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

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

Presenting the Obvious: A Strategic Interpretation of David Foster Wallace’s, "This is Water"

Posted by Robert Flynn

Jun 8, 2017 1:20:57 PM

It’s commencement season, a time of celebration and anticipation of what the future will bring. While attending graduations this weekend, I was reminded of the one speech that broke the mold; David Foster Wallace’s commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005, later published in book form in 2009 as This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Competitive Strategy, risk management

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

Upcoming Event: FGH Academy of Competitive Intelligence Certification Program Boston June 12-16, 2017

Posted by Fuld + Company

May 24, 2017 3:15:13 PM

Join Leonard Fuld, Dr. Ben Gilad, Ken Sawka and Dr. Helen Rothberg in Boston, MA for their core and advanced certification courses. Competitive intelligence is not collecting random information. It's developing a skilled view of competitive risks and opportunities.

Advanced and Core courses offered in June 2017. Core courses offered in June and October 2017.
June registration
 June 12-16

October registration October 23-26

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Events, FGH Academy of Competitive Intelligence, Fuld, Leonard

Restaurants are Using Digital Menus to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Posted by Ben Price

Apr 7, 2017 3:03:51 PM

The typical customer experience at restaurants is uninspiring. The order taker welcomes the patron. He or she may list off some specials then disappear, coming back only for transactional purposes like recording orders and dropping off food.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Travel/Hospitality, Competitive Strategy

Fake News and Competitive Strategy

Posted by Malini Solanki

Jan 3, 2017 1:54:02 PM

The diagnostic industry provides essential information for healthcare, and is driven by medical technology, the aging population, and the complexity of disease. One sector, the global blood testing market, in 2015 was valued at $51.5 billion and is expected to grow to $62.9 billion by 2024. Understanding how to craft strategy in this market is critical, given the funding required for new ventures, and it is nuanced, given the often unusual business practices that can be employed by one's competitors. 

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Pharma, Competitive Strategy

New Year's Resolutions for the Competitive Strategist

Posted by Ken Sawka

Dec 19, 2016 10:38:10 AM

As 2016 ends, few would argue that most businesses are in for a roller coaster ride in 2017.  The United States is set for a hard-right turn politically, the Brexit process is facing new uncertainties regarding its duration and manner, and accusations of Russian cyber espionage and China’s muscle-flexing in the Asia Pacific region foreshadow turbulence in international relations. Longer-term demographic shifts in developed and developing economies will continue to affect wealth patterns and create new consumption opportunities.  What are strategists to do?

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Competitive Strategy, Early Warning

Strategies for Surviving an Industry Downturn

Posted by Nathaniel Emmons

Dec 7, 2016 11:12:13 AM

Co-written by Diane Borska

In late October, GE announced that it is spinning off its oil and gas business and merging it with Baker Hughes, embarking on a strategy of convergence, expanding its offerings and therefore the potential revenue it can generate, to remain vibrant and viable in the current industry downturn. In 2014, GE Oil and Gas developed a business plan based on oil prices of approximately $100 per barrel, but by January 2016, oil prices plummeted to $27 a barrel, resulting in a 30% drop in profitability. Developing strategies for how to respond to downturn is critical.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Innovation, Industry Convergence, 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

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