competition methods

competition methods

an element of MARKET CONDUCT that denotes the ways in which firms in a MARKET compete against each other. There are various ways in which firms can compete against each other:
  1. PRICE. Sellers may attempt to secure buyer support by putting their product on offer at a lower price than that of rivals. They must bear in mind, however, that rivals may simply lower their prices also, with the result that all firms finish up with lower profits;
  2. non-price competition, including:
  1. physical PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION. Sellers may attempt to differentiate technically similar products by altering their quality and design, and by improving their performance. All these efforts are intended to secure buyer allegiance by causing buyers to regard these products as in some way ‘better’ than competitive offerings. (ii) product differentiation via selling techniques. Competition in selling efforts includes media ADVERTISING, general SALES PROMOTION (free trial offers, money-off coupons), personal sales promotion (representatives) and the creation of distribution outlets. These activities are directed at stimulating demand by emphasizing real and imaginary product attributes relative to competitors. (iii) New BRAND competition. Given dynamic change (advances in technology, changes in consumer tastes), a firm's existing products stand to become obsolete. A supplier is thus obliged to introduce new brands or to redesign existing ones to remain competitive;
  2. low-cost production as a means of competition. Although cost-effectiveness is not a direct means of competition, it is an essential way to strengthen the market position of a supplier. The ability to reduce costs opens up the possibility of (unmatched) price cuts or allows firms to devote greater financial resources to differentiation activity See also MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION, OLIGOPOLY, MARKETING MIX, PRODUCT-CHARACTERISTICS MODEL, PRODUCT LIFE-CYCLE.
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