Stealth Fighters, Cargo Helicopters, and Client Relationship Management Pt. 2: Managing Perceptions and Expectations

Posted by Christopher Dent on Jul 20, 2017 12:24:05 PM

In part one of this blog, we discussed the scrutiny Lockheed Martin is facing due to the seemingly high cost of its helicopters and stealth fighters.  We also established that value is a better metric, than looking at cost alone. But, regardless of how the true value of a program should be assessed and reported, Lockheed Martin must contend with how its various programs are in fact perceived by customers and other stakeholders. Conventional wisdom states that “the customer is always right.”  Further, explaining to a concerned client why their concerns are irrelevant and unfounded is not a viable business model. What can Lockheed’s headaches with the F-35 and CH-53K teach us about client management?

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Topics: Brand Insights, Competitive Strategy, risk management

Stealth Fighters, Cargo Helicopters, and Client Relationship Management

Posted by Christopher Dent on Jul 12, 2017 1:38:43 PM


Cost vs. Value: Which Is the Better Metric?

The development and delivery of every product or service risks experiencing problems, from a delivery driver taking a wrong turn to fighter pilots getting sick while flying advanced aircraft.  However, expecting and preparing for these setbacks can help business executives navigate even the most challenging obstacles, and, in turn, keep their earnings, reputation, and client relationships intact.

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Topics: Brand Insights, Competitive Strategy, risk management

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

Posted by Ken Sawka on 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 Robert Flynn on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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

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