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Porters five forces a model for industry

Knowing who your competition is, how their actions will affect you and in what ways is critical to your bottom line and future planning. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a small, local business, competition has a direct influence on your success. One way to analyze your competition is by using Porter's Five Forces model to break them down into five distinct categories, designed to reveal insights.

Porter in 1979, the five forces model looks at five specific factors that determine whether or not a business porters five forces a model for industry be profitable, based on other businesses in the industry. In Porter's model, the five forces that shape industry competition are as follow: Competitive rivalry This force examines how intense the competition currently is in the marketplace, which is determined by the number of existing competitors and what each can do.

Rivalry competition is high when there are just a few businesses equally selling a product or service, when the industry is growing and when consumers can easily switch to a competitor's offering for little cost.

When rivalry competition is high, advertising and price wars can ensue, which can hurt a business's bottom line. Bargaining power of suppliers This force analyzes how much power a business's supplier has and how much control it has over the potential to raise its prices, which, in turn, would lower a business's profitability.

In addition, it assesses the number of suppliers available: The fewer there are, the more power they have. Businesses are in a better position when there are a multitude of suppliers. Bargaining power of customers This force examines the power of the consumer and their effect on pricing and quality. Consumers have power when there aren't many of them but there are plentiful sellers, as well as when it is easy for customers to switch from one business's products or services to another's.

Buying power is low when consumers purchase products in small amounts and the seller's product is very different from any of its competitors. Threat of new entrants This force considers how easy or difficult it is for competitors to join the marketplace in the industry being examined.

  • When rivalry competition is high, advertising and price wars can ensue, which can hurt a business's bottom line;
  • Large capital costs are required for branding, advertising and creating product demand, and hence limits the entry of newer players in the sports apparel market;
  • When rivalry competition is high, advertising and price wars can ensue, which can hurt a business's bottom line;
  • Bargaining power of suppliers This force analyzes how much power a business's supplier has and how much control it has over the potential to raise its prices, which, in turn, would lower a business's profitability;
  • Threat of new entrants This force considers how easy or difficult it is for competitors to join the marketplace in the industry being examined;
  • Businesses are in a better position when there are a multitude of suppliers.

The easier it is for a competitor to join, the greater the risk of a business's market share being depleted. Barriers to entry include absolute cost advantages, access to inputs, economies of scale and well-recognized brands. Threat of substitute products or services This force studies how easy it is for consumers to switch from a business's product or service to that of a competitor.

It looks at the number of competitors, how their prices and quality compare to the business being examined and how much of a profit those competitors are earning, which would determine if they can lower their costs even more. The threat of substitutes is informed by switching costs, both immediate and long-term, as well as a buyer's inclination to change. Under Armour faces intense competition from Nike, Adidas and newer players. Nike and Adidas, which have considerably larger resources at their disposal, are making a play within the performance apparel market to gain market share in this up-and-coming product category.

Under Armour does not hold any fabric or process patents, hence its product portfolio could be copied in the future. Bargaining power of suppliers: A diverse supplier base limits the company's bargaining power. Under Armour's products are produced by dozens of manufacturers based in multiple countries. Bargaining power of customers: Under Armour's customers include both wholesale customers as well as end customers.

Wholesale customers, like Dick's Sporting Goods and the Sports Authority, hold a certain degree of bargaining leverage, as they could substitute Under Armour's products with those of UA's competitors to gain higher margins. The bargaining power of end customers is lower as UA enjoys strong brand recognition. Threat of new entrants: Large capital costs are required for branding, advertising and creating product demand, and hence limits the entry of newer players in the sports apparel market.

Threat of substitute products: Another great example of the use of Porter's Five Forces on a familiar brand is the one recently done by Lawrence Gregory for McDonald's. Strategies for success Once your analysis is complete, it's time to implement a strategy to expand your competitive advantage.

To that end, Porter identified three generic strategies that can be implemented in any industry and in companies of any size. Cost leadership Your goal is to increase profits by reducing costs while charging industry-standard prices, or to increase market share by reducing the sales price while retaining profits. Differentiation To implement this strategy, make the company's products significantly different from the competition, improving their competitiveness and value to the public.

Strategies for success

It requires both good research and development plus effective sales and marketing teams. Focus A successful implementation means the company selects niche markets in which to sell their goods.

It requires an intense understanding of the marketplace, its sellers, buyers and competitors. Alternatives and addendums While Porter's Five Forces is an effective and time-tested model, it has been criticized for failing to explain strategic alliances.

In the 1990s, Yale School of Management professors Adam Brandenbuger and Barry Nalebuff created the idea of a sixth force, "complementors," using the tools of game theory. In their model, complementors sell products and services that are best used in conjunction with a product or service from a competitor.

Intel, which manufactures processors, and computer manufacturer Apple could be considered complementors in this model. More information can be found at Strategic CFO. Additional modeling tools are likely to help round out your understanding of your business and its potential.

Additional reporting by Katherine Arline and Chad Brooks. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Porter's Five Forces: Analyzing the Competition

Marci Martin With an Associate's Degree in Business Management and nearly twenty years in senior management positions, Marci brings a real life perspective to her articles about business and leadership. She began freelancing in 2012 and became a contributing writer for Business News Daily in 2015. You May Also Like.