Differentiation creates private, not public markets
This chapter begins our exploration of competitive strategy. It briefly introduces the key concept of differentiation, and then explores where competition takes place. The convention is to say in an ‘industry’ or ‘market’. In other words, competition is taken to occur within either an industry or a market. Alternatively an industry is itself taken to be a kind of market. These two terms are explored in some depth. One conclusion is that the concept of the ‘industry’ is none too helpful in thinking about the competitive process. The other conclusion is that competition does take place in markets, but that in a world of differentiated offerings the boundaries of those markets are rather different from the conventional view of them. This has important practical implications.