Expert with best answer


100% Recommendation Rate

295 Meetings

1,750 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Market sizing from demand or supply side

Anonymous A asked on Oct 13, 2018

When is it best to approach a market sizing question from the demand side?

When is it best to approach it from the supply side?

3 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
replied on Oct 14, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 90+ candidates secure MBB offers
Book a coaching with Sidi

100% Recommendation Rate

295 Meetings

1,750 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Rule of thumb: supply side works better in clearly outlined environments (e.g., how many people are served in a coffee shop per year, how many cars are fueled in a gas station, etc.). Nevertheless, your thinking always needs to include the demand side (even if just for validation).

Cheers, Sidi

replied on Oct 13, 2018
Experienced strategy consultant, now running own consulting business
Book a coaching with Elias

2 Meetings

290 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Generally speaking, I believe it is better to approach market sizing from the demand side - after all 100% of demand equals the market size. That may not be the case with 100% of supply - that may be a lot more or a lot less than the actual demand for a product.

However, there may be instances, where it would be interesting or sensible to come from the supply side. This may be the case if you want to demonstrate a market opportunity, i.e. "Total supply for left turning widgets is X, but the market potential is actually Y, which is a lot more than X.".

Also in some cases it may simply be easier to calculate, but that's a very weak argument.

Vlad replied on Oct 14, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

346 Meetings

4,738 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching


It's simple:

  • Start with an approach you are more confident about
  • If you know how to do it both ways - mention it to the interviewer: "We can calculate this market both from the supply and the demand sides. Le'ts start with the supply / demand side and later, if we have time, check the answer using another method"


Related BootCamp article(s)

Important Facts

It's essential to know some key figures regarding geographies, population, economies for your case interviews. We summarized them for you here.

Market Sizing

Market Sizing Cases are used to test your quantitative and reasoning skills. The interviewer evaluates your structure, numbers-handling and business sense.

1 Q&A

Related case(s)

Your client, large automotive OEM WyCar, has developed its first fully electric vehicle (EV) and introduced it as a pilot on the Austrian market last year. However, sales have been far below the expected numbers. The management has engaged you to support them in understanding the reasons and advise ... Open whole case

Bain Case: Old Winery

Solved 30.8k times
4.4 5 842
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. ... Open whole case

Roland Berger Case: Onlinestar

Solved 18.6k times
4.3 5 407
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Onlinestar, an online retailer of furniture and garden products (core business), has grown significantly in recent years as a result of an expansion of its product portfolio. The company mainly imports goods from Chinese manufacturers but also operates its own production of cat lavatories (special b ... Open whole case


Solved 49.2k times
4.5 5 1525
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |

Nutripremium is a very well-known premium nutrition food company in Europe (€1 billion revenue last year). It is based in Spain and has an excellent market share not only in its home country but also in Portugal, France, Italy and Germany. Nutripremium has two main lines of products: Vitamin-supp ... Open whole case

Children vaccine

Solved 44.5k times
4.4 5 1487
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0) |

Beyer, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, just invented a very reliable vaccine against Chickenpox, a disease that affects children in the age from 2 to 16 years. Beyer came to you wondering what their potential sales in Europe in the first year would be if they launched this ... Open whole case