ISBN 9781422103159,Beating the Commodity Trap

Beating the Commodity Trap



Harvard Universal Press

Publication Year 2009

ISBN 9781422103159

ISBN-10 1422103153


Number of Pages 194 Pages
Language (English)


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.

About the Author
Richard D'Aveni (Shortlisted: 2011 Thinkers50 Strategy Award ) is professor of strategic management at the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth University. An expert on competitive strategy, and winner of the prestigious A.T. Kearney Award for outstanding research in general management by the Academy of Management, D'Aveni is probably best known for the concept of hyper-competition, a term he coined in the early 1990s.

His 1994 book Hyper-competition was described by Fortune magazine as "a modern-day analogue to The Art of War." In it, D'Aveni presciently envisaged a world where sustainable advantage was no longer possible. He developed this idea in Hyper-competitive Rivalries (1995); and then in Strategic Supremacy (2001), he demonstrated how companies could achieve supremacy in a hyper-competitive world.

In Beating the Commodity Trap: How Smart Companies Out-maneuver their Rivals to Win the Price War (2010), D'Aveni looked at how firms can turn commoditization to their advantage. In his forthcoming book Strategic Capitalism, he addresses the competitive clash of nations, arguing that China and America are competing on different models of capitalism