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Is the BCG matrix propriety or public domain?


I did a case with another member of prep lounge that required the BCG matrix and formulae to position products in the matrix. Is the BCG matrix and the supporting formulae propriety to BCG or public domain that anyone can use? Is using the BCG matrix limited to BCG case interviews or do other firms use it as part of their case interviews?

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Vlad replied on 12/11/2017
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School


Agree with Francesco. I can hardly imagine a situation when you really have to draw down a BCG matrix. Moreover, it may sound like a textbook approach.

Though feel free to use the concepts like "cash cow" in your analysis.


Francesco replied on 12/09/2017
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Hi Frank,

quoting a previous answer, theoretically you can use the BCG matrix in every interview (it’s public domain), however:

  1. It would be better to focus on the content of the framework without mentioning the name. If you refer to a specific name such as “BCG matrix”, the interviewer will think you have just memorized something and repeated it.
  2. You should personalize the framework connecting it to the specific goal of the case. The best way to do so would be to specify WHY you would like to use that particular framework.

As an example:

  • Bad: I would like to apply the BCG matrix here
  • Good: In order to understand better our client portfolio and how to generate additional €5M in revenues, I would like to analyse the positioning of each segment considering the growth rate and market share.

Hope this helps,

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