7 Essential Aspects of Competitive Forces Shaping Business Strategy


Our modern business environment is marked by constant change and dynamism. Grasping and utilizing competitive forces shaping business strategy is a key factor in successful strategic planning. Recognizing the competitive influences within an industry allows businesses to devise strategies to gain a competitive advantage and ensure long-term growth.

competitive forces shaping business strategy

Seven Key Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy

Michael Porter, a noted economist and researcher, proposed that five competitive forces determine the destiny of any business. However, in this comprehensive analysis, we expand on this model to include two additional forces. These forces are:

  1. Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
  2. Supplier’s Bargaining Power
  3. Customer’s Bargaining Power
  4. Potential Threat from New Market Entrants
  5. Possible Threat from Substitute Products
  6. Regulatory Environment
  7. Technological Innovations

Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

The degree of competitive rivalry within an industry greatly affects market appeal and profitability. Elements such as the competitors’ number, size, capabilities, and market share shape competitive rivalry dynamics. Tactics to handle competitive rivalry encompass differentiation, cost leadership, and focus strategies.

Supplier’s Bargaining Power

The supplier’s bargaining power alludes to suppliers’ capacity to manipulate prices, quality, and delivery conditions. High supplier power can escalate costs and decrease profitability for businesses. Firms can regulate supplier power with strategies like supplier diversification, backward integration, and forming strategic alliances.

Customer’s Bargaining Power

The degree to which customers can influence prices and sale terms is termed the customer’s bargaining power. High customer power can lead to lowered prices and margins for businesses. To manage customer power, businesses may concentrate on customer retention tactics, product differentiation, and providing value-added services.

Potential Threat from New Market Entrants

The threat from new market entrants refers to the potential impact of new competitors entering the market. High entry barriers like capital requirements, regulatory constraints, and brand loyalty reduce the threat from new entrants. Businesses can counter this threat through strategies such as continuous innovation, customer loyalty programs, and forming strategic alliances.

Possible Threat from Substitute Products

The threat from substitute products pertains to the risk from alternative products that can satisfy similar customer needs. A high substitution threat can lead to price competition and reduced profitability. Businesses can combat this threat through strategies like product innovation, unique value propositions, and customer loyalty initiatives.


Grasping the competitive forces in a business environment is crucial for strategic planning and decision making. By identifying and effectively managing these forces, businesses can create a competitive advantage that leads to sustainable growth and profitability. For a more comprehensive analysis of Porter’s five forces model unveiling the power dynamics of a business environment, feel free to explore further.

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