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Porter 5 forces analysis

According to Michael Porter[?]'s ground breaking 1979 theory, there are 5 forces that influence a firm's competitive strategy. Four forces -- the bargaining power of customers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of new entrants, and the threat of substitute products -- combine with other variables to influence a fifth force, the level of competition in an industry. Each of these forces have several determinants:

  • The bargaining power of customers
    • buyer concentration to firm concentration ratio
    • bargaining leverage
    • buyer volume
    • buyer switching costs relative to firm switching costs
    • buyer information availability
    • ability to backward integrate
    • availability of existing substitute products
    • buyer price sensitivity
    • price of total purchase
  • The bargaining power of suppliers
    • supplier switching costs relative to firm switching costs
    • degree of differentiation of inputs
    • presence of substitute inputs
    • supplier concentration to firm concentration ratio
    • threat of foward integration by suppliers relative to the threat of backward integration by firms
    • cost of inputs relative to selling price of the product
    • importance of volume to supplier
  • The threat of new entrants
    • the existence of barriers to entry
    • economies of scale
    • proprietary product differences
    • brand equity
    • switching costs
    • capital requirements
    • access to distribution
    • absolute cost advantages
    • learning curve advantages
    • expected retaliation
    • government policies
  • The threat of substitute products
    • buyer propensity to substitute
    • relative price performance of substitutes
    • buyer switching costs
    • perceived level of product differentiation
  • The intensity of competitive rivalry
    • power of buyers
    • power of suppliers
    • threat of new entrants
    • threat of substitute products
    • industrial growth
    • industry overcapacity
    • exit barriers
    • diversity of competitors
    • informational complexity and asymetry
    • brand equity
    • fixed cost allocation per value added

This 5 forces analysis is just one part of the complete Porter strategic system. The other elements are strategic groups (also called strategic sets), the value chain, the generic strategies of cost leadership, differentiation, and focus, and the market positioning strategies of value based, needs based, and access based market positions.

See also: marketing, strategic management, industry or market research, competitor analysis, list of marketing topics, list of management topics

Further reading

  • How competitive forces shape strategy by M. Porter, (March/April 1979), Harvard Business Review
  • Competitive Strategy by M. Porter, (1980), The Free Press



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