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Competitive Advantage
Competitive Advantage
An advantage
over competitors
gained by offering
consumers greater
value than
competitors offer.

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Competitive Analysis
 The process of identifying key
competitors; assessing their
objectives, strategies, strengths and
weaknesses, and reaction patterns;
and selecting which competitors to
attack or avoid.

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Figure 18-1:
Steps in Analyzing

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Competitor Analysis
Steps in the Firms face a wide
Process: range of competition
Be careful to avoid
Identifying “competitor myopia”
Competitors Methods of
Assessing identifying
Competitors competitors:
Selecting  Industry point-of-view
Competitors to  Market point-of-view
 Competitor maps
Attack or Avoid
can help
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viewed itself as
competing with
your publishers
of printed
Big mistake! Its
real competitors
were software
and the Internet.
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Competitor Analysis
Steps in the competitors’ objectives
Process: Identifying competitors’
Identifying  Strategic groups
Competitors Assessing competitors’
Assessing strengths and
Competitors weaknesses
 Benchmarking
Selecting Estimating competitors’
Competitors to reactions
Attack or Avoid
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Competitor Analysis
Strong or weak
Steps in the competitors
Process:  Customer value analysis
Close or distant
Identifying competitors
Competitors  Most companies compete
against close competitors
“Good” or “Bad”
Competitors competitors
Selecting  The existence of
Competitors to competitors offers several
strategic benefits
Attack or Avoid
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Competitive Strategies
Basic Winning Competitive
Strategies: Porter
 Overall cost leadership
 Lowest production and
distribution costs
 Differentiation
 Creating a highly
differentiated product line
and marketing program
 Focus
 Effort is focused on serving
a few market segments
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Competitive Strategies

Basic Competitive Strategies:

Value Disciplines
 Operational excellence
 Superior value via price and convenience
 Customer intimacy
 Superior value by means of building strong
relationships with buyers and satisfying
 Product leadership
 Superior value via product innovation

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Market Structure

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Competitive Strategy
Expanding the total
Competitive demand
Positions  Finding new users
 Discovering and
promoting new product
Market Leader uses
 Encouraging greater
Market product usage
Challenger Protecting market share
 Many considerations
Market  Continuous innovation
Follower Expanding market share
 Profitability rises with
Market Nicher market share

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Competitive Strategy

WD-40 has a knack

for developing new
uses for its product.
What other brands
have adopted a
similar strategy?


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Competitive Strategy
Option 1: challenge the
Competitive market leader
Positions  High-risk but high-gain
 Sustainable competitive
Market Leader advantage over the leader
is key to success
Market Option 2: challenge firms
Challenger of the same size, smaller
size or challenge
Market regional or local firms
Follower Full frontal vs. indirect
Market Nicher
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Pepsi is an
example of
that has
chosen to use
a full frontal

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Competitive Strategy
Competitive Follow the market
Positions leader
 Focus is on improving
profit instead of
Market Leader market share
Market  Many advantages:
Challenger  Learn from the
market leader’s
Market experience
Follower  Copy or improve on
the leader’s offerings
Market Nicher  Strong profitability

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Competitive Strategy
Competitive Serving market
niches means
Positions targeting
Market Leader Good strategy for
Market small firms with
limited resources
Offers high margins
Market Specialization is key
Follower  By market, customer,
product, or marketing
Market Nicher mix lines
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Balancing Customer and
Competitor Orientations

Companies can become so

competitor centered that they
lose their customer focus.
Types of companies:
 Competitor-centered companies
 Customer-centered companies
 Market-centered companies

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Competitive Rivalry
number of competitors
rate of industry growth
intermittent industry overcapacity
exit barriers
diversity of competitors
informational complexity and
brand equity
fixed cost allocation per value added
level of advertising expense
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Supplier Power
supplier switching costs relative to
firm switching costs
degree of differentiation of inputs
presence of substitute inputs
supplier concentration to firm
concentration ratio
threat of forward integration by
suppliers relative to the threat of
backward integration by firms
cost of inputs relative to selling price
of the product

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Buyer Power
buyer concentration to firm concentration
bargaining leverage
buyer volume
buyer switching costs relative to firm
switching costs
buyer information availability
ability to backward integrate
availability of existing substitute products
buyer price sensitivity
price of total purchase

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