In a business world driven by technology and digitalization, competition is much more fluid as innovation becomes a bottom-up approach that can come from anywhere. Thus, making it much harder to define the boundaries of existing markets. Therefore, a proper business competition analysis looks at customer, technology, distribution, and financial model overlaps. While at the same time looking at future potential intersections among industries that, in the short-term, seem unrelated.
- Why traditional comparable analysis frameworks might fail in a tech-driven business world
- Competitor Analysis Framework
- The great market reshuffling
- Direct Business Competition Examples
- Uber Competitors
- Starbucks Competitors
- Carvana Competitors
- GoodRx Competitors
- Coca-Cola Competitors
- Pepsi Competitors
- Disney Competitor
- Peloton Competitors
- IBM Competitors
- Google Competitors
- Airbnb Competitors
- Salesforce Competitors
- Nike Competitors
- YouTube Competitors
- Zoom Competitors
- Tesla Competitors
- Amazon Competitors
- Non-Linear/Indirect Competition
- Related Business Concepts
- FourWeekMBA Business Toolbox
Why traditional comparable analysis frameworks might fail in a tech-driven business world
Among the most common and perhaps simple and effective frameworks to look at competition is given by Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl, authors of “Investment Banking,” offer us two main criteria to select our comparable companies:
- The business profile.
- And the financial profile.
Under the business profile, we have things like sector, product & services, customers & end markets, distribution channel, and geography. In the financial profile, we can look at more specific aspects like size, profitability, growth profile, return on investment, and credit profile
Competitor Analysis Framework
We do want to overlap customer profile, technology, distribution, and financial model used by companies. While at the same time looking at how the technological model will affect an entire industry in the future.
We do believe that tech companies often operate at two intersections.
On the one hand, a first intersection is about applying existing technology to an existing market, thus creating more competition.
On the other hand, and this is the tricky part, there is usually a gradual, then sudden swift investment in new technologies that not only intersect current markets, they have the potential to create new ones, that not only might eat up an existing market, they might also end up creating a much bigger market.
From here the technological potential needs to be assessed early on to evaluate how much that technology can interpolate with an existing market but also eat that up.
Thus creating overlapping in the future, which might be hard to imagine today.
The great market reshuffling
To analyze how future technologies might reorganize markets, thus reshuffling and redefining entire industries it is critical to keep an open mind on what competition entails. Thus, in this kind of market cooperation and competition become very fluid (see the concept of coopetition).
There are fewer boundaries.
Direct Business Competition Examples
In a business world, which is tech-driven, in the long run, competition becomes non-linear.
In short, niches that seemed completely disjoined from a market, end up creating whole new industries which might absorb existing marketplaces.
Let’s look at two examples.
Netflix vs. TikTok
As explained in the Netflix business model, there are two ways to look at its competitors.
One way is to guess the current customer base is overlapping.
In the Netflix-specific case, it means assessing the behaviors of paying members across the globe and whether they are switching to other streaming services or perhaps keeping various streaming services accounts.
This is fine to assess what content other streaming platforms are producing, and it helps steer the content development efforts for the company.
However, there is another way to look at it.
If instead of looking into customers, and members, what’s Netflix’s core asset?
Meaning what’s the thing that makes the company keep a long-term competitive advantage?
Based on that, we can reassess competition and perhaps looks into where attention is going, especially for younger generations, and we get this:
In short, the competitors’ map changes suddenly, and you start reassessing the company’s long-term strategy by looking at where attention is currently moving.
Why is this important?
Well, because you ask different questions. Rather than thinking about content, based on the previous thinking framework that Netflix had successfully rolled out in the prior decade.
You now look at it with a different eye and understand that Netflix, to thrive in this decade, has to change its content development framework or at least redefine it.
Non-Linear Competition: Tesla vs. Insurance Companies
Another interesting case is Tesla and its insurance business.
Thus, if you were a legacy company like Geico, this is your competitors’ map:
And if you take into account that Tesla’s target is to sell millions of cars across the world, then, if you are Geico, you might want to change your way of looking at the competition.
Related Business Concepts
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