Since the global recession in the 1970s, Barco’s strategy focused on the top-of-the-line products in the industrial markets. Being a small company, it competes by carving out its niche market on the basis of its strength in research and development (R&D) and high quality products. Its general strategy comprises of three key elements: leadership in complementary niche market; strong commission in R&D; expand its international presence in sales, product development and production. As such, it became one of the top three worldwide manufacturers in each of its product lines: automated production control systems, graphic arts, computer-aided design and industrial projection.
The global projector market was estimated to grow 8.5% per annum with graphics projectors having the highest growth potential at 40.2%. United States and Western Europe comprises 88% of the market. Barco’s strength* is with the graphics projectors with a market share of 55%, followed by data projectors with 23% (second to Sony’s 49%).
Zooming into Barco’s product line strategy, it segmented markets by scan rates and developed products targeted at addressing the needs of specific segments in the industrial market. It focused on differentiating its products through technology and its sophisticated applications. This created uniqueness for its products and confined competition to a niche segment that is willing to pay premium rates for the quality desired. By 1989, Barco established itself in the entertainment, training and presentation market with three product lines: video, data, and graphics. Barco's projectors had a reputation with dealers for the highest quality final image and excellent reliability once fully installed. And this affirms its technology development, R&D, company’s infrastructure and logistics are its value-creating capabilities to earn high margins.
Barco’s BG400 was the most sophisticated and expensive graphics projector in the industry, retailing around 1 million Bfr,...