Expert with best answer


100% Recommendation Rate

68 Meetings

47 Q&A Upvotes

USD 259 / Coaching

How to best structure for comparison with competitors to have a MECE approach?

Anonymous A asked on Aug 12, 2019 - 2 answers


I often see myself juggling with "drawing a comparison with competitors' in my case structure. I tend to cover Competition as a separate bucket under Market bucket but then I realise that it overlaps with the product, price, customer part- for comparison questions. Infact, it goes beyond that and at times the competition comes back again when we see how they are selling/ sourcing/ manufacturing/ branding etc the product or service we are evaluating for the client.

Other way, is to not have competition as a separate tab and cover it under Market Attractiveness and ask about #competitors, individual share, USP, etc in market size- share bucket. But this will make us to use Competition related questions across all the other buckets eg: Product, Price, Distribution, Revenue, Cost, Customers, etc etc (depending on the case).

As you can see that none of the above fit into MECE scheme of things. Any suggestions on how to go about incorporating COMPETITION related part in an effective MECE Case structure?

Thank you very much!

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
replied on Aug 12, 2019
Ex Bain Case Team Leader I Focus on Private Equity I +80 interviews conducted at Bain I All cases based on real life cases
Book a coaching with John

100% Recommendation Rate

68 Meetings

47 Q&A Upvotes

USD 259 / Coaching


a few remarks on this from my point of view (there is no wrong or right here).

1) Comparing the client/target with competitors should not fall under market. The only competition related issue that should be looked at in market is competitive intensity, i.e. how strong is competition between the different players.

2) After you have asked about competitors and shar developments, you might want to evaluate compettiveness of a company, I would recommend to not draw up various standard buckets (e.g. product, price, distribution, etc.) and try to ask the right questions in each of those. I would structure it along Key Purchasing Criteria (KPCs) so that your questions will be 100% relevant and not hit or miss for factors that are not relevant to the client.

  • Step 1) Evaluate with your interviewers what could be the most important KPCs for your client's/target's customers and rank them. Be careful - they might be different depending on the customer segment. (e.g. rank 1: rrice, rank 2: speed of delivery, rank 3: quality, rank 4: customer service, etc.)
  • Step 2) Evaluate your client's/ target's performance against competition on these KPCs. (e.g. client performs well on all KPCs apart from price which is the most important one)
  • Step 3) Deduct what the client/target has to do in order to influence their performance on the KPCs. (e.g. reduce cost in order to lower prices).

I hope this helps. You can also PM me, if you have further questions.



replied on Aug 12, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

364 Meetings

5,244 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching


First of all and most important - your initial structure should not be necessarily MECE. This is one of the most common misconceptions. If you look at the consulting client proposals - the structures there are not MECE most of the time. However, your structures during the case the should be MECE all the time.

Secondly - I would put competition separately from the market branch.

In the market you look at:

  • size
  • growth rates
  • segmentation, growth rates of the segments
  • regulation
  • trends

In the competition you look at:

  • Market shares
  • Growth rates
  • Profits
  • Unit economics (products, price, cost per unit)
  • Key capabilities

As you can imagine you can't look at 12 bullet points simply under the market bucket

Thirdly - it's totally fine to compare things with the competitors in any other bucket. It's called benchmarking and it's just one of the consulting tools. In reality, the numbers you get will simply depend on the tables / charts that the interviewer has. It can be the case that you get the information about the company in the competitor's bucket if that's the comparison the interviewer has printed in his table


Related BootCamp article(s)

The Value Chain

The Value Chain - as e.g. by Porter - is a classic framework to structure the activities of a business and add value to products by transforming resources.

Issue Tree

The Issue Tree Framework can be used to break down the problems of a case to its components and significantly increase your speed during case interviews.

MECE Principle

The MECE principle is a way of segmenting information into sub-elements that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. Learn more in our bootcamp.


Approaching a Case

In order to get into consulting, the case study is the most important element of the interview. Here, you can learn the specific skills and concepts to solve them.

1 Q&A

Related case(s)

Deloitte Consulting case: Footloose

Solved 56.7k times
4.5 5 12692
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

Duraflex is a German footwear company with annual men’s footwear sales of approximately €1 b. They have always relied on the boot market for the majority of their volume. In this market they compete with three other major competitors. In the fall of 2013, Badger – one of Duraflex’s competitiors – ... Open whole case