Competitors Are Not What—Or Who—They Used To Be 

By Mark Walls Category: Trends

The travel, advertising, publishing, automobile insurance and music industries, and companies across communications, media, financial services, health and retail—­to name a few—are seeking to understand how digital will impact their customers and are exploring new opportunities.

For example, UK supermarket chain Tesco has entered the entertainment sector with an on-demand video service, the latest new venture built on knowledge accumulated from its loyalty card [1]. US retail powerhouse Wal-Mart is currently working with an online university to create online education courses for employees [2].

Markets are also witnessing the emergence of a whole new breed of passionate digital competitors that pride themselves on following their own playbooks, reinventing services along the way. PayPal challenges age-old boundaries between banking and retail. Tesla has transformed the experience of purchasing a car. Accenture’s CEO Briefing 2014 report highlighted that business leaders see this new competition as the greatest risk their company will face in the next 12 months.

What are the greatest risks your company will face over the next 12 months?

Figure 1: What are the greatest risks your company will face over the next 12 months?
Source: ‘CEO Briefing 2014. The Global Agenda: Competing in a Digital World’ Accenture 2014

Such blurring of the lines between traditional industry boundaries signals new partnerships and ecosystems that are poised to compete with the world’s category leaders and disrupt the competitive landscape.