Posted: May 24th, 2022
Shearwater Adventures Case Study
1. Dominant economic features
Market size and growth rate. It is estimated that the extreme and
sporting industry is in the $100-500 million range worldwide. The growth
rate is difficult to establish correctly, since some operators experience
12% annual growth, while tourism in Zimbabwe is decreasing. Shearwater
Adventures’ growth was 39% in sales.
Number of rivals. There are 250,000 operators worldwide. Zimbabwe is
not characterized by a large number of important operators, since
Shearwater has a 80% market share.
Number of buyers. The customer base consists in individuals aged 40-50
mainly. This means that the number of customers can be significantly
increased by attracting younger categories of customers.
Degree of product differentiation. Shearwater offers a very wide range
of services, compared to its competitors that only provide three options at
most. However, competitors’ range of products could expand.
2. Five forces model of competition
Threat of new entrants. The costs of market entry are various: they
can be low like $20,000 for small operations, or high like $200,000 for
full service operations. The United States market presents high entry
barriers, while the South African market presents low entry barriers.
Overall strength: normal.
Buyer bargaining power. The seller-buyer strategic partnerships take
the form of certain services provided by operators, determining buyers to
return. The bargaining power of buyers is not very visible at a superficial
level, but it is clear that sellers must adapt to the buying possibilities
of buyers. Overall strength: moderate.
Supplier bargaining power. The supplied items are not commodities. The
size of suppliers varies from small local operators to large full service
operators. The number of suppliers reaches 250,000 worldwide. Given the
nature of activity, there is little threat of supply shortage. There is
high differentiation among suppliers. Overall strength: strong.
Substitutes. There are no direct substitutes in this market. Overall
Rivalry. There is a large number of competitors, but they vary from
small operators to large businesses. The price range and the services range
varies in accordance with operators’ size. Overall strength: strong.
The strongest force that has the greatest effect is competitive
rivalry. This force basically establishes the market, the prices, the range
of products, and the evolution of each player. The weakest force is
represented by the substitutes force.
3. Industry driving forces. The main driving force in this industry is
represented by customers. Suppliers must adapt to customers’ preferences
and possibilities. Also, this industry in connected with tourism. When
tourism decreases so do the extreme sports industry. Other driving forces
in this industry are represented by macroeconomic factors, like inflation
and prices. Even so, the industry is a promising one, as it is still in the
emerging stage, with expansion and growth opportunities.
4. Key success factors. Customer service capabilities are quite
developed and are expected to develop even more in the future. Customer
services are various, in accordance with prices. Product innovation
capabilities are quite elevated. The most important factor that can
influence success in this industry is represented by advertising. A well
known and respected brand name does not represent an important condition in
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