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Hello, Catapults. Lessons from GameStop.

by | Feb 9, 2021 | Discoveries

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“Your customers are searching and exploring without you even knowing about it. And they are redefining your competitive set, too. Welcome to the customer zeitgeist.”

Karla Raines, Differentiated

Chapter 3 of Differentiated explores the new world of competition based on real-world observations and naturally occurring data. The old way of classifying competitors no longer applies. Do you understand your Replacements, Alternatives, Catapults, and Community Builders?

Real World Exemplar

Keith Gill and a band of retail investors decided to take on Wall Street. Robinhood and its promise of “investing for everyone” transformed a growing online community into a combination of Catapult and Community Builder. The movement solidified around a common objective, then it pounced.

The movement was there all along, on Reddit, not Wall Street. Growing in scale with a rallying cry propelled by Elon Musk, they made their moves on GameStop in a matter of weeks, or was it days?

Then, poof. A group of “amateur” investors catapulted into the markets with a significant consequence, as evidenced by Robinhood’s scramble to raise $2.4B to cover its obligations.

Big-name brokerage and investment firms didn’t see these new competitors coming. Will you?

“How do you stack up against these newly defined competitors? The old categories of direct, indirect, and substitute can’t guide you to the answers you seek. They were designed for a simpler time. You need a clear-eyed view of competitors—and not just the ones in plain sight.”

Karla Raines, Differentiated

 

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