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33 Types of Competition

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Competition is the process of winning business in a crowded market. This is a fundamental force of economics that makes things more efficient, higher quality and cheaper. Without it, economic and technological progress would slow or stop. The following are basic types of competition.


Price is perhaps the most common form of competition as products that fail to stand out in the market can only compete on price.


Ads and other types of promotion that help products to stand out as recognizable, high quality or unique. In many cases, an advertisement does nothing but associate a product with a positive emotion or idea.


Serving a small market with unique preferences and needs.


Developing products that fit a unique slot on the market such as the only black, unsweetened organic coffee beverage on the shelves of convenience stores.


Convenient locations. In some cases, prime locations such as luxury shopping areas also help as they can make a brand seem luxurious.


Skilled salespeople.


Superior technology in areas such as products, operations or marketing.


The ability to produce at the lowest cost. In some industries, cost is the only competitive advantage possible as price is set by the market and customers see no difference between products.


Products with superior features such as an unusually safe car.

Customer Experience

An overall experience that customers prefer such as a restaurant with a pleasant ambiance, tasty food and diligent staff.


Values that customers identify with such as sustainability.


Inventive thinking that leaps beyond the current state of the art.


The ability to navigate risk more successfully than the competition.

Figure Of Merit

Competing on a measurable aspect of a product that customers value such as the efficiency of solar panels.

Time to Market

Being the first to market with an anticipated product or feature.


Products that don't harm the environment over their full lifecycle.


Advantages in getting the product to customers such as strong sales partners.


Allowing customers to customize products and services.


In many industries, reputation is a primary competitive factor. For example, people want investment advice from reputable sources.

Social Status

Social signals such as a fashion designer who has plenty of celebrity friends and clients.


Offering something nobody else can. For example, a railway with a monopoly.


The ability to execute a service quickly.


A list of accomplishments such as a consultancy with an established history with major clients.


The ability to produce at scale generally lowers unit cost and allows a firm to serve large markets and customers.


Offering a broad range of products that compliment each other in some way.

Art & Design

Intangible qualities that capture the imagination of customers such as aesthetics.

Time & Place

Being in the right place at the right time such as an ice cream vendor at a parade on a hot day.


Producing things that feel once in a lifetime such as music festivals that are never the same twice.


Products, services and experiences that are superior in the eyes of customers such as a camera that is impossible to break or dessert with a remarkably soft texture.


Personal or brand relationships with customers.


An interesting history associated with a firm that gives it a strong presence in a market.


Communicating your value in a compelling way using storytelling techniques.


Customers tend to prefer products they have heard about and may avoid the unknown.


A firm that paints an inspiring picture of its future or the future in general.
Overview: Competition
The process of winning business in a crowded market.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about competition.
Captive Market
Competitive Environment
Competitive Factors
Competitive Parity
Competitive Pressure
Competitive Threat
Cost Competition
Fair Competition
Greed Is Good
Imperfect Competition
Market Change
Market Economy
Outrun The Bear
Perfect Competition
Substitute Good
More ...
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Competitive Disadvantage

A few examples of a competitive disadvantage.


A definition of meritocracy with examples.


The definition of monopoly with examples.

Substitute Good

The definition of substitute good with examples.

Marketing Economics

A reasonably comprehensive guide to marketing economics.

Bliss Point

An overview of bliss point, a marketing principle.

Rule Of Three

Why three firms usually dominate an industry.

Mere Exposure Effect

An overview of the mere exposure effect.

Market Saturation

A definition of market saturation with a few examples.

Premiumisation vs Commodization

The difference between premiumisation and commodization.

Market Position

The primary types of market position.

Consumer Goods

The common types of consumer goods.

Switching Costs

A definition of switching costs with examples.

Pricing Strategy

An overview of common pricing strategies.

Price Discrimination

A list of price discrimination strategies.

Price War

An overview of price wars.

Price Economics

A list of price economics principles and theories.

Premium Pricing

A definition of premium pricing with examples.

Penetration Pricing

A definition of penetration pricing with examples.

Variable Pricing

The definition of variable pricing with examples.

Channel Pricing

A definition of channel pricing with examples.

Supply And Demand

An overview of supply and demand with examples.

Value Pricing

The definition of value pricing with examples.
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