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Porter’s 5 Forces


Porter’s 5 Forces is a model used in strategic business planning to analyze the competitive environment of an industry. It evaluates five key factors: the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of buyers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitute products or services, and the intensity of competitive rivalry. This analysis guides businesses in understanding their strengths and weaknesses in relation to these forces, enabling strategic decision-making.


Porter’s Five Forces would be pronounced phonetically as: “Pohr-turz fahyv fohr-siz”

Key Takeaways

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  1. Competitive Rivalry: This force examines how intense the competition currently is in the marketplace. High competition typically means lower profits as businesses have to compete for the same customers.
  2. Supplier Power: This force addresses how easily suppliers can drive up the cost of goods or services. It is driven by the number of suppliers, uniqueness of service, their strength and control over you, the cost of switching from one to another, and so on.
  3. Buyer Power: This force looks at the power of the consumer to affect pricing and quality. The number of buyers, their importance to your business, and the cost of them switching from your products to a competitor’s, affect this force.
  4. Threat of Substitution: This refers to the likelihood of your customers finding a different way of doing what you do. For example, if you supply a unique software product that automates an important process, people may substitute by doing the process manually or by outsourcing it.
  5. Threat of New Entry: This force considers how easy it is for someone to compete with you. The easier it is for a competitor to join, the greater the risk of your product or service’s market share being depleted.



Porter’s 5 Forces is a critical business/finance concept that allows businesses to understand the competitive dynamics within their industry and to carve out a position that is more profitable and less vulnerable to attack. This framework, developed by Michael E. Porter, pinpoints five forces that shape every industry and market: competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, threat of substitution, and threat of new entry. By assessing these forces, businesses can develop strategies to gain competitive advantage, such as entering an industry where the forces are weak or altering the forces in their favor. It provides businesses vital insights for strategic planning and long-term decision-making. Hence, Porter’s 5 Forces is a cornerstone of business strategy and a powerful tool for business sustainability and growth.


Porter’s Five Forces is a framework and tool that is widely used for strategic planning and business development purposes. The primary purpose of this model is to analyse the competition in the business environment and determine the profitability of a market or industry. Developed by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter in 1979, this tool takes into account five critical aspects – competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, threat of substitution, and threat of new entry. The analysis helps businesses figure out where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and how they can use these to their advantage in the competitive landscape.By understanding these forces, businesses can identify opportunities for growth and profitability and potential threats that may hamper their plans. For instance, if the threat of new entry is high in a particular industry, it means that new competitors can easily enter that market, directly affecting the existing businesses’ market share. On the other hand, if the buyer power is high, customers have the upper hand, meaning they can demand lower prices or better quality. Businesses can then use this information to craft strategies to counteract these forces, ensuring that they remain competitive and profitable. This model not only helps in business strategy formulation but also plays a vital role in market entry decision, industry analysis, and business unit planning.


1. Starbucks and the Coffee Industry: Porter’s Five Forces can be applied to understand Starbucks’ business context. The force of competitive rivalry is high due to the nature of the coffee industry where many similar companies compete. Threat from the force of new entrants is moderate since it requires significant capital and expertise to enter this market. Bargaining power of suppliers is moderate as Starbucks maintains good relationships with ethical suppliers. Bargaining power of buyers is high, as customers may shift to other brands for various reasons including price, tastes, or trends. The threat of substitute products is also high, as customers can easily substitute coffee with other beverages like tea, juice, or even bottled water. 2. Amazon and the E-commerce Industry: Competitive rivalry is high for Amazon due to other large-scale e-commerce competitors such as eBay and Alibaba. The threat from new entrants is low to moderate, because although it’s easy to set up an online shop, establishing a market presence to compete with Amazon is highly challenging. Buyer bargaining power is high since consumers have many options to compare prices and products. Supplier power is relatively low as Amazon has many suppliers for various types of products, reducing its dependency. Substitution threat is moderate because although physical stores exist, the convenience of e-commerce is unique in many ways.3. Apple in the Technology Industry: Competitive rivalry is highly intense for Apple with direct competition from companies such as Samsung, Sony, and Google. The threat of new entrants is relatively low due to high entry costs and technical expertise needed. Supplier power is low to moderate as Apple has numerous suppliers, but certain components are sources from specific suppliers. Buyer power is high as consumers have many options to choose from. The threat of substitutes is moderate because while there are other technological product alternatives available, the uniqueness of Apple’s operating system and design can mitigate this.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Porter’s 5 Forces?

Porter’s 5 Forces is a model designed by Michael E. Porter that helps to analyze the competition of a business. It draws upon industrial organization economics to derive five forces i.e. Threat of new entry, Bargaining power of buyers, Threat of substitute products or services, Bargaining power of suppliers, and Competitive Rivalry.

How is this model useful in business and market analysis?

The main use of the model is to understand the profitability in a specific market. It also helps businesses determine the competition level and attractiveness of a market.

What is meant by Threat of New Entrants in Porter’s 5 Forces?

It refers to how easy or difficult it is for competitors to join the marketplace. If an industry is profitable and there are few barriers to enter, then expect more competitors to enter the market.

What does the term Bargaining Power of Suppliers mean?

This factor assesses how easy it is for suppliers to increase prices. It is influenced by the number of suppliers, degree of differentiation of inputs, switching costs and the importance of volume to suppliers.

What is understood by Bargaining Power of Buyers?

This component analyzes the power consumers have in affecting the product’s price. If there are few buyers, but many sellers in the market, the buyers have the upper hand.

How does the Threat of Substitute Products and Services impact a business?

If there are similar products in the market, consumers can easily switch to a substitute, impacting the demand for a business’ products or services. High substitute availability leads to lower industry profitability.

What is Competitive Rivalry in Porter’s 5 Forces?

Competitive rivalry is the extent to which companies within the same industry compete for the same set of customers. The intensity of competitive rivalry can impact the profitability of an organization.

Who can use Porter’s 5 Forces?

Porter’s 5 Forces can be used by any organization that operates within a market. This tool is especially useful for strategic planners, business owners, and marketers who are deciding whether or not to enter a particular market or how to better leverage their position in a market.

Related Finance Terms

  • Competitive Rivalry
  • Supplier Power
  • Buyer Power
  • Threat of Substitution
  • Threat of New Entry

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