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

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

Strategies for Investing in Developing Markets

Posted by Robert Flynn

May 17, 2017 3:01:13 PM

The global economy is in transition, not so much as the result of fluctuating superpower politics, but more so as the quiet byproduct of shifting investment in emerging economies. We are at the end of supersized returns previously found in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS), foreign direct investment constants since 2001 that have in recent years become increasingly fragile economies. Their era as primary centers for investment has been replaced by a “Frontier Era,” a period marked by a concentration on economies scattered throughout Africa and Asia. A dramatic shift as hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign direct investment will swing from the pockets of one group to new, emerging markets.  

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Topics: New Market Entry, Competitive Strategy, risk management

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

Quality Drug Data Not a Guarantee of Future Revenue

Posted by David Staknis

Apr 12, 2017 12:07:23 PM

On March 16, 2017, Amgen released positive cardiovascular outcomes data for its PCSK9 inhibitor, Repatha. Yet, it could be tough going to receive wide coverage of the drug from managed care companies due to concerns over high cost and availability of efficacious, economical alternatives. Positive outcomes data alone will not sway payers if the cost-benefit ratio is too high, especially when established and more cost-effective options are available and acceptable.

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Topics: Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy, pharmaceutical

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

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