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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Core Competency Revitalization for Cosmetics Manufacturer in Competitive Market


Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Core Competencies Analysis to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: A mid-sized cosmetics manufacturer faces stagnation in a highly competitive market.

Despite a historically strong product portfolio, recent market analyses suggest a decline in the organization's competitive edge. The organization's leadership must reassess and redefine core competencies to realign with evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements, aiming to regain market share and drive sustainable growth.



The organization has reached a critical juncture where its once-dominant market positioning is being eroded by newer, more agile competitors. Initially, it appears that the organization's lack of innovation and outdated go-to-market strategies are culprits. However, a more in-depth Core Competencies Analysis may reveal underlying issues in organizational agility or digital adoption.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

A robust 5-phase approach to Core Competencies Analysis can unearth deep insights and foster a strategic pivot to regain competitiveness. This methodology, often followed by leading consulting firms, ensures a comprehensive and systematic exploration of the organization's foundational strengths and areas for improvement.

  1. Preparation and Alignment: Establish the project's scope and objectives, aligning key stakeholders on expected outcomes. Identify and agree on the strategic lenses—such as customer value proposition and operational effectiveness—to evaluate core competencies.
  2. Data Gathering and Market Analysis: Collect qualitative and quantitative data on current operations, market trends, and consumer behavior. Analyze the competitive landscape to understand positioning and identify gaps in the organization's offerings.
  3. Internal Capabilities Assessment: Evaluate existing capabilities, resources, and processes. Determine the alignment of these elements with the strategic vision and market demands, identifying strengths to leverage and weaknesses to address.
  4. Strategic Realignment: Synthesize insights to redefine core competencies. Develop strategic initiatives to enhance strengths, mitigate weaknesses, and exploit new market opportunities.
  5. Implementation Planning: Create a detailed action plan with timelines, resource allocations, and change management strategies. Establish metrics to measure progress and ensure the strategic realignment is actionable and results-driven.

Learn more about Change Management Core Competencies Value Proposition

For effective implementation, take a look at these Core Competencies Analysis best practices:

Organizational Design and Capability Analysis (31-slide PowerPoint deck)
Leadership Competency Model (25-slide PowerPoint deck)
Capabilities-Driven Strategy (CDS) (24-slide PowerPoint deck)
Competency Model & Matrix Development (37-page Word document)
Capabilities-driven M&A (34-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Core Competencies Analysis Implementation Challenges & Considerations

The methodology's success hinges on the organization's willingness to embrace change and the accuracy of the data collected. Stakeholder alignment is critical to avoid resistance and ensure that strategic initiatives have the necessary support to be effectively implemented.

Upon successful execution, the organization should expect to see improved market positioning, increased agility in product development and go-to-market strategies, and enhanced operational efficiencies. These outcomes will contribute to a stronger competitive advantage and financial performance.

Potential challenges during implementation include cultural resistance, misalignment between departments, and resource constraints. It is crucial to address these proactively with clear communication and by securing buy-in from all levels of the organization.

Learn more about Competitive Advantage Product Development

Core Competencies Analysis KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


You can't control what you can't measure.
     – Tom DeMarco

  • Market Share Growth: Indicates the effectiveness of realigned core competencies in capturing additional market space.
  • Customer Satisfaction Scores: Reflects improvements in product offerings and customer experience.
  • Time-to-Market for New Products: Measures the organization's agility in developing and launching new products.
  • Cost Reduction Percentages: Tracks efficiency gains in operations post-implementation.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Implementation Insights

Throughout the implementation, it is essential to maintain strategic flexibility. Market dynamics can shift, necessitating adjustments to the strategic initiatives. For instance, a 2019 McKinsey report highlights that organizations agile in reallocating resources can achieve up to 30% higher returns than their less responsive peers.

Another vital insight is the importance of aligning core competencies with digital transformation efforts. According to Gartner, firms that integrate digital technologies into their core competencies can see revenue growth 2.5 times higher than their industry average.

Learn more about Digital Transformation Agile Revenue Growth

Core Competencies Analysis Deliverables

  • Competency Framework (PowerPoint)
  • Strategic Realignment Plan (PowerPoint)
  • Operational Efficiency Analysis (Excel)
  • Market Analysis Report (Word)
  • Implementation Roadmap (Excel)

Explore more Core Competencies Analysis deliverables

Core Competencies Analysis Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Core Competencies Analysis. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Core Competencies Analysis subject matter experts.

Core Competencies Analysis Case Studies

A notable example is a leading global beauty brand that redefined its core competencies to focus on digital channels and personalized customer experiences. As a result, the company saw a 15% increase in online sales within a year of implementation.

Another case involves a cosmetics firm that shifted its core competency to sustainable product development, which resonated with the growing eco-conscious consumer base, leading to a 25% growth in market share within two years.

Explore additional related case studies

Ensuring Alignment with Evolving Market Trends

Keeping pace with rapidly changing market trends is essential for the sustained success of the strategic realignment. It's not just about identifying current market dynamics but continuously monitoring and adapting to new trends. A study by BCG found that companies that regularly refresh their growth strategies with market changes can increase their market capitalization by up to 14% compared to those that don’t.

To ensure the organization remains aligned with market trends, it should establish a dedicated market intelligence function. This team will be responsible for ongoing analysis of consumer behavior, competitor strategies, and technological advancements. Their insights will inform periodic reviews of the organization's core competencies and strategic direction, enabling agility and responsiveness to market shifts.

Learn more about Consumer Behavior Market Intelligence

Integrating Digital Transformation into Core Competencies

As the importance of digital capabilities grows, integrating digital transformation into core competencies is crucial. According to McKinsey, companies that digitize their core operations can expect to see a 20-30% increase in operational efficiency. However, simply adopting new technologies is not enough; the organization must weave digital threads into the fabric of its core competencies to truly transform.

This integration requires a mindset shift and the development of new skill sets within the organization. It may also necessitate structural changes to foster innovation and collaboration. Regular training programs, partnerships with technology providers, and the creation of cross-functional teams are effective ways to embed digital competencies into the organization's DNA.

Measuring the Impact of Core Competency Realignment

Quantifying the impact of changes in core competencies is imperative to validate the strategic realignment. This goes beyond traditional financial metrics to include indicators of customer engagement, brand perception, and innovation. According to a PwC survey, 63% of CEOs in high-performing organizations use both financial and non-financial measures to gauge success.

To measure impact effectively, the organization should establish a balanced scorecard that includes KPIs aligned with strategic objectives. These KPIs should be reviewed regularly, and the insights gained should feed back into the strategic planning process to ensure that the organization's core competencies continue to drive competitive advantage and shareholder value.

Learn more about Strategic Planning Balanced Scorecard Shareholder Value

Addressing Organizational Culture and Change Management

Organizational culture can be the greatest barrier or the strongest asset in implementing new strategies. A Deloitte study revealed that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. The organization must foster a culture that supports the new core competencies and the strategic direction it is taking.

Change management practices are essential to navigate the cultural shifts that a realignment of core competencies entails. This includes clear communication from leadership, involvement of employees at all levels in the change process, and recognition of achievements along the way. By managing the cultural transition effectively, the organization can ensure that its new core competencies are fully embraced and leveraged for success.

Learn more about Leadership

Additional Resources Relevant to Core Competencies Analysis

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Improved market positioning and regained competitive edge through strategic realignment of core competencies.
  • Increased agility in product development and go-to-market strategies, resulting in a 15% reduction in time-to-market for new products.
  • Enhanced operational efficiencies, leading to a 12% reduction in manufacturing costs and a 20% increase in cost reduction percentages.
  • Strengthened customer satisfaction, as evidenced by a 10% improvement in customer satisfaction scores.

The initiative has yielded significant positive outcomes, including improved market positioning and increased operational efficiencies. The strategic realignment of core competencies has enabled the organization to regain its competitive edge and respond more effectively to market dynamics. The reduction in time-to-market for new products and manufacturing costs demonstrates the initiative's success in enhancing agility and operational performance. However, the initiative fell short in addressing cultural resistance and misalignment between departments, impacting the seamless execution of the realignment. To enhance the outcomes, the organization could have implemented more robust change management strategies and fostered a culture that fully embraces the new core competencies. Additionally, a more proactive approach to securing buy-in from all levels of the organization could have mitigated the challenges encountered during implementation.

Building on the initiative's achievements, the organization should focus on strengthening change management practices and fostering a culture that aligns with the realigned core competencies. This entails clear communication from leadership, involvement of employees at all levels in the change process, and recognition of achievements along the way. Additionally, the organization should continuously monitor and adapt to evolving market trends by establishing a dedicated market intelligence function. This team will be responsible for ongoing analysis of consumer behavior, competitor strategies, and technological advancements, enabling agility and responsiveness to market shifts. Integrating digital transformation into core competencies is also crucial, requiring a mindset shift, the development of new skill sets, and structural changes to foster innovation and collaboration. Finally, the organization should establish a balanced scorecard that includes KPIs aligned with strategic objectives to measure the impact of core competency realignment effectively.

Source: Core Competency Revitalization for Cosmetics Manufacturer in Competitive Market, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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