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Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Competitive Analysis and Strategy (94-slide PowerPoint presentation). Curated by McKinsey-trained Executive Unleash Your Competitive Edge: The Ultimate Business Toolkit for Strategic Excellence In the dynamic landscape of today's business world, staying ahead of the competition is not just a goal--it's a necessity. Welcome to the Complete **Competitive [read more]

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Organizations turn to different sources of gaining Competitive Advantage and outperforming their rivals.  In the past, leading multinationals with diverse portfolio of product or service offerings used to have assets, positions, and economies of scale serve them as sources of advantage.

However, nowadays, leading industry players employ an entirely different course to attain Competitive Advantage.  Market leaders of this age are making use of key capabilities to compete with their rivals.  Instead of relying on short-term growth avenues, they focus more on developing distinct, sustainable capabilities.  The strategy that they are employing is to build a single formidable value proposition, based on a limited number of supporting competencies.  During the course, they are essentially transforming their entire businesses.

These market leaders are dubbed “Supercompetitors,” owing to their unique competencies, influence, and the ability to alter the dynamics of their industry.  To build unique competencies—ability to deliver results relevant to the business—Supercompetitors make use of right blend of processes, systems, insights, dexterities, and resource configuration spanning multiple units.  Some Supercompetitors utilize Mergers or Acquisitions to get ahead of the curve.

Supercompetitors understand that the success of such deals depends on a capabilities fit—their product or services complimenting the offerings of the purchased entity.  They divest businesses that have a limited fit with their capabilities, or where their capabilities are of no advantage to the acquired partner.

Supercompetitors comprise of 3 main types:

  • Innovator—frequently releasing new offerings.
  • Value Player—offering low-cost products.
  • Aggregator—selling products developed by others.

Supercompetitors can cause disruption of existing market dynamics.  In order to compete with Supercompetitors, other players need to reorganize their portfolio, thoroughly evaluate the industry, and focus on the value propositions they excel in.  A detailed evaluation of the potential of businesses to become Supercompetitors in an industry should be based on 4 critical elements:

  1. Analysis of the industry and its change potential
  2. Analysis of upcoming Supercompetitors and their core competencies
  3. Assessing the Future State
  4. Devising a Strategic Plan

The evaluation enables the organizations to know where they and their competitors stand in the pursuit to become Supercompetitors in future.

Let’s dive deeper into the critical elements of the Supercompetitors evaluation.

Industry Analysis

The foremost element of the assessment of an organization to become Supercompetitor entails carrying out an in-depth industry analysis.  Leadership needs to answer some key questions to evaluate their industry and analyze their organization’s Supercompetitor potential, for instance:

  • Do you have the same leaders as a decade ago? Do you have newcomers taking up top positions at the organization?
  • Are competitors leaning towards distinct value propositions, and a handful are winning at each of them?
  • Are fore-running businesses applying the same tactics to compete as the leaders from the past?
  • Are groups of companies separating into multiple companies?
  • Are capabilities the reason for success of the leading firms in an industry, in contrast to assets or product portfolios?
  • Do forerunners in an industry possess scalable capabilities? Is scale possible without cost escalation?
  • Do the capabilities allow for product / service differentiation?

Supercompetition Analysis

The next element of the assessment to identify the potential of firms to become Supercompetitor is to evaluate the strength of rivals in the market.  Leaders should be able to discern probable future Supercompetitors in their respective industries and find out more about their key capabilities, talent, and structural attributes that allow them the leverage to secure the top position.  At least 3 to 5 Supercompetitors in the relevant industry should be selected for detailed assessment.

Interested in learning more about the other critical elements of the Supercompetitors potential evaluation?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Supercompetitors here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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26-slide PowerPoint presentation
The Competitive Comparison Framework is a summary of analytics and other information comparing competitors along key criteria. Its structure should be tailored to our specific industry and will commonly include the following pieces of information: *Background information on the company *Key [read more]

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For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics. Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to "Tactical" Strategy. Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.

These frameworks include Porter's Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner's Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

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About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

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