Competitive Analysis. {Analyze three competitors}

A good competitive analysis is a scouting report of the actual market terrain the industry itself must navigate in order to be successful. Competitive analysis is a tool utilized in the strategic planning process to:

• Help management understand their competitive advantages/disadvantages relative to competitors

• Generate understanding of competitors’ past, present (and most importantly) future strategies

• Provide an informed basis to develop strategies to achieve competitive advantage in the future

• Forecast the returns that may be made from future investments

You may want to select your MAP industry or area of interest for this assignment but it is not required if you are still developing the focus of your MAP. Then prepare a competitive analysis of three of the largest competitors in the industry you are analyzing (or those that are of interest to you).Thoroughly research these competitors within the industry representing the following topics:

  1. Executive summary – High-level overview of the paper; this would be read by a busy executive to determine interest in the report and its findings. (One-page).
  2. Industry overview and description – Financial data, revenue size, number of competitors, industry leaders, etc. (Provide key industry stats based on IBIS or Hoover’s information (other sources are available as well). This can be a chart.
  3. Factors which drive this industry in regards to growth and innovation –Environmental Scan, social, legal, regulatory, demographic, etc. Also provide a SWOT of the three competitors in grid format. Consider how you would relate Blue Ocean Strategy to the three competitors and include an analysis utilizing Porter’s Five Forces.
  4. Analysis of top three competitors – Company financial data, major lines of business and potential divisions of interest, positioning, market share, branding, target market, company overview, products, revenue, HQ, employees, positioning, financial overview, points of differentiation, critical success factors, etc. This can be done as a grid if appropriate in total or in sections. Summarize section by answering the following questions:
    • How do the companies stand up to the competition?
    • What are the competitive edges of each?
    • What does each do better than its competition?
    • Where might each competitor be vulnerable?
    • What is the major watch out for each competitor?
    • How so, if not – what are the vulnerabilities?
    • What are the market strategies utilized by each to achieve their objectives?
  5. Industry Future (this is your higher level analysis of the ‘industry facts’). What factors will impact the success or decline of this industry over the next three years? Where do you see the competitors in three years and how will the industry itself change? What recommendations would you have for each competitor based on what you have researched? This section should demonstrate how well you have synthesized the information and your analysis. This section should be two pages in length and supported by your research.
  6. Conclusion – your final thoughts on this industry. Would you recommend it as an industry to invest over the next three years? (Section 5 & 6 needs to be at least two pages – three pages with support).

This paper requires solid research using credible secondary sources citing 5 – 8 credible references sources including IBIS. The annual reports and web pages of the specific competitors should be used for foundational information but present a potential biased perspective of the company. Therefore, they should not be used for support throughout the paper itself. The final paper should be approximately eight to ten pages plus references and exhibits. Paper MUST be in APA format with a Cover page, Table of Contents, Reference page and any applicable appendices. NOTE: Section 5 and Section 6 should represent a robust analysis from your background related to the stats in Sections 1-2-3-4. This is where you really drill into the analysis!

(Note: Wikipedia is not considered an academic resource – applies to all papers).

Students demonstrate Critical Thinking when they:

SLOs

Exemplary

Accomplished

Developing

Beginning

Identify the Issue and/or Problem

Student identifies not only the basics of the problem/issue, but recognizes the nuances of the issue. Student can analyze connections between related problems/issues.

Student identifies not only the basics of the problem/issue, but recognizes the nuances of the issue.

Student is able to articulate the basics of the problem/issue.

Student does not identify and summarize the problem/issue, is confused or identifies a different and/or inappropriate problem/issue.

Articulate Multiple Perspectives and/or

Solutions

Student clearly articulates and evaluates personal and alternative points of view; student develops additional and/or more nuanced alternative points of view.

Student clearly articulates and evaluates personal and common alternative points of view.

Student clearly articulates personal perspective and superficially describes common alternative points of view.

Student is able to articulate a single/personal perspective on the problem/issue.

Identify and Assess Key Assumptions

Student identifies and assesses validity of key assumptions and addresses the dimensions (such as, ethical, political, social, psychological, or legal) that underlie the key assumptions.

Student identifies and assesses validity of key assumptions.

Student identifies key assumptions but does not assess their validity.

Student has difficulty recognizing key assumptions.

Identify and Assess Data and Evidence

Student conducts a thorough examination the evidence and source of evidence; evaluating its accuracy, precision, relevance and completeness. Student is able to deduce cause and effect appropriately from data/evidence and to address existing or potential consequences.
Clearly distinguishes between fact, opinion and value judgments.
Student follows where the evidence leads without bias.

Student conducts a basic examination the evidence and source of evidence; evaluating its accuracy, precision, relevance and completeness. Student is able to deduce cause and effect appropriately from data/evidence and to address existing or potential consequences.
Student clearly distinguishes between fact, opinion and value judgments.

Student recognizes the need to examine the data/evidence, but incompletely examines its accuracy, precision, relevance and completeness.
Student is mostly able to deduce cause and effect appropriately from data/evidence. Student struggles to distinguish between fact, opinion, and value judgments.

Student takes information provided as truth or denies data/evidence without adequate justification. Student confuses data correlations with cause and effect. Student does not distinguish between fact, opinion, and value judgments.

Synthesize Conclusions, Implications, and Consequences

Clearly identifies conclusions, implication and consequences considering context assumptions, data and evidence. Also includes reflections upon own assertions.

Clearly identifies conclusions, implication and consequences considering context assumptions, data and evidence.

Incompletely or incorrectly identifies conclusions, implications and consequences of the problem/issue or the key relationships between other elements.

Fails to identify conclusions, implications and consequences of the problem/issue or the key relationships between other elements.

Class discussion topics: This week will focus on competitive strategies. Examine different businesses’ strategies. How do these affect the competitive positioning? Emphasize the use of marketing to execute business strategies. As we continue to look for relevancy consider one thing you learned this week that you can apply at work

Some thoughts to consider from Porter’s Five Forces include:

    • Discuss the importance of non-customers. What are the implications?
      • First tier – on the edge and waiting to jump ship
      • Second tier – refuse to buy
      • Third tier – in distant markets
    • Ponder yourself as a customer. Discuss Porter’s implications in marketing strategy.
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