Honest lessons from the C-Suite

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 16, 2015 9:14:57 AM

How often do you get down and talk about honest mistakes and irreverent strategies with a CEO?

Over the past year I have had the privilege to interview over a half dozen former CEOs from companies the likes of JP Morgan, Corning, Harrahs/Caesar’s Casinos and Pearson. All companies with a global reach and encountering one challenge or another. I’ve collected these interviews in a special section of this website, C-Suite Candor.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Manufacturing/Industrial, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Scenario Analysis, Technology/Telecomm, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

The Future of Weddings: $50 billion up for grabs

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 3, 2015 12:32:39 PM

Our daughter is about to be married and we look forward to this special day.

What we have not enjoyed is the process. I’ve never encountered such a complicated, messy and unsatisfying business in my entire life. When I say messy, I mean my wife and I have had to work with a tangle of over forty categories of vendors, from hotels, catering, bands, photographers, and so on.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Technology/Telecomm, Travel/Hospitality, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Competitive Strategy

Deciphering the Alphabet

Posted by Robert Flynn on Sep 3, 2015 11:42:00 AM

Google’s transformation into Alphabet, announced in early August by CEO Larry Page, is on one hand inconsequential "Page Six" news and on the other the most momentous business event of the past decade. For companies in the technology and other sectors that Google has begun to explore, it’s a wake-up call as it signals Mr. Page's intention to continue to expand his conglomerate, increasing risk for companies across numerous industries. Fortunately, knowing that objective and deciphering the implications of this announcement, allows competitors time and opportunity to adjust their competitive strategy.

The recognition that Mr. Page and Google co-founder Sergey Brin have started and nurtured numerous side businesses including cloud computing, self-driving cars, life longevity, and even satellites brings a yawn from even the most casual observer. After all Elon Musk has gained fame as CEO of Tesla Motors (cars), CEO of SpaceX (rockets), and Chairman of SolarCity (power systems). And as far back as 1878 no less a man than Thomas Edison set the standard when he created General Electric – lightbulbs, steam turbines, locomotives, radio, toasters, even ovens. The conglomerate structure of Alphabet has a long, well-established tradition.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Technology/Telecomm, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Competitive Strategy

Healthcare Industry Investors see Value in Owning Consumer Relationship

Posted by Jacob Golbitz on Aug 28, 2015 2:18:00 PM

On Monday the New York Times published a piece speculating on the next set of Unicorns, i.e., venture-backed start ups valued at $1 billion or more. An independent research firm developed the list using a proprietary "algorithm" to forecast their valuation. Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by technology companies, but a health care provider — One Medical Group — made the cut.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Pharma, Healthcare, Industry Convergence, Life Sciences, Competitive Strategy

The Post Office’s Business Transformation Strategy: Return to Sender

Posted by Nathaniel Emmons on Aug 27, 2015 10:35:00 AM

As a recent Wall Street Journal article reported, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is embarking on a new business strategy and entering the same-day delivery industry. The USPS is ill-equipped to effectively execute on this new competitive strategy and compete in the highly innovative same-day delivery industry. To see why this competitive strategy is ill-conceived, we must examine four key factors.

First, what inherent advantages does the USPS have that will enable it to succeed in the same day delivery market? The USPS has an expansive distribution channel, numerous physical locations, and a sophisticated delivery infrastructure throughout the country. For example, the USPS has 31,662 retail offices nationwide and 211,264 delivery vehicles at its disposal. Clearly, the USPS has the resources to succeed in the same-day delivery industry.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Value Chain Analysis, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, Scenario Analysis, Competitive Strategy

Turning Managed Care Into Engaged Care Increases Value

Posted by Jacob Golbitz on Aug 20, 2015 2:46:00 PM

Within three weeks of Aetna’s agreement to acquire Humana for $37 billion, Anthem announced its agreement to purchase Cigna for $54.2 billion. If both of these deals go through, the number of major health insurance carriers in the U.S. will drop from five to three: Aetna, Anthem and UnitedHealth Group.

As Fuld + Co.’s SVP Diane Borska pointed out, “merger mania” is often driven by an innate sense among executives that larger companies with deeper resources will be better able to navigate a changing, dynamic market than smaller competitors; i.e., bigger is better.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Pharma, Healthcare, Industry Convergence, Life Sciences, Competitive Strategy

Sell-Offs and Mergers and Trades, Oh My!

Posted by Bruce Chin on Aug 18, 2015 11:44:41 AM

Current Trends in Big Pharma and What It Says About the Market

After unprecedented M&A activity in the last 20 years in Big Pharma, the trend of devolution isn’t just a topic that became popularised in Scotland. The pharmaceutical industry seems to be experiencing a similar trend. From the spin-off of AbbVie from Abbott in 2012 to Baxter’s specialised medicines spin-off, Baxalta, last month, the trend seems to be continuing. It continues with the swap of Novartis’s non-influenza vaccines business for the bulk of GSK’s oncology portfolio.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Market Analysis, Medical Devices, Pharma, Healthcare, Industry Convergence, Life Cycle Management, Life Sciences, Merger and Acquisition, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

Amazon Redefines the Grocery Store; the Industry Should Pay Attention

Posted by Robert Flynn on Aug 12, 2015 2:14:10 PM

As a youth, back before mobile phones and customer segmentation, I earned my allowance delivering orders to local customers, from the Mountain Heights corner store, a neighborhood grocery in New Haven, Connecticut. In those days, loyal customers – mostly elderly and all within a few blocks – would use the telephone to place an order for the usual array of soaps, cosmetics, and paper products. I’d earn a half dollar for my efforts. Mountain Heights had its corner of the city, while other grocers serviced their allotted section of the city. An idyllic setting.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, Scenario Analysis, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

Biosimilar Infliximab - What's All the Excitement About?

Posted by Adi Reske on Aug 11, 2015 11:05:24 AM

When in April this year the FDA accepted Celltrion’s filing for Remsima, the biosimilar Infliximab, patients and healthcare professionals in the United States were excited by the potential of a cheaper alternative to the expensive Remicade, an FDA approved tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitor for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriasis, Crohn's disease (CD), and ulcerative colitis (UC) . However, a couple of weeks before the anticipated advisory committee, the FDA postponed discussions for an unknown date, requesting more information from Celltrion. Meanwhile, the excitement died down.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Market Analysis, Medical Devices, Pharma, Healthcare, Life Cycle Management, Life Sciences, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

What an Eight-Dollar Juice Can Tell Us About Competitive Strategy

Posted by Ken Sawka on Aug 6, 2015 9:54:00 AM

I bought a smoothie from a food truck today and found it to be a unique and highly rewarding experience. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “did Ken just wake up from a 20-year nap? Smoothies and food trucks aren’t exactly the latest craze, especially in Boston, where food trucks and smoothies are about as ubiquitous as Dunkin Donuts.” (OK, maybe not quite)

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Market Analysis, Competitive Strategy

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