emerging technologies?
The BCG Growth-Share Matrix is a Strategic Planning tool that helps companies prioritize investments in emerging technologies by classifying them into Stars, Question Marks, Cash Cows, and Dogs based on market growth and share. [Read full explanation]
Can the Growth-Share Matrix be integrated with customer lifetime value (CLV) models to enhance strategic decision-making?
Integrating the Growth-Share Matrix with Customer Lifetime Value models provides a comprehensive, customer-centric approach to Strategic Planning, optimizing resource allocation and long-term profitability. [Read full explanation]

Source: Executive Q&A: BCG Growth-Share Matrix Questions, Flevy Management Insights, 2024


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