Competitor Analysis – 4 Types of Competitors.Non-price competition – Wikipedia

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Some of the key factors that have helped Nike build a strong reputation and create a differentiated brand image include product quality, innovation, customer experience and a strong focus on marketing. Over the past few years, Nike has been strategically investing in digital technology to strengthen its competitive advantage and cement its market position.

As the battle for market share among the sports shoes and apparel brands has grown fiercer, Nike has grown its focus on innovation, customer experience, marketing and quality. Nike is facing strong competition from several rivals including brands making only athleisure products or sports apparel apart from the direct competitors that make sports shoes for various sports activities.

However its competitive edge has continued to improve as the company is investing more in technology and customer engagement. In this post, we will discuss the main rivals of Nike and their competitive position with respect to Nike.

Adidas is also among the leading sports shoes and apparel brands. Adidas offers a large range of products including sports shoes, apparel and equipment.

Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second largest in the world after Nike. Puma is also among the leading names in the world of sportswear and one of the leading rivals of Nike.

The company focuses heavily on product quality and innovation to maintain its market position and competitive edge. The brand makes and sells a nice range of fitness, running, and crossfit sportswear, including clothes and shoes. Apart from sports shoes and accessories, the company sells clothes like T-shirts, hoodies and pants.

Reebok was previously a part of Adidas AG. It is a highly popular brand of sports shoes, apparel and accessories and a leading rival of Nike. Under Armour is among the leading names in the sports shoe industry. Under Armour makes and sells branded footwear, performance apparel and accessories for men, women, and youth. Under Armour also makes and sells apparel and shoes for different climatic conditions.

For example, it makes different products for people living in cold and hot environmental conditions. However, while Nike generates most of its net revenues from the sales of sports shoes, the largest category of Under Armour products based on net revenues is performance apparel.

The focus of Under Armour is on innovation and product quality. Ne w Balance is also one of the renowned brands of sports shoes and apparel and one of the leading competitors of Nike in the United States.

Based in America, New Balance is a sportswear, footwear, and apparel brand that was founded in Apart from that, it also makes and sells apparel including bottoms, jackets and vests, hoodies and sweatshirts, shirts, pants, tank tops and apparel for various sports activities. New Balance has established a strong position in the US, where it is among the main competitors of Nike.

Columbia Sportswear is also one of the well known names in the world of sports shoes and apparel. The focus of Columbia Sportswear is on developing special technologies and products for outdoor activities. Columbia Sportswear makes and sells products including sportswear, gear and equipment designed for various outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, skiing, travelling and other outdoor activities.

Columbia has continued to improve its product portfolio and the technologies it uses for production. Just as the leading brands like Nike and Adidas, it has also outsourced most of its production to external suppliers. It has developed special technologies and design philosophies with the potential to revolutionize the world of sports. While Nike is the overall market leader in the sports shoes and apparel industry, ASICS is among the leading manufacturers of athletic and running shoes.

Athleta is a brand of athletic apparel owned by Gap Inc. The brand offers active, sustainable and technical apparel to help girls and women follow a more active and healthy lifestyle. Athleta makes and sells apparel for various activities including running, yoga, sports, travel and other health related activities for women. Lululemon has also acquired a lot of fame as a leading athletic apparel company. Now, it sells apparel for both men and women and targets customers who like living an active and healthy lifestyle.

It designs and sells products that are especially made for healthy activities like yoga, running and workout. It has developed a special raw material called Luon, which it uses as the fabric for making Lululemon clothes. Lululemon also acquired Mirror, a special platform with more than 10, workouts to help its customers follow a healthier lifestyle and workout at home.

Mirror is like a large screen that can be fitted in your living room and can be used to learn from professionals. Lululemon also depends on external suppliers for production. Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since He graduated with a Hons. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

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From Competitive Advantage to Corporate Strategy


The corporation acquires sound, attractive companies with competent managers who agree to stay on. While acquired units do not have to be in the same industries as existing units, the best portfolio managers generally limit their range of businesses in some way, in part to limit the specific expertise needed by top management.

The acquired units are autonomous, and the teams that run them are compensated according to the unit results. The corporation supplies capital and works with each to infuse it with professional management techniques. At the same time, top management provides objective and dispassionate review of business unit results.

Portfolio managers categorize units by potential and regularly transfer resources from units that generate cash to those with high potential and cash needs. In a portfolio strategy, the corporation seeks to create shareholder value in a number of ways. It uses its expertise and analytical resources to spot attractive acquisition candidates that the individual shareholder could not.

The company provides capital on favorable terms that reflect corporatewide fundraising ability. It introduces professional management skills and discipline. Finally, it provides high-quality review and coaching, unencumbered by conventional wisdom or emotional attachments to the business.

The logic of the portfolio management concept rests on a number of vital assumptions. Acquired companies must be truly undervalued because the parent does little for the new unit once it is acquired.

To meet the better-off test, the benefits the corporation provides must yield a significant competitive advantage to acquired units. The style of operating through highly autonomous business units must both develop sound business strategies and motivate managers. In most countries, the days when portfolio management was a valid concept of corporate strategy are past. Other benefits have also eroded. Large companies no longer corner the market for professional management skills; in fact, more and more observers believe managers cannot necessarily run anything in the absence of industry-specific knowledge and experience.

Another supposed advantage of the portfolio management concept—dispassionate review—rests on similarly shaky ground since the added value of review alone is questionable in a portfolio of sound companies. The benefit of giving business units complete autonomy is also questionable. Setting strategies of units independently may well undermine unit performance.

The companies in my sample that have succeeded in diversification have recognized the value of interrelationships and understood that a strong sense of corporate identity is as important as slavish adherence to parochial business unit financial results. But it is the sheer complexity of the management task that has ultimately defeated even the best portfolio managers. As the size of the company grows, portfolio managers need to find more and more deals just to maintain growth.

Supervising dozens or even hundreds of disparate units and under chain-letter pressures to add more, management begins to make mistakes. Eventually, a new management team is installed that initiates wholesale divestments and pares down the company to its core businesses. Reflecting these realities, the U. In developing countries, where large companies are few, capital markets are undeveloped, and professional management is scarce, portfolio management still works. But it is no longer a valid model for corporate strategy in advanced economies.

Nevertheless, the technique is in the limelight today in the United Kingdom, where it is supported so far by a newly energized stock market eager for excitement.

But this enthusiasm will wane—as well it should. Portfolio management is no way to conduct corporate strategy.

Unlike its passive role as a portfolio manager, when it serves as banker and reviewer, a company that bases its strategy on restructuring becomes an active restructurer of business units. The new businesses are not necessarily related to existing units. All that is necessary is unrealized potential. The restructuring strategy seeks out undeveloped, sick, or threatened organizations or industries on the threshold of significant change. The parent intervenes, frequently changing the unit management team, shifting strategy, or infusing the company with new technology.

Then it may make follow-up acquisitions to build a critical mass and sell off unneeded or unconnected parts and thereby reduce the effective acquisition cost. The result is a strengthened company or a transformed industry. As a coda, the parent sells off the stronger unit once results are clear because the parent is no longer adding value and top management decides that its attention should be directed elsewhere.

A conglomerate with units in many industries, Hanson might seem on the surface a portfolio manager. In fact, Hanson and one or two other conglomerates have a much more effective corporate strategy. Although a mature company suffering from low growth, the typical Hanson target is not just in any industry; it has an attractive structure. Its customer and supplier power is low and rivalry with competitors moderate.

The target is a market leader, rich in assets but formerly poor in management. Hanson pays little of the present value of future cash flow out in an acquisition premium and reduces purchase price even further by aggressively selling off businesses that it cannot improve.

In this way, it recoups just over a third of the cost of a typical acquisition during the first six months of ownership. Like the best restructurers, Hanson approaches each unit with a modus operandi that it has perfected through repetition. Hanson emphasizes low costs and tight financial controls. To reinforce its strategy of keeping costs low, Hanson carves out detailed one-year financial budgets with divisional managers and through generous use of performance-related bonuses and share option schemes gives them incentive to deliver the goods.

If it succumbs to the allure of bigness, Hanson may take the course of the failed U. When well implemented, the restructuring concept is sound, for it passes the three tests of successful diversification. The restructurer meets the cost-of-entry test through the types of company it acquires. It limits acquisition premiums by buying companies with problems and lackluster images or by buying into industries with as yet unforeseen potential.

Intervention by the corporation clearly meets the better-off test. Provided that the target industries are structurally attractive, the restructuring model can create enormous shareholder value.

To work, the restructuring strategy requires a corporate management team with the insight to spot undervalued companies or positions in industries ripe for transformation. The same insight is necessary to actually turn the units around even though they are in new and unfamiliar businesses.

These requirements expose the restructurer to considerable risk and usually limit the time in which the company can succeed at the strategy. The most skillful proponents understand this problem, recognize their mistakes, and move decisively to dispose of them. The best companies realize they are not just acquiring companies but restructuring an industry. Unless they can integrate the acquisitions to create a whole new strategic position, they are just portfolio managers in disguise. Another important difficulty surfaces if so many other companies join the action that they deplete the pool of suitable candidates and bid their prices up.

Perhaps the greatest pitfall, however, is that companies find it very hard to dispose of business units once they are restructured and performing well. Human nature fights economic rationale. Size supplants shareholder value as the corporate goal. The company does not sell a unit even though the company no longer adds value to the unit. While the transformed units would be better off in another company that had related businesses, the restructuring company instead retains them.

Gradually, it becomes a portfolio manager. The perceived need to keep growing intensifies the pace of acquisition; errors result and standards fall. The restructuring company turns into a conglomerate with returns that only equal the average of all industries at best.

The last two concepts exploit the interrelationships between businesses. In articulating them, however, one comes face-to-face with the often ill-defined concept of synergy. If you believe the text of the countless corporate annual reports, just about anything is related to just about anything else! But imagined synergy is much more common than real synergy. Such corporate relatedness is an ex post facto rationalization of a diversification undertaken for other reasons.

Even synergy that is clearly defined often fails to materialize. Instead of cooperating, business units often compete. A company that can define the synergies it is pursuing still faces significant organizational impediments in achieving them.

But the need to capture the benefits of relationships between businesses has never been more important. Technological and competitive developments already link many businesses and are creating new possibilities for competitive advantage.

In such sectors as financial services, computing, office equipment, entertainment, and health care, interrelationships among previously distinct businesses are perhaps the central concern of strategy.

To understand the role of relatedness in corporate strategy, we must give new meaning to this ill-defined idea. I have identified a good way to start—the value chain. I call them value activities. It is at this level, not in the company as a whole, that the unit achieves competitive advantage. I group these activities in nine categories.

Primary activities create the product or service, deliver and market it, and provide after-sale support. The categories of primary activities include inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service.

Support activities provide the inputs and infrastructure that allow the primary activities to take place. The categories are company infrastructure, human resource management, technology development, and procurement. The value chain defines the two types of interrelationships that may create synergy.

The second is the ability to share activities. Two business units, for example, can share the same sales force or logistics network. The value chain helps expose the last two and most important concepts of corporate strategy.

The transfer of skills among business units in the diversified company is the basis for one concept. While each business unit has a separate value chain, knowledge about how to perform activities is transferred among the units.

For example, a toiletries business unit, expert in the marketing of convenience products, transmits ideas on new positioning concepts, promotional techniques, and packaging possibilities to a newly acquired unit that sells cough syrup. Newly entered industries can benefit from the expertise of existing units and vice versa.

These opportunities arise when business units have similar buyers or channels, similar value activities like government relations or procurement, similarities in the broad configuration of the value chain for example, managing a multisite service organization , or the same strategic concept for example, low cost. Even though the units operate separately, such similarities allow the sharing of knowledge.

Of course, some similarities are common; one can imagine them at some level between almost any pair of businesses. Countless companies have fallen into the trap of diversifying too readily because of similarities; mere similarity is not enough. It will still strive to lower costs or add value. The difference here is that a firm choosing to implement a focused strategy will concentrate its marketing and selling efforts on a smaller market than a broad cost leader or differentiator.

A firm following a focus-differentiation strategy, for example, will add value to its product or service that a few customers will value highly, either because the product is specifically suited to a particular use or because it is a luxury product that few can afford.

For example, Flux is a company that offers custom-made bindings for your snowboard. Flux is a focus differentiator because it makes a specialized product that is valued by a small market of customers who are willing to pay premium prices for high-quality, customized snowboarding equipment. Strategic Groups When managers analyze their competitive environment and examine rivalry within their industry, they are not confronted by an infinite variety of competitors.

Although there are millions of businesses of all sizes around the globe, a single business usually competes mainly against other businesses offering similar products or services and following the same generic competitive strategy.

Groups of businesses that follow similar strategies in the same industry are called strategic groups , and it is important that a manager know the other firms in their strategic group. Although some cross competition can occur for example, you could buy a Kate Spade wallet at Nordstrom , firms in different strategic groups tend to compete more with each other than against firms outside their group. Although Walmart and Neiman Marcus both offer a wide variety of products, the two firms do not cater to the same customers, and their managers do not lose sleep at night wondering what each might do next.

Competition is the battle for customers. Firms compete against rivals offering similar products and services and try to attract customers by making sure their product or service is a little better or less expensive than those of their competitors.

The firm that is most successful in this battle, measured in terms of profitability or in terms of market share, has a competitive advantage. Generic competitive strategies are the basic templates for organizing firm activities in order to achieve competitive advantage in an industry.

There are two main branches of non-price competition. This is where firms branch out to create new avenues for themselves to remain competitive in a market where prices are rather sticky. Product differentiation allows for a firm to establish its products from its competitors to win over a greater market share. The more different the products of rival firms are, the lower the cross effects between their markets with regards to both non-price and price variables.

However, such product differentiation measures may result in significantly higher overhead costs. Promotion can be considered an umbrella term to include all advertising, branding, public relations and packaging. This strategy includes all aspects of non-price strategies to continuously capture market attention.

Advertising is divided into two categories:. Advertising mediums can be designed specifically to meet with the expectations of consumers as well as the size of the market.

Firms aim on reaching as high targets as possible by making use of the network effects of advertising. Promotional means depend on a number of factors such as the nicheness of the market, and allocated promotional budgets.

There are many ways of how firms can engage in non-price competition to increase their market share and retain their customer base. The few of the more important and common examples of non-price competition are as follows. Most firms offer out loyalty cards in order to capture market attention and retain customers.

Loyalty cards are a form of differentiation where customers are given incentives to purchase from that specific firm. Big firms such as Amazon has been successful in offering AmazonPrime delivery in order to provide free delivery for their customers, with a paid subscription. This would give customers an incentive to purchase more because of the waived delivery fee.

This works especially well for customers who are regular online shoppers. Supermarkets such as Tesco and Costco are offering delivery services worldwide as well, to cater for their international customer bases. Firms with unique selling points are a result of focused differentiation because products are customized to consumer preferences.

For instance, food companies now engage in promoting health foods which cater to healthy-living which has become a norm nowadays. Such products can have gluten-free options, sugar-free options and even low-carb alternatives. Some unique selling points might also be a result of good packaging that aim to capture consumer attention.

Many large companies rely on positive reviews from previous customers in order to gain positive feedback from others. After-sales service is crucial for the reputation and brand loyalty of the firm.

In order to retain customers, they would have to provide great after-sales service so customers would be able to return and obtain the services they demand. Examples are such like Apple Care offering warranty and also proper services to repair the purchased devices. Many economists wonder about the literature on non-price competition whether positive profits accruing to the members of an oligopolistic group of firms, which may be pushed to zero by competitive price undercutting, can also be competed away by advertising or other non-price activities.

This also comes to the question regarding successful or unsuccessful product differentiation among competitors. Pinterest has combined the best experiences from offline shopping and made it digital and accessible. More than million monthly active users come to the platform to browse in search of inspiration which can be easily turned into a purchase. While Amazon lets shoppers buy the product they know they want, Pinterest allows them to discover what it is exactly they want exactly.

It now comes as a bundle with Prime Video with the rest of the Prime services to make an outstanding value. Netflix is, by far, the most popular on-demand streaming service in the world. Netflix, however, appeals to the public with its unbeatable device compatibility and rapid addition of the latest titles to the library. While Amazon also has an impressive library, most of its content is older and less popular than the shiny blockbusters present on Netflix, to which the latter owes its success.

It has established a profitable strategy of partnering up with local TV, internet, and even cellular service providers, thus generating more contract-based subscriptions. Last but not least, when it comes to the main Amazon competitors, there are niche eCommerce vendors.

It was estimated that there are between 12 million to 24 million eCommerce sites around the globe as of the end of Of course, not all of them have a chance against the global giants like Amazon or eBay, but they are growing nonetheless. Thanks to dedicated eCommerce solutions like Shopify, any business can grow on its own without having to pay commission to the intermediary.

And that in itself is a huge win for the SMB sector. How does Amazon differentiate itself from competitors? By doing everything bigger and better than everyone else. So how do Amazon competitors survive? Instead, they set up on ground where Amazon is not as strong or determined to take over. In fact, our advice would be to try and make it on your own before turning to Amazon for support. After all, we live during times when small businesses can finally enjoy their place under the online sun.

December 21, 12 min.


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