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

Qualitative Methods Enrich Quantitative Data

Posted by Diane Borska on Oct 27, 2016 9:22:14 AM

Co-Written by Ola Jachtorowicz

Seventy-six percent of millennials want to drive an eco-friendly car. Ninety-two percent of students prefer physical books to e-readers. Ninety percent of senior executives confirm that customer experience is one of their top three priorities. Sixty-seven percent of U.S. manufacturing executives plan to increase investments in data analytics next year.

Data is king. Statistics and opinion polls accompany every article, analysis, and prediction. It’s difficult to find a claim without a piece of quantitative evidence behind it.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Fuld + Company, Competitive Strategy

Strategy for When Satisfied Customers Don’t Come Back

Posted by Christopher Dent on 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 on 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 on 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

Medication-Induced Syndromes Offer Growth Opportunity

Posted by Kyle Nicholson on Aug 15, 2016 1:40:17 PM

Opioid-induced constipation, tardive dyskinesia, and other medication-induced syndromes present worthwhile revenue opportunities for pharmaceutical R&D.

In the 1960s, researchers discovered that the loss of motor control from Parkinson’s disease (PD) was tied to a deficiency of dopamine in a part of the brain involved in the coordination of movement.

Evidence soon established that administration of levodopa, a dopamine precursor molecule, dramatically improved PD symptoms. Here’s the catch: relief of symptoms was accompanied by severe nausea and vomiting. Levodopa was not only being converted to dopamine in the brain but also in the bloodstream, activating dopamine receptors in the peripheral nervous system and causing the adverse side effects.

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Topics: Pharma, Life Sciences, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

Can Apple TV Outshine Netflix and Traditional TV Broadcasters?

Posted by Ken Sawka on Aug 3, 2016 11:41:11 AM

Apple has long been expected to “revolutionize” how we watch television.  Ever since it launched Apple TV in 2006, speculation has been rife that Apple would become a major force in video production and distribution.

Apple’s refresh of Apple TV last year - improving voice search with Siri and adding a bunch more apps - did little to quell that speculation.

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Topics: Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, Technology/Telecomm, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

Teva Membership in PhRMA Benefits Brand-Name Pharma

Posted by Steve Ames on Jul 12, 2016 10:53:02 AM

Teva, the world’s largest producer of generic medications, recently requested membership into Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the powerful US trade association of brand-name medicine manufacturers.

PhRMA is a lobby powerhouse, largely due to representation from most of the biggest players in the pharmaceutical industry. As detailed in the New York Times, Teva’s request ruffled the feathers of some PhRMA members who see Teva (and other generics companies) as a threat to the success of branded medicine. Brand-name and generic drug companies are no strangers to court battles against each other, typically around brand patent validity and timelines for generic entrance.

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Topics: Innovation, Pharma, Life Sciences, Competitive Strategy

Of Course Nobody Saw Brexit or Donald Trump Coming

Posted by Ken Sawka on Jul 6, 2016 2:22:24 PM

I recently ran a scenario-based strategic planning engagement with a European online entertainment company. In it, we created five future, plausible scenarios that described what the external operating environment could look like for our client in the next five to seven years. 

In one scenario, the global entertainment industry underwent massive consolidation as technological advances enabled cheap, on-demand entertainment of all sorts that provided the largest entertainment companies an incredible opportunity. In another, trade wars broke out restricting the free flow of intellectual property, leading to a proliferation of “black market” entertainment operations in which shady operators offered products based on questionable access to content. 

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Scenario Analysis, Competitive Strategy

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