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Beating the Commodity Trap: How to Maximize Your Competitive Position and Increase Your Pricing Power (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 22. Dezember 2009

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Richard A. D'Aveni is Professor of Strategic Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. The Times of London named him one of the top fifty thinkers in management. He is the author of numerous books, including Hypercompetition, and articles for publications including Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, and CNN.com.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x940d4504) von 5 Sternen 9 Rezensionen
16 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x941071bc) von 5 Sternen Poor, misleading, incorrect and shallow 24. April 2010
Von ARMAN KIRIM, PhD - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The title of the book is an obvious eye catcher. That's why I bought it. However, not before long, it turned out to be a cookbook kind of a writing whereby the author cites a series of commoditization situations and then offers a flimsy solution on the basis of other companies' strategies. In other words, he takes different examples of commoditization and provides solutions to those situations with again the examples of companies who tried to attack the situation. Hence, there is no theory at all. Example problems solved by example strageies.

So, if you are a company facing a sort of commoditization situation, you should first go through the pages of this book, find your specific commoditization situation, and then read what other companies did when they faced similar situations. Explanations you will find will be shallow and won't tell you much. Also, yours may be a small company but stil you will have to pick among alternative strategies as those preferred by giant companies like Hilton Group, Wal-Mart etc. This is only to be expected as the solutions in the book are not based on any THEORY at all. "Take the example, try to use it, even if the company in question is a behemoth". This way the book becomes a useless list of many different strategies, more like a patchwork.

But the book suffers from an even more serious shortcoming: It draws on an inside-out approach to strategy. There is no CONSUMER in this approach. There is a list of war-game strategies to choose from and there are situations of commoditization. You are then advised to match your commoditization situation with the possible example solutions. Totally inside-outside. This approach is very very dangerous and I urge the reader to stay away from this book. You should stay away from it also because there is no beef in it. Even though the author keeps saying that the book is based on his "research", we do not know much about this so-called research. What is the methodology, coverage etc. It is based on very flimsy evidence and very shallow and sometimes incorrect description of relevant business cases.

Take for example his `Zarafication' concept regarding commoditization. The aouthor may have discovered Zara recently but Zara is a very old case for those (like me) who are in the garment retailing business. So, while the author thinks Zara is the behemoth and its strategy causes commoditization, these are not true. Zara's strategy is not a low-end fashion strategy as the author thinks. It is "fast fashion" strategy which changed the rules of the game in the industry. The author thinks that H&M is a defender vis-a-vis Zara, whereas the reality is that H&M is a lot more fearful competitor than Zara. Today it is more releveant to talk of H&M as the new game changer in the industry. If you look at Interbrand 2009 list, you will see that H&M is number 21 whereas Zara is number 50 in the best brands list. Also, had his research been a good research, he should have come across with another anti-commoditization example which is Primark in UK. I am sure the author has not even heard of them. I suggest he studies Primark case carefully.

At other places he is dead wrong in his examples. For example he suggests that in response to competition from various watch-makers, the Swatch Group (SMH) started making acquisition of new brands like Omega, Blancpain etc. Had he just looked at wikipedia, he would have learned that SMH, which already contained in its portfolio the said brands and more, was formed in 1986. Brands did not come as a response to commoditization. They were already in SMH's possession. I just wander how can a person come up and say "I changed the approach to business strategy" and does not even know what is now elementary knowledge in business strategy arena.

I decided to quit reading the book after 40 per cent of it was through. Because a book which lacks theory, which does not even understand the esence of strategy in today's environment, which is a cookbook with which you cannot cook anything and which is full of factual mistakes, makes you go furious. While the whole world of strategy is turning towards a more outside-inside approach, this kind of inside-outside centered poor writings should be avoided. I reccommend, instead, Adrian Slywotzky's UPSIDE and Mark Johnson's SEIZING THE WHITE SPACE. They are worth spending your time on. Forget this one, it is a very BAD book on strategy.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9410721c) von 5 Sternen The people who read his book will have more market share...maybe yours 3. Januar 2010
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
D'Aveni states today's obvious truth "Commoditization can happen to any firm. Any product, any time." What is not obvious is how to deal with this truth and the author does an excellent job of characterizing commoditization and provides good descriptions of strategies to combat it.

The book does not (and should not) include specific plans of attack other than through example because the complexities of actually implementing the recommended analysis and selecting a response strategy require organizational and market context for your situation. Sometimes readers are looking for "the solution" or "the magic pill" for their specific problem and this book provides you the principles and basis of understanding to start down that path while avoiding fatal mistakes.

The book does provide substantiated principles and a structure that can be used with your organizational and market context to beat the commodity trap. These principles are non-trivial, presented in an organized way and D'Aveni should be commended for providing this new framework.

Here are some points/quotes I enjoyed from the book:

a. "Once a company is caught in a commodity trap, differentiation is rarely enough to get it back out."

b. In D'Aveni's experience "commoditization is usually the result of failure to act early enough"

c. With regard to just discounting prices to battle the competition D'aveni states "This has the unfortunate and unintended effect of increasing the depth and severity of the commodity trap.'

d. With regard to the organizational decision making process for dealing with commodity traps D'Aveni makes a statement that is tried and true for the price benefit analysis he is describing and any other kind of managerial decision process for that matter. "...it is important to get managerial buy-in for the selected definitions, sources, and measures of benefits and prices before...otherwise the decision making process can get deadlocked by those who refuse to accept the results due to denial, or the decision making process may be derailed by those who choose to play politics with the data to enhance their personal goals and power.

If you are dealing with commoditization this book will provide a better understanding of your circumstances and better understanding creates better responses.

Dr. James T. Brown PMP, PE, CSP
Author, The Handbook of Program Management
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x941074f8) von 5 Sternen Insightful tool for navigating commoditization 7. April 2010
Von C. Allen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This new book by Richard D'Aveni provides a high-level, strategic view of commoditization across many products, industries and geographies. His extensive network of CEO interviews offers lucid examples and D'Aveni has humorous anecdotes which make for an enjoyable read. It should be a useful reference for senior managers and management consultants as well as MBA students.

I consider the qualitative aspects of D'Aveni's frameworks to be the most useful in establish the CONTEXT for a commodity situation. Are competitors escalating, proliferating or causing deterioration within a market? What stage of commoditization are you facing, what might be a likely progression and how should you pepare a counter-attack? The quantitative analyses appear robust, although would probably be somewhat to perform (eg. price-value regressions).

A well-written book and useful addition to any business library! Highly recommended.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94107a20) von 5 Sternen Probably the author's best book 25. August 2015
Von Jackal - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The author is known for inventing his own terminology and writing overly complicated books (e.g. Hypercompetition). However, he is one of the few academics that actively thinks and writes about competitive advantage with some rigor. Compared to his earlier books, this one is very readable. He keeps the new terminology to a minimum. The book is built around a product quality/price chart. Three types of commoditization are described and solutions are discussed.

So much for the good stuff. Sadly, I find many of the examples lacking detail:
* Zara is supposed to have lower prices than H&M. That is simply not true.
* Apple is supposed to sell its iphone as a lower price than competition. Also not true.
* Aspartame is apparently off patent, The manufacturer keeps the price higher that for the new generation sweetener (Splenda), because there are high (undocumented) switching costs. Switching costs between branded and generic aspartame?

I don't think the sloppy examples impact his theory that much, because it is really standard industrial organisation (e.g Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance). All the examples are probably coming from student projects and executive, without any detailed quality control. The author is thanking more than 50 CEOs in the acknowledgements. I guess he is pitching for teaching assignments.

I don't know if the author really has invented the quality/price chart. The Market Value Process: Bridging Customer & Shareholder Value is one early book with the same model

I give the book three stars. It is a decent book worth reading if you read a lot. Otherwise you should give it a pass.
HASH(0x94107a38) von 5 Sternen How to anticipate and beat market rivals in different commodity traps effectively 2. Februar 2013
Von Hubert Shea - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The key objective of this book is to help marketers understand the prevalence and irreversible trend of commoditization in low-to-high-end markets. Professor D'Aveni maintains that marketers can stake out effective positions for their products and services by utilizing the price-benefit equation and the price-benefit map to escape, destroy, and if ideally suited, take advantage of commodity traps created by market rivals.

Professor D'Aveni categorized commodity trap into three types, namely deterioration, proliferation, and escalation in which they differ significantly in terms of how market rivals combine price with benefits to their products and services. In these three commodity traps, marketers can offer customers to get more for less or alternatively identify a sweet spot to create new customer segments and benefits in the price-benefit map. In this book, Professor underscores the turbulent and shaky state of economy since the 2008 Global financial crisis and suggests marketers to anticipate and diagnosis how commodity traps occur and develop before formulation of threat management strategies for responding to different traps.

In a nutshell, this book has its unique value to marketers. First, commodity traps are pernicious but unavoidable due to rapid pace of technological disruption, globalization, and shifting customer needs. Accordingly, competitive advantages are not sustainable if marketers cannot beat such commodity traps. This book effectively guides marketers how to recognize and how to respond (re-seizing, outflanking, selecting, containing, and sidestepping strategies) to the threat of commoditization. Second, the appendix (Pp.131-154) in this book guides marketers to create price-benefit maps and estimate price-benefit equations with utilization of a statistical tool ("hedonic price regression") to compute correlation between product characteristics and price. While marketers can judiciously contemplate diverse market power, threat management, and momentum strategies to respond to market rivals, Professor D'Aveni suggests different rules and principles to balance firm's resources and threats for larger and smaller market players (Pp.77-78). Third, this book is filled with numerous case studies of successful and failing market players from different industries to illustrate how they deal with their commodity traps (Professor D'Aveni interviewed numerous senior executives from different large market players. Pp.164-165).

Improvements are required if the next edition of this book can be more appealing and easier to understand to marketers. First, this book can contain latest case studies of how market players have beaten the commodity traps due to rapid pace of technological disruption (i.e. smart phone war amongst Apple, Nokia, and Samsung. The Apple case study only illustrates how iPod could beat market rivals in the digital music market 10 years ago. ) Second, the appendix can be expanded to contain a more detailed guide how to utilize regression analysis to create price-benefit maps and estimate price-benefit equations which can be helpful to marketers who are not familiar with quantitative research tools. Third, the Global financial crisis since 2008 has exacerbated market recession in Europe, Japan, and US and it is worthwhile to contain additional case studies to illustrate how successful market players could beat the commodity trap in an evaporation phase (i.e. to expand business into emerging markets such as India, China, and Russia for luxury retailers).
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