where to play playing field competition and your organization

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Instructions for Assignment 1

1. Detail the specific target segment of the market where you are choosing to compete. You should ensure the target segment is sufficiently large to achieve Air Products and Chemicals sales and profit growth objectives, but sufficiently small so that Air Products can intimately understand consumer/customer needs and compete effectively. As you will see, the template provided for this assignment guides you on how to populate relevant information, including:

  • Your company: Air Products and Chemicals (www.airproducts.com)
  • The industry for your organization of choice
  • The market size of this industry
  • Specific description of the segment of this industry in which you will compete (the Playing Field)
  • Brief explanation of why you selected this segment.

2. Identify the two most formidable competitors in your playing field and address the following for each:

  • How big is each competitor in this target segment?
  • What is their most significant strength and their most significant weakness? Briefly explain how this strength and this weakness impact their ability to compete effectively.
  • Do their recent results indicate they are generally “winning” or “losing” in this Playing Field? Note, you would be well-served to support your conclusions with data.
  • Has anyone (including new market entrants) introduced any game-changing new products/technology/capabilities? Have they developed (or lost) a key competitive advantage?

3. You will also need to “turn the mirror around” and look inward to assess the capabilities and competencies of your Organization. Therefore, briefly address the following:

  • How big are we in this target segment?
  • What is our most significant strength and our most significant weakness? Briefly explain how this strength and this weakness impact our ability to compete effectively.
  • Do our recent results indicate we are generally “winning” or “losing” in this Playing Field? Note, you would be well-served to support your conclusions with data.
  • Have we introduced game-changing new products/technology/capabilities? Have we developed (or lost) a key competitive advantage?

4. Conclude with a succinct final paragraph or two which highlights your most insightful “a-ha” conclusions on the target segment and the relative competitive balance of the three companies you analyzed.

Formatting and Submission Requirements

  • Use the Assignment 1 Template to complete this assignment. Ensure you address each element of the template.
  • The submitted template should be 2 to 3 pages (not including the cover page or appendixes/references page.
  • Typed, single-spaced, professional font (size 10 – 12) with one-inch margins on all sides.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, professor’s name, and the course title and date.
  • Use and reference at least 3 external sources to support your brief. Include a references page at the end documenting sources and citations.
  • You may use additional headings within the template to identify subtopics if this will improve the clarity of your template.
  • You are welcome to include charts, tables, and graphs in-text or in an appendix.
  • Develop and support your research with facts and in-text citations, appendixes, and references.

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