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 Their era as primary centers for investment has been replaced by a “Frontier Era,” a period marked by a concentration on economies scattered throughout Africa and Asia.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

Restaurants are Using Digital Menus to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Posted by Ben Price on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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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