What Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods Says About Competitive Strategy

Posted by Ken Sawka

Jun 27, 2017 12:42:59 PM

There are countless ways to look at the implications of Amazon’s proposed $13.7 billion takeover of Whole Foods, that it’s the latest salvo in the battle between Amazon and Walmart to be the one place where everyone shops for everything,  that it’s a disruption to the supply chain model in the grocery business, or that it’s nothing more than a marriage of convenience to save Whole Foods from the ire of its activist shareholders.

But, for competitive strategists, there’s really only one question to ask: how does this deal affect the competitive intensity in my industry? 

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

Six Reasons Why CVS Health Should Acquire Aetna … Soon

Posted by Tarun Mehra

Jun 21, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Should CVS consider acquiring a health plan? If yes, then which one? With a market-cap of about $80 billion and an impressive portfolio of assets across retail and pharmacy, why would it make sense for CVS to include a health plan in its portfolio?

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Topics: Brand Insights, Healthcare, Merger and Acquisition, Competitive Strategy

Walmart Takes Advantage of the Commute Home with New Delivery System

Posted by Ken Sawka

Jun 13, 2017 1:06:29 PM

Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, is not likely to appear on one of those “ten best places to work” lists anytime soon. It has a reputation for paying very low wages, and has been targeted by activists for alleged unfair work practices.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Competitive Strategy

The Ascent of Amazon: From Books to…Pills?

Posted by Tanya Chotibut

May 31, 2017 11:29:37 AM

Amazon recently reached its 20th anniversary this May and in celebration of this momentous occasion, it was reported that it had intentions of delving into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market. Of course, this is not the first time the $450 billion company has taken another industry head-on. For instance, Amazon Web Services produced more than $13 billion in revenue over the past year and has grown to be a primary player in the dynamic cloud-computing market. The company has also successfully scaled the apparel and fashion peak while Macy’s and JCPenney struggle to compete. Amazon even went face-to-face with the formidable Netflix in media streaming and walked away with an Oscar. Originally a site only for books, Amazon has quickly shown its prowess for all things, from books and CDs to clothing and food, from streaming media to delivery drones; it would truly seem that anything Amazon has set its sight on, it has conquered and the pharmacy space most likely won’t be an exception. Or will it?

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, New Market Entry

The Importance of Brand Awareness in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Posted by Neha Suri

May 10, 2017 10:15:38 AM

Co-Written by Karl Varkey

Today’s reality for pharmaceutical companies is anything but care free. Competition from the generics market continues to rise, the FDA’s approvals of new drugs has declined, and resolution of the debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act is uncertain. Additionally, the new administration has called for pricing restraints. This is certainly enough to cause angst among the most experienced pharmaceutical executives.

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Topics: Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Pharma, Competitive Strategy

Competitive Chess with Cheese

Posted by Tess Fagan

Apr 25, 2017 10:25:27 AM

There’s a savage war going on at your local deli counter. Shelf space at America’s deli counters is the newest casualty of a cutthroat retail brand battle in today’s supermarkets. Deeply entrenched and beloved brands like Boar’s Head and Land O’Lakes are silently duking it out in a fight over who reigns supreme in the deli section. The result to the winner is likely to be increased revenue; for the shopper this is a race to the bottom, and we should anticipate less choice and increased prices.

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

Future Trends for Competing in the Furniture Industry

Posted by Fuld + Company

Dec 5, 2016 1:51:32 PM

The $96 billion U.S. furniture industry is in a tumultuous state, driven by changing consumer preferences and buying behavior, digital disruption, pricing pressures, multi-channel retail options, new online players, and the role of social media.

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

Strategy for When Satisfied Customers Don’t Come Back

Posted by Christopher Dent

Oct 21, 2016 9:14:53 AM

A month ago, my wife and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. As we celebrated, I thought back to the autumn of 2007 when we first met.

I was a single 20-something professional, less than a year removed from active duty in the Marine Corps and anticipating settling down and starting a family. Having tried the “bar scene” to no avail, I decided to join eHarmony. Six months later, having met my beautiful wife and extremely happy with the outcome of my time on the site, I closed my account.

As I reminisced, I glanced at the pile of magazines sitting on the coffee table. I wondered: how does a company like eHarmony stay in business when a successful outcome means its clients never need it again, as opposed to other businesses (like periodicals) where the value proposition is ongoing?

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Technology/Telecomm, Competitive Strategy

Social Media Has Changed the Trajectory of Corporate Scandals

Posted by Christopher Dent

Sep 28, 2016 10:24:56 AM

There is an old rule of thumb that for every letter a congressman receives, there are 50 people thinking the same thing who didn’t pick up a pen. For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 others remain silent (and buy your competitor’s product instead).

How many people does a Facebook comment represent? What about a like or a share?

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Topics: Brand Insights, Manufacturing/Industrial, Competitive Strategy

Is Amazon Becoming a Bank?

Posted by Ken Sawka

Aug 23, 2016 3:54:49 PM

UPDATE: Wells Fargo and Amazon ended their partnership on 08/31/2016 with minimal comment. The partnership fell under criticism from consumer advocates and organizations promoting affordable education.

Last month, Amazon.com entered the student loan business in a partnership with Wells Fargo, offering lower rates for student loans to Amazon customers who subscribe to the online retailer’s Prime Student service.  Wells Fargo will cut half a percentage point from its interest rate on student loans to Amazon Prime Student members, who also get benefits such as free two-day shipping and access to movies, TV shows, and online photo storage.

Does this deal signal what many have felt is the inevitable entry of technology companies into the financial services industry, or is it a convenient and mutually beneficial partnership between two companies with common interests?

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Topics: Brand Insights, Financial Services, Market Analysis, Competitive Strategy

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