What are the Main Key Success Factors of an Industry?

Key factors in an industry for competitive success in an industry (KSF)

Key Success Factors (KSFs) in an industry are those things that determine the ability of members of an industry to prosper in the industry such as low cost, best quality, good product features, resources available, competitive capabilities and so on. For example:

a) In Mobile and Computer industry, the reliability of technology, after sale service and new innovative features.


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b) In Automobile industry, the reliability of technology, after sale service, safety and fuel efficiency.

c) In apparel manufacturing, appealing designs and color combinations (to create buyer interest) and low-cost manufacturing efficiency (to permit attractive retail pricing and good profit margins).

Key success factors vary from industry to industry and even from time to time within the same industry as driving forces and competitive conditions change.

Identifying Key Success Factors


The answers to three questions help identify an industry’s key success factors:

1. On what basis do customers choose between the competing brands of sellers? What product attributes is crucial?

2. What resources and competitive capabilities does a seller need to have to be competitively successful?

3. What does it take for sellers to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage?

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