Internet has changed some of the bases that Michael Porter started in 1980 when he published 5 Forces involved the success or failure of a sector or a company.
Over recent years, Porter has been modifying and clarifying 5 forces. In this article we will see how they have evolved to adapt to new times.
Michael Porter will be in Spain during the 12th and on May 13 giving a lecture under Expomanagement Madrid 2005. It will be an excellent opportunity to see first hand their views on the changes that the Internet is occurring in our economy and moment forces the move.
What are 5 forces of Porter?
In 1980 Michael Porter developed this method of analysis in order to discover what factors determine the profitability of an industry and its companies. For Porter, there are 5 different types of forces that mark the success or failure of a sector or a company:
- The rivalry between competitors
- The threat of new entrants into the market
- The threat of products that substitute to ours
- The bargaining power of buyers
- The bargaining power of suppliers
When the analysis of Porter's 5 Forces used?
- When you want to develop a competitive advantage over your rivals.
- When you want to better understand the dynamics that influence your industry and / or what your position in it.
- When you analyze your strategic position and looking initiatives that are disruptive and make you better.
But the Internet has changed some of the bases from which Porter started in 1980 for each of the 5 factors. Porter himself, over the years has been modifying them and adapting them to today's world.
In this article we will discuss 5 forces and see how the Internet has changed the rules of the game and what we should consider if we want to continue to use this type of analysis.
1. The rivalry between competitors:
Porter focuses on developing its recommendations differences between our products and those of competitors, to avoid falling into competing on price, a strategy that ultimately end up affecting the profitability of both companies.
- Pero Internet ha permitido que realmente se puedan reducir los costes en empresas cuyos costes están relacionados con la comunicación, con la recepción de información o con la concertación de transacciones. Así que una gran parte de las empresas que han sabido aprovechar las ventajas que les brinda Internet y la tecnología asociada a la red, acaban pudiendo ofrecer precios más bajos y por lo tanto, compitiendo por precio en su mercado. Ante un mismo producto, con dos precios diferentes, la fidelización del cliente sólo influye en la pequeña cantidad de diferencia de precio que el cliente tolerará antes de abandonarnos e ir a la competencia. Internet permite que la rivalidad sea por precio, sin que esto lleve a una guerra donde no haya ganador.
- Internet has also made appear on the market many products that were previously only intended for a local market, so even if our product was unique in our market, now appear identical products to our ... so again just competing by price .
- La relación entre competidores ha cambiado radicalmente con la globalización de los mercados. Los clusters locales especializados en la producción de determinado producto o servicio, hacen que la relación entre empresas competidoras sea colaborativa, con objetivos con miras a desarrollar juntas tecnologías, investigación que hagan subir la productividad y la innovación de las empresas que participan en el cluster. Silicon Valley y Hollywood son los clusters más famosos, pero existen cientos de miles de clusters locales que han cambiado radicalmente la relación entre competidores.
There is information on the effect of local clusters in the relationship between competitors in various articles published by the same Michael Porter. At the end of the article we quoted one.
2. The threat of new entrants:
The threat of new entrants to enter our market is higher, when barriers to entry are low, when companies involved in a market do not want to fight the new players and when a new player has high expectations of profits if it goes into the market. So Porter advocates increasing entry barriers in a market. Their recommendations are as follows:
- Take advantage of economies of scale to lower costs
- Create differentiated products and patent them.
- Develop the brand image of the company, for customers to them more difficult to switch brands.
- Close access to distribution channels.
- Have restrictions for new players, dictated by government institutions.
- Este modelo es válido para mercados estáticos. Internet ha propiciado multitud de mercados dinámicos que no permiten aplicar las recomendaciones de Porter. La consolidación de las empresas puntocom supervivientes al crac del 2000/2001 han cambiado los modelos de negocio y las cadenas de valor. Las puntocom han destruido eslabones de la cadena y han creado nuevos escenarios competitivos en los que han sido aplicaciones asesinas de muchos servicios ofrecidos hasta ese momento sólo por el mundo offline (ejemplo: las bolsas de trabajo online, las páginas web de clasificados de compraventa, las subastas online, etc.).
- Network externalities, on the other hand, lead to the creation of natural monopolies because they generate positive feedback processes that make each new user of a service it has more value for the next user.
3. The threat of the development of substitutes:
Porter is considered a substitute of another product, only if you replace a product of a different industry sector to yours. For example, the price of aluminum beverage cans, is based on fluctuations in the price of glass bottles and plastic bottles. They are substitutes packaging, but are not rivals coming from the aluminum packaging industry.
- La tecnología cada vez más permite la generación de nuevos negocios que hasta ahora eran impensables. Los cambios tecnológicos radicales que estamos sufriendo no permiten realizar ningún tipo de predicción ni análisis previo sobre este punto. Por ejemplo, pensemos en el mercado del ancho de banda: tenemos las conexiones vía cable telefónico, vía satelital, vía red eléctrica, etc… todas aparecidas y desplegadas en un espacio de tiempo relativamente corto. Se hace difícil poder prever y contrarrestar los efectos de este tipo de productos. El usuario cambiará tan pronto como perciba que el coste del nuevo producto es más bajo o cuando obtenga nuevas funcionalidades.
- Internet also enables other ways to meet needs and functions, creating new and unimaginable substitutes.
4. The bargaining power of buyers:
For Porter this threat must be neutralized with an appropriate strategy to pursue this end.
- The truth is that thanks to the Internet, customers increasingly have more power. Although it is seen from the point of view of the traditional company that is not exactly positive:
- Internet increases the information on products and market reality.
- Increases the bargaining power because it provides more direct routes and eliminates customer links in the distribution of products.
- It provides an unbeatable consumers to join and perform lobbying against certain companies when customers are dissatisfied frame.
- To better understand this point I recommend reading the summary of the conference by Philip Kotler at the World Forum of Marketing and Sales (Barcelona 2004): The 10 principles of "new Marketing”
5. The bargaining power of suppliers:
Porter focuses the analysis of this point by remarking that the power of suppliers depends on the importance of them (think of providers who have captive market for example .: Telefónica, Microsoft, etc.).
- The current trend is to treat suppliers as business partners, and share with them the ultimate goal of meeting the needs of our customers. The customer-supplier relationship is changing.
Although all qualified in the comments at 5 forces suggests that the Internet has forced companies to compete on price, the Internet has also led some of them have achieved great success in their differentiation strategies. These companies are the companies that are strong in:
- Scientific investigation.
- Product development teams with talent and creativity.
- Sales teams with great communication skills and awareness of the needs of a changing market.
- Brand image that conveys innovation and quality.
But the risks associated with differentiation have also been magnified by Internet:
- Imitation of our products by others that have not invested in R & D.
- The changing and unpredictable tastes of customers.
- So to round off the article I say that the Internet has made the analysis of Porter's 5 forces still remain valid today, is much more complex than it was and with many more variables to consider.
Article by Michael Porter on Local Clusters.
Harvard Business Review: Local Clusters
Article summary of the conference about the New Philip Kotler Marketing and increased consumer power. Philip Kotler: the 10 principles of "New Marketing"
Information about Expomanagement, Madrid 2005, where Michael Porter will lecture about the results-oriented strategy:
- The results-oriented strategy
- The economic logic of higher returns
- How to recognize what kind of business your company competes
- The importance of abandoning the destructive competition and adopt strategic competition
- What are the five keys to an effective strategy
- Why most companies have no strategy
- How to find the right strategy
- How to successfully communicate and implement a strategy: essential steps
Specialist Digital Marketing Strategy and Digitization Process. I help businesses and territories to develop thanks to the use of Internet in their business strategies.
Impart conferences, training and consulting for over 20 years. Program Director of the Degree of Entrepreneurship Digital (Digital Business) La Salle - URL.
My digital DNA comes from Intercom (creators of Infojobs, Softonic, eMagister, Solostocks, among other companies). I created my first website in 1994 and started my first online business in 1998.
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