Participant Identification of Competitors in a Marketing Simulation Competition


  • A. J. Faria
  • William J. Wellington


"Despite extensive academic research on how to classify competitors, little is known about how managers identify competitors in practice. This paper examines how student managers in two different marketing simulation games identified their strongest competitors and how these managers evaluated their competitors in terms of the level of threat they posed and their relative importance as competitors. The findings from 96 simulation teams indicated that simulation game players used many of the same criteria as practising marketing managers but the scope of the criteria used were influenced by the nature of the simulations being played and the evaluation approaches being employed. It is clear that a marketing manager for Coca-Cola would view Pepsi-Cola as a direct competitor. In the same fashion, Procter & Gamble marketing managers would view Kimberly-Clark as a direct competitor, General Motors' management would view Ford as a direct competitor, etc. Many examples, like these, would seem to be clear. However, competition can come from companies that are not exactly like us (product, generic and total budget competitors). When identifying competitors, what criteria do marketing managers use? "