Competition Perspectives


"Use Subtle Strategy in Tough Markets"

A hostile market operates differently than a market with "normal" competitive conditions. But as difficult as a tough market can be, it can also present an astute management team with an unusual opportunity.


"Is Bigger Really Better?"

In the average large industry, the market share leader is only slightly more likely to lead the industry than is any one of the next three competitors in the industry. Market share leaders often fail to become return leaders because they serve some customers who yield low returns and rely on size alone to create economies of scale.


"Building On Customer Volatility"

In one crucial respect, hostile markets are actually more stable then non-hostile markets. During market hostility, share shift slows.


"Rare Mettle: Gold and Silver Strategies to Succeed in Hostile Markets"

Managements of winning companies have common themes for success in hostile markets. They each follow five basic themes. While virtually all successful companies are aware of these themes, their implementation differs according to their market position at the onset of hostility.


"Staying Alive in a Hostile Marketplace"

A few companies survive and even prosper during periods of hostility. How do these companies avoid being the victims of tough market conditions?


"Hostility in a Differentiated Market"

A bottle of wine is surely a differentiated product. Nevertheless, the table wine industry underwent the same economic traumas faced by more traditional industries.


"How the Auto Rental Market Became Hostile"

The auto rental market, during the '80s, illustrates a typical trip into hostility.


"Failure Shifts More Share Than Success"

For a company trying to gain share in a mature market, nothing succeeds like failure – the failure of a competitor.


"Success Under Fire: Policies to Prosper in Hostile Times"

A hostile market evolves through six predictable phases. Most companies fail, withdraw or become acquisitions before this evolution is complete. They fail because their management policies were not effective. The few who survive and prosper do so by making decisions that follow two rules: attract customers and discourage competition. Losers lose by not following the second rule.


"The Real Reason Market Share Matters"

Market share does count, but for more than the reasons thought previously.


"Overcapacity: Threat or Opportunity?"

Overcapacity is a problem that occurs in service, as well as manufacturing industries. When it strikes, the problem affects most functions in a company, and astute managements in a wide range of industries have found common formulas to outperform competition in markets with overcapacity.


"The Commoditization of Scale"

Scale is a commodity traded every day on the stock exchange. Scale alone no longer guarantees a company an advantage in the market place.


"The Rust Belt Revival"

The revival of the U.S. Rust Belt in the late 1980's holds lessons for companies who would prosper in hostile marketplaces.


"The Two Best Consultants in the World"

The two best consultants in the world are a company's customers and its competition. The customer informs a company about the value of its product. The competitor is an authority on the company's cost. Neither consultant is ever wrong.


"If Whitey Ford Ran My Company"

A well-managed company succeeds the same way that Whitey Ford won all of those games. Neither a pitcher nor a company can stay in the game long without the basic elements working together.