The Forgotten Substitute

Of Porter’s Five Competitive Forces, the one perhaps most often forgotten when setting product strategy is: “Substitutes”.




While we focus on current and potential competitors, it’s easy to forget to look for non-competitor substitutes that may exist in the market. These may include solutions home-grown by customers, processes or personnel that (more or less) do the job that the product would, and even simply doing nothing instead of having a solution at all.
Your competitive matrix should identify such substitutes and clarify why they are suitable solutions, and for whom.
Bill Haines