Ken Sawka

Recent Posts

Starbucks Customer Loyalty Program: It's Not You, It's Us

Posted by Ken Sawka on Feb 25, 2016 12:30:11 PM

Starbucks recently announced changes to its popular customer rewards program My Starbucks Rewards (soon to be known as simply Starbucks Rewards).  As a loyal Starbucks customer, I received the email announcing these changes, which informed me that starting in April, I’ll earn two “stars” for every dollar I spend on coffee, food, drinks, mugs, and more.  Starbucks even provided a handy table so that I could compare the old rewards program with the new:

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Topics: Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Competitive Strategy

Dell Acquires EMC: Heavy Clouds, No Rain

Posted by Ken Sawka on Oct 27, 2015 12:06:53 PM


On October 12, Dell announced its plans to acquire EMC Corporation for $67 billion
, the largest technology industry deal to date, a deal clearly intended to bolster Dell’s ability to compete in the increasingly lucrative corporate data center market. This move follows HP’s split into two organizations which itself was engineered to free HP’s enterprise business from the low-margin shackles of its consumer PC and printer business.  While the Dell-EMC deal will accelerate the transition of corporate data assets to the cloud, the new entity could face significant challenges that hamper its ability to make it rain. 

Our experience conducting war games for Global Fortune 100 companies and analyzing competition in enterprise IT has made it clear that the market is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Our analysis, conducted over an extensive period of time and involving a variety of players, demonstrates that this transformation is characterized by several confluent factors that the combined EMC-Dell will have to navigate to achieve success: 

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, War Games, Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Technology/Telecomm, Merger and Acquisition

What an Eight-Dollar Juice Can Tell Us About Competitive Strategy

Posted by Ken Sawka on Aug 6, 2015 9:54:00 AM

I bought a smoothie from a food truck today and found it to be a unique and highly rewarding experience. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “did Ken just wake up from a 20-year nap? Smoothies and food trucks aren’t exactly the latest craze, especially in Boston, where food trucks and smoothies are about as ubiquitous as Dunkin Donuts.” (OK, maybe not quite)

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Competitive Strategy

Healthcare Merger Mania Continues

Posted by Ken Sawka on Jul 29, 2015 11:55:01 AM

Anthem last week agreed to acquire Cigna for $48.3 billion, according to multiple press reports. The deal, if approved, would create the nation’s largest insurer in terms of enrollment, and reduce the number of large health insurers from five to three. Coming on the heels of the announced tie-up of Aetna and Humana – a $37 billion dollar transaction itself – the deal is almost certain to raise antitrust concerns.

AetnaHumanaMerger

The Risks and Drama of Merger Mania - Can We Learn from Experience?
By: Diane Borska

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Events, Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Pharma, Healthcare, Industry Convergence, Life Sciences, Merger and Acquisition

Dashing Through the Value Chain

Posted by Ken Sawka on May 4, 2015 12:48:00 PM

Amazon last month announced Dash – small push-button devices that uses the Amazon app on your smartphone to connect to your home wifi network and enable push-button ordering of 248 different popular products used throughout the home – laundry detergent, diapers, dog food, and granola bars, to name a few. Amazon markets this to its Prime customers as the ultimate consumer convenience. No more last minute runs to the store to re-stock toilet paper. Just push a button and, um, go about what you were doing.

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Topics: Consumer Goods, Value Chain Analysis, Innovation, Technology/Telecomm

Building Better Barriers

Posted by Ken Sawka on Feb 2, 2015 9:30:00 AM

I hopped into a Boston cab a couple of months ago and was greeted with a sticker facing me from the Plexiglas panel that separates passenger from driver. The sticker called on regulators to clamp down on the now ubiquitous Uber and Lyft drivers that ply the streets of our fair city and implored customers to eschew such services in favor of medallioned, and regulated, taxis.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Industry Convergence

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