What do high-end fashion companies, the Razr, and Harley-Davidson have in common? All are, or have been, in a battle against commoditization in their markets. Whether caused by a new low-cost competitor (such as fashion's Zara), new product innovation (such as the iPhone), or the introduction of multiple substitutes and imitators (such as Honda, Suzuki, Victory, and Big Dog motorcycles), price competition is always costly and sometimes even deadly.
The conventional wisdom for fighting commoditization advises either cost reduction (without sacrificing margin for share) or increased differentiation (to maintain a higher end competitive position). But there is little advice on how to identify the root cause of commoditization, so that the very source can be eliminated, escaped, or in some cases, even used to advantage.
Based on an in-depth study of more than 30 industries, in Beating the Commodity Trap author Richard D'Aveni reveals the three most common patterns that create "commodity traps" deterioration, proliferation, and escalation and offers targeted strategies, beyond cost reduction or continuous differentiation, that companies have used to address these dilemmas successfully.
For each of the three traps, D'Aveni shows how to:
Supported by a number of examples, this small practical book will give all managers the framework and strateVom Verlag:
Commoditization-a virulent form of hypercompetition-is destroying markets, disrupting industries, and shuttering long-successful firms. Conventional wisdom says the best way to combat commoditization is differentiation. But differentiation is difficult and expensive to implement, and keeps you ahead of the pack only temporarily. In Beating the Commodity Trap, Richard D'Aveni provides a radical new framework for fighting back. Drawing on an in-depth study of more than thirty industries, he recommends first identifying the commoditization trap you're facing: -Deterioration: Low-end firms enter with low-cost/low-benefit offerings that attract the mass market-as Zara did to high-end fashion companies. -Proliferation: Companies develop new combinations of price paired with several unique benefits that attack part of an incumbents' market-as Japanese motorcycle makers did to Harley-Davidson. -Escalation: Players offer more benefits for the same or lower price, squeezing everyone's margins-as the iPhone did in mobile devices. The author provides a tool for diagnosing your competitive position and shows how to strengthen it while also boosting your pricing power-by destroying the commoditization trap confronting you, escaping it, or turning it to your advantage. Illustrated with a wealth of examples, this concise, practical guide gives you the framework and tactics you need to battle commoditization.
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