Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
Create an account and get free access to 50+ articles.
Sign up for free >>
BootCamp Articles

Articles read: 0/52

The 4C Framework is a good framework to structure a firm's positioning

Get a broad overview of a business unit and its market with the 4C Framework

The 4C Framework is composed of four elements: Customer, Competition, Cost and Capabilities. The structure is useful to get a better understanding of the client and important during your case interview. While the former 2 provide information of external market conditions, the last 2 provide internal information about the company. The framework belongs to the basic tools, which serve as general roadmap and reminder of the major aspects to cover. The 3C Framework – Customer, Competition and Company is very similar except that the internal aspects of cost and capabilities are combined within the company.

Think about the 4 Cs when the case is about analyzing a market, entering a new market or introducing a new product

Within the first segment, the focus lies on the customer of the company

It is important to realize that the customer of the firm is not necessarily the end customer who buys the product. To find out more about the customer, questions should concentrate on:

  • Market size in terms of revenue
  • Growth
  • Segmentation by geography, products and/or other segments
  • Customer segmentation and types of customers
  • Attractiveness in terms of revenue and expected growth
  • Special needs and wishes
  • Loyalty
  • Distribution channels

The second part of the analysis should focus on the competition

It is important to understand the market position of the competitors as well as how the competition differentiates itself from the client's company.

  • Competitive position portrayed through the share and relative share of the market
  • Growth of the last years and expected growth
  • Fragmentation
  • Performance, for example profitability, relatively to ours
  • Dynamics of new entrants
  • Other trends

Moving to the third dimension - costs - the view changes from an external to an internal view

Here, we compare our client’s cost structure with the competition’s cost structure and try to reduce our costs if certain components of competition costs are lower.

  • Relative cost position, cost advantage compared to competition
  • Profitability by customers, product lines, geography
  • Economies of scale
  • Introduction of best practices
  • Exiting unprofitable areas
  • Reorganization of business units

The fourth and last area deals with capabilities

If we have a better understanding of the resources of a company, we are able to judge more precisely what kind of strategies a company can apply to boost its performance. Furthermore, we can decide if a company should rather make something by itself (organic) or buy the competencies from outside (inorganic - e.g., buying a new firm). Following are some examples of company's capabilities:

  • Core competencies
  • Human Resources
  • Technology
  • Value for the customers
  • Financial resources

Read a case using the Customer, Competition, Cost and Capabilities Framework.

Key takeaways for the 4C Framework

  • 4 elements of interest: Customer, Competition, Cost and Capabilities.
  • Customer and Competition provide an external view.
  • Cost and Capabilities provide an internal view.
  • Useful for market analysis, market entry and introduction of a new product.

Do you have questions on this lesson? Pose it to our community!

Ask a question
Related case(s)

Bain case: Asian lubricants producer

Solved 133.3k times
Bain case: Asian lubricants producer LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). According to preliminary examinations, further growth potentials in the Asian core market are rather limited. Thus LubricantsCo would like to investigate options to internationalize in the passenger car business – also outside the premium segment which is given priority. Therefore your consulting firm was instructed to elaborate a market entry strategy for the European market.  
4.6 5 28512
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). ... Open whole case

Roland Berger case: Light on!

Solved 67.2k times
Roland Berger case: Light on! LumCO, a company producing injection-molded components for lighting applications, has operated successfully in its native European market. The company wants to open up one production facility each in China and the United States and establish their own distribution network in both countries to serve as a hub for the entire region. The products LumCO manufactures can be categorized into Specialties, which are designed and produced by LumCO according to customer specifications (e.g. head lamp casing and lenses in vehicles, luminaires for design lighting applications) and Standards, which encompasses an assortment of components for multiple lighting applications for different industries (fixtures, lenses, luminaires). Based on the only slight but stable growth outlook in Europe, LumCO is eager to establish the production sites in China and the U.S. as soon as possible and also to begin to distribute their products directly. As a consultant, you are asked by the board of management to assess this plan considering your knowledge of each region and the lighting market in particular.
4.6 5 14273
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

LumCO, a company producing injection-molded components for lighting applications, has operated successfully in its native European market. The company wants to open up one production facility each in China and the United States and establish their own distribution network in both countries to serve ... Open whole case

TKMC Case: Elevators

Solved 18.1k times
TKMC Case: Elevators Your customer is the market leader in the North American elevator service business. This is divided into the areas of elevator construction, elevator modernization and service. The customer has a particularly strong branch network in medium-sized cities and would now like to expand its business in bigger city centers. His next target is Manhattan and he wonders how big the potential is.
4.2 5 1284
| Rating: (4.2 / 5.0)

Your customer is the market leader in the North American elevator service business. This is divided into the areas of elevator construction, elevator modernization and service. The customer has a particularly strong branch network in medium-sized cities and would now like to expand its business in ... Open whole case

EY-Parthenon Case: Nachhaltiges Geschäftsmodell

Solved 5.4k times
EY-Parthenon Case: Nachhaltiges Geschäftsmodell Der Geschäftsführer eines in Deutschland führenden Telekommunikationsanbieters denkt über einen Einstieg in den SVoD (Subscription-Video-on-Demand)-Markt nach. Bevor er jedoch viel Zeit in die detaillierte Marktanalyse steckt, möchte er erstmal das Geschäftsmodell von Onflix, dem derzeit international führenden Anbieter, verstehen. Der Anbieter Onflix hat in den letzten Jahren den Markt revolutioniert. Der Erfolg zeigt sich vor allem in dem weltweit starken Mitgliederwachstum. Gleichzeitig hat sich Onflix zu einem der führenden Produktionsunternehmen für Filme und Serien entwickelt. Um weiterhin einen relevanten Wettbewerbsvorteil zu erhalten, schätzen Analysten, dass Onflix die Ausgaben für Content und Marketing von ca. 10 Mrd. $ in 2018 auf 15,8 Mrd. $ in 2020 steigern wird. Mit diesem starken Anstieg an Content-Ausgaben will sich Onflix gegen neue starke Wettbewerber durchsetzen.
4.5 5 129
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

Der Geschäftsführer eines in Deutschland führenden Telekommunikationsanbieters denkt über einen Einstieg in den SVoD (Subscription-Video-on-Demand)-Markt nach. Bevor er jedoch viel Zeit in die detaillierte Marktanalyse steckt, möchte er erstmal das Geschäftsmodell von Onflix, dem derzeit internation ... Open whole case

CTcon Case: Das beste Eis der Stadt!

Solved 1.9k times
CTcon Case: Das beste Eis der Stadt! Deine Klientin ist die Besitzerin der Eisdiele TOTO in einer deutschen Großstadt. Das Geschäft läuft so gut, dass die Besitzerin eine weitere Filiale eröffnen will. Sie ist hellauf begeistert und möchte auf Nummer sichergehen. Sie fragt Dich daher: Ist das eine gute Idee?
4.5 5 45
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

Deine Klientin ist die Besitzerin der Eisdiele TOTO in einer deutschen Großstadt. Das Geschäft läuft so gut, dass die Besitzerin eine weitere Filiale eröffnen will. Sie ist hellauf begeistert und möchte auf Nummer sichergehen. Sie fragt Dich daher: Ist das eine gute Idee? Open whole case