The readings for this week point to a similar conclusion: while Porter’s five forces remain foundational in understanding the role of competition in strategy development, they must be augmented by a consideration of global trends and a closer examination of competitors in terms of positioning, strengths and weaknesses, and “the aggression factor” (Competitor Analysis: Understand Your Opponents). Companies can then take advantage of the industry environment and global landscape through innovation.
The majority of the articles for this week acknowledge the rise of emerging economies and demonstrate how this rise can give way to opportunity, such as the case with Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Kraft. This rise can also present threats in the form of low-cost innovations. Experts warn that if companies like L’Occitane and Caterpillar do not give adequate weight to the threat posed by low-price competitors, they could risk losing market share.
In looking beyond these our class readings, I have found the following companies that have demonstrated an awareness of trends and competitors in developing their business strategy:
Coca-Cola has clearly branded itself to appeal to emerging markets and has developed a marketing strategy that is country and culture specific. This business has also embraced employees as “knowledge workers,” term mentioned frequently in this week’s readings. This term conceptualizes workers not as traditional desk-bound, labor-oriented hands, but rather as mobile, knowledge-focused, communicative, technology-aware employees. The articles this week emphasize how businesses like Coca-Cola can develop knowledge workers to successfully competing in an increasing global, technology-driven external environment.
Honda acknowledges global trends in developing their 10-year strategy, recognizing a shift to smaller cars. In addition, their approach shows the pursuit of both emerging and developed markets, revealing that these approaches are not mutually exclusive.
On one hand, there are other companies that have successfully employed strategy with sufficient consideration of competitors and changing markets.
1.) What other companies do you feel have been particular sensitive to the external competitive environment and used it to their advantage?
On the other hand, there are also those companies whose short-sightedness has undermined their long-term strategy.
2.)Which companies have employed a strategy that you feel did not adequately take into account competitive trends?
Thanks for your input and for your consideration of these questions.