In today’s business environment, one characterized by intensified competition and increasingly diverse and changing customer needs, the challenges faced by managers in establishing and maintaining distinct and advantageous marketplace positions are daunting.
The pace of innovation in manufacturing and service industries has accelerated dramatically — yesterday’s novel new idea is today’s commodity and tomorrow’s anachronism.
Competing mainly on the basis of periodic advances in core product features can lead to short-term marketplace advantages. But resulting revenue gains are often fleeting, and long-term profits may be eaten away as a result of lower-cost domestic and foreign imitators. Incremental shifts in markets or sudden leaps in technology tend to expose shortcomings and oversights in new product sales forecasts, making it more difficult for companies to capitalize on their investments.