WHEN:  October 30, 2024 Virtual
SUMMARY: Simplify predictions of competitors’ moves and countermoves when multiple rivals are involved.

kevin curren


The goal of this high level course is to enable participants to assess the clustering of players in their industry and your relative positioning vis a vis other players. The model simplifies predictions of competitors’ moves and countermoves when multiple competitors are involved.

You will learn how to:

  • Refine your thinking of competitors’ behavior when there are several significant competitors
  • Use strategic mapping – a tool enabling executives to quickly assess their relative strategic positioning
  • Analyze paradigm shifts in industries undergoing rapid change or transition
  • Test the ability to make predictions about industries and competitors based on a few critical assumptions and minimal data

Here we list the key questions that this seminar addresses. If you can answer “yes” to three or more of the 10 questions posed for this course, it will meet your needs.

Do you need to…

  1. Track and assess more than 5 competitors at once?
  2. Understand competitors that are very different?
  3. Track an industry that is in transition?
  4. Make sense of foreign competitors?
  5. Analyze competitors that are subsidiaries of larger holding companies?
  6. Learn to work with minimal available data?
  7. Understand change? Rapid change? The effect of growth?
  8. Integrate consumer/customer behavior into your analysis?
  9. Forecast industry structure several years into the future?
  10. Simplify the analysis of large numbers of companies?

All ACI programs teach students how to overcome the most challenging competitive intelligence issues. The following are sample lessons taught in this course:

Making Sense Out of a Complex Competitive Landscape

General Motors, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler and Toyota have similar strategy when it comes to breadth of product line. The Fiat Group, VW group, Honda, Citroen, Nissan, Isuzu and Mitsubishi, to name a few, follow a different route. Porsche is a remaining symbol of a once large group of manufacturers that had a specific strategy on price and disappeared within a short decade. The Koreans, by and large, have changed their strategy over the past decade with only limited success. BMW is in a class by itself when it comes to product line strategy, with unclear consequences, but easy prediction.


  1. Can you put all this confusing information into a chart that will enable your bosses to grasp the industry evolutionary path with one look? (Hint: Yes! One look, guaranteed!)
  2. What do you do when you need to first describe, and then predict the strategic moves of a large number of companies?
  3. Why were the Koreans only partially successful? Why is BMW in a tentative position? Why doesn’t everyone move to the most desired position in the industry?
  4. Would a strategic map fit your industry? How do you select the variables?

Industry Changes and the Entry of New Competitors

The Chain Saw industry is going through a gut wrenching change. This is definitely a structural change – one that can destroy a company or make it very prosperous. The change involves an emergence of a whole new class of buyers.


  1. As an intelligence analyst, how do you analyze change — any change?? What do you report to management? Do you bombard them with the statistics? (Hint: Not if you want to make it to director)
  2. How do you develop a scenario regarding the future effect of the change? What drivers do you take into account?
  3. Can you predict exactly what a company will do in response to the change and how it will end up five years later? (Hint: Definitely.)
  4. If you want to analyze the response of a Swedish company to this structural change, do you need to speak Swedish? (Hint: Yes.)

A Shift in Distribution Channels

Your industry is going through a change in distribution channels. More and more emphasis is placed on large retailers. At the same time, the market is growing by leaps and boundsin one segment and stagnating in the other. The change in volume is very significant. Several companies produce private label. Many others use small distributors who offer full service.


  1. Analyze: What is the first thing that will happen in the industry given the above sketchy data points?
  2. Predict by logical inference: What will small distributors do in reaction to (1) above? (Hint: What will you do?)
  3. How difficult is it to predict competitive moves? What do you need to make your prediction more than a guess? How helpful is CI analysis in bridging gaps in the data.
  4. What is the “secret” of successful strategies in time of rapid change?