Competitive advantage is shifting, say Thomas N. Hubbard, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, writing for Strategy+Business. The new industry leaders are leaner and more focused than their predecessors. They are the “supercompetitors”.
These companies have the power to change entire industries. They excel at delivering a small number of relevant, scalable capabilities. They have developed “mutually reinforcing systems”, which combine the processes, skills and organisation necessary to deliver their outcomes consistently and to an ever larger customer base.
Amazon is one such supercompetitor. The company formulated its distinguishing capabilities – distinctive retail interface, great IT and supply chain capabilities and automated, tailored recommendations – when it began life as an internet bookseller. Amazon has now successfully scaled up its capabilities system across many product categories including homeware, clothing and cloud-based services.