Defining a competitor’s business - Strategic Management

Some businesses think it is best to get on with their own plans and ignore the competition. Others become obsessed with tracking the actions of competitors (often using underhand or illegal methods). Many businesses are happy simply to track the competition, copying their moves and reacting to changes.

Competitor analysis has several important roles in strategic planning:

  1. To help management understand their competitive advantages/disadvantages relative to competitors
  2. To generate understanding of competitors’ past, present (and most importantly) future strategies
  3. To provide an informed basis to develop strategies to achieve competitive advantage in the future
  4. To help forecast the returns that may be made from future investments (e.g. how will competitors respond to a new product or pricing strategy?

Figure shows some of the actual charts that we made, although I have taken off the names. These made us realise the considerable difference in focus of business that we had seen as roughly comparable to ourselves. Some, although of high standing and quality, do not really compete with us at all, although we still monitor them because they may change!

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