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MECE: market analysis v customer analysis v competitor analysiS

Anonymous A asked on Oct 24, 2018 - 2 answers


My question is about being MECE when creating frameworks that touch on the market as well as the customer and competition

My issue is that if market analysis is important to my case, and I decided strucutre my framework like so:

Competitive landscape:

  • players
  • share percentages
  • trends in growth
  • competitive response


  • segmentation
  • characteristics
  • sentiment/loyalty

If this is my framework, is it MECE? Customer and competition are components of the mkt so should this be all under mkt instead?

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replied on Oct 24, 2018
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Your are basically about a framework that merges the Ps and the Cs here, which I typically refer to as the 'business framework' (cf. Victor Cheng). Where is your product? your price? your go-to-market?

My go-to is a version of the following:

- Industry / competition

- Consumer

- Product

- Go to Market / logistics / supply chain

- Price

- Company capabilities / others

This is too many branches though (I like to limit to 3 or 4 branches at most), so I often merge some or outright remove if obviously out of scope; the 'others' at the end ensures this remains MECE

Vlad replied on Oct 25, 2018
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First of all - not all issue trees can and should be MECE. Very often it's not the case. In your example, the structure looks more like a work plan with several work streams. And very often it's a good way to structure the case.

There is a number of ways how you can approach problems in a MECE way:

  1. If your structure works mathematically (e.g. Total time spent on cleaning operation = # of people x Frequency x Hours per cleaning per person)
  2. If your structure comes from a formula (e.g. output rate = total number of people being served / time to serve one person)
  3. If you are using the common industry drivers (e.g. revenues = # of customers x av. check) (e.g Passengers on the plane = capacity x Load Factor) or theindustry revenue streams (Fuel revenues / non-fuel revenues for the gas station) or the functional drivers (e.g. for the problems in sales : Sales strategy / sales people and allocation / motivation / sales process)
  4. If your issue tree is a real framework used by the consultants (e.g. the famous Bain Cap framework for PE due dills: Market / Competitors / Company / Feasibility of exit) (e.g. People / Process / Technology) (e.g. The famous McKinsey framework - People don't want to do smth / they can't do smth / smth prevents them from doing that)
  5. If your structure is a well-known academically MECE framework (e.g. Product / Distribution / Price / Marketing (Also known as 4P))

There is no magic pill how you can learn to build the MECE issue trees. !!!! It comes with a lot of Practice and reflection and building proper industry and functional knowledge. !!!!


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