Porter's Five Forces Research Guide

Typical Steps in Industry Analysis

Define the relevant industry:

  • What products are in it? Which ones are part of another distinct industry?
  • What is the geographic scope of competition?

Identify the participants and segment them into groups, if appropriate:
Who are

  • the buyers and buyer groups?
  • the suppliers and supplier groups?
  • the competitors?
  • the substitutes?
  • the potential entrants?

Assess the underlying drivers of each competitive force to determine which forces are strong and which are weak and why.

Determine overall industry structure, and test the analysis for consistency:

  • Why is the level of profitability what it is?
  • Which are the controlling forces for profitability?
  • Is the industry analysis consistent with actual long-run profitability?
  • Are more-profi table players better positioned in relation to the five forces?

Analyze recent and likely future changes in each force, both positive and negative.

Identify aspects of industry structure that might be influenced by competitors, by new entrants, or by your company.

(Source: Porter, Michael E. "The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy." Harvard Business Review 86.1 (2008): 78-93)

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