Competitive threats

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Competitive Threats
A survey on the most and least significant threats to U.S. and European companies

White Paper | January 2012


WHITE PAPER | Competitive Threats

In a year of financial crisis, no one is worried about the money…but they certainly have issues on their minds.
Over the past 32 years, Fuld & Company has handled thousands of research assignments fromaround the globe, most related to competitive threats of one kind or another – new market entrants, price wars, a rival’s change of strategic direction, among many others. After all, we are a competitive intelligence firm. Given our natural slant, we thought when we surveyed a group of business executives about competitive threats that they would focus primarily on their competitors, their rivals.What we found instead was that executives are in fact worried about a wider array of threats – not just from rivals. Another surprise given the economic climate was the lack of concern about access to credit (more about this below). The competitive threats survey also revealed that there is not one single list of concerns for corporations globally but rather a series of lists that vary depending onthe industry or region of the participants. However, one consistent concern across all industries is commoditization. In fact, this is the single greatest threat, whether it comes from a competitor or from a disruptive technology. We invite you to review the findings from this brief survey and compare the results with how you view your business both globally and within your own home markets.Leonard M. Fuld, President Fuld & Company January 2012

The right to use this alert in its entirety, or any portion thereof, remains exclusively that of Fuld & Company Inc. Upon request, Fuld & Company will, at its discretion, grant permission to republish any of this material. This report is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, a recommendation for purchase or sale of anycompanies, or securities of any companies, mentioned herein. The information has been derived from statistical and other sources which we deem reliable, but their accuracy, and their completeness, cannot be guaranteed. Opinions expressed herein are based on our interpretation of available information, are subject to change, and should be considered strictly as opinions.


WHITE PAPER | CompetitiveThreats

Who We Surveyed
We surveyed senior executives, strategists, and competitive analysts, mostly from Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies across North America and Europe. In all, 144 responded, representing a range of industries, including healthcare/pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, services, technology/telecom, consumer packaged goods, and financial services.

Threats Survey IndustryBreakdown
Other 17% Tech/Telecom 15% Professional & Services 17% Consumer 12% Finance 4% Healthcare 16%

Insurance 6% Manufacturing/ Industrial 13%

Question Posed
Respondents answered the following question twice, once for their view of the most significant threats and a second time for their view of the least significant threats.

Which competitive issue below is MOST / LEAST threatening toyour industry and/or your company?
         Overseas competition entering our home market in ever greater numbers A drop in sales outside our home market Substitute products or services at either very low prices or very high prices Technology potentially disrupting our business or changing it entirely Customers gaining more strength and squeezing all suppliers (including us) A shift insocial norms that will increase or decrease sales of our products Commoditization of our products or services Our company’s access to credit Other (please specify)


WHITE PAPER | Competitive Threats

Executive Summary
The Fuld & Company survey of 144 company strategists and internal competitive analysts returned a number of surprising answers amid a dire economic environment - stock...
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