Bridgestone Americas, Inc.: Competitive Landscape
Goodyear, Coopers, and Yokohama are three of Bridgestone's largest global competitors. These companies have revenues of around $14.7 billion, $2.8 billion, and $6 billion respectively. A competitive landscape of these market players has been presented below.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
- Competitive Advantage: Goodyear's competitive advantages include a "high recognition factor" and a "reputation for performance and product design," according to their 2019 annual SEC filing.
- Product Offering: Goodyear is a tire manufacturer and distributor that makes and sells tires for "most applications." The company also makes and sells chemicals and products related to rubber. Additionally, they operate centers that service and retread the tires of commercial trucks. Goodyear also serves as a retailer, running around 1,000 retail stores where they sell their products and provide repairs and other services for consumers and commercial clients.
- Revenue: The company's 2019 revenue (net sales) is $14.745 billion.
- Target Audience: Consumer and commercial customers. Servicing customers who have automobiles, trucks, buses, aircraft, motorcycles, mining/earth moving equipment, farming equipment, industrial equipment, and other types of applications. The company operates in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the APAC region.
- Value Proposition: The company sells their own branded tries and also sells other brands of tires that are designed to "compete primarily on the basis of value and price."
- Brand Positioning: According to the company's 2019 annual report, the company strives to "develop great products and services that anticipate and respond to the needs of consumers," and to work towards "building the value of [their] brand, helping [their] consumers win in their markets, and becoming consumers' preferred choice." Additionally, the company says they aim to work on "improving [their] manufacturing efficiency and created an advantaged supply chain focused on reducing [their] total delivered costs, optimizing working capital levels and delivering best-in-industry customer service."
- Messaging: Goodyear's tagline is 'More Driven.' The company's website contains messaging focuses on ease-of-transaction; it readily mentions guarantees, price matching, free delivery, ensuring that they will make sure the customer's order is right in case anything goes wrong, and they promote the slogan 'Tire buying, simplified' for their online tire shop. Their homepage also has a section called 'How to Buy Online' which tells the customer that their 'new tires are 3 easy steps away', all they have to do is find the tires they want that fit their vehicle, schedule an appointment time with an installer and arrive at the appointment to have the tires installed. Goodyear says they will send the tires directly to the installer. They also advertise cost savings, promoting a rebate offer and have a tab on their website labeled 'current offers'.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
- Competitive Advantage: Cooper's recently published financial report indicates that the company sees its distribution channels as its primary competitive advantage, particularly in the Americas. The company notes that "success in competing for the sale of replacement tires is dependent on ... availability through appropriate distribution channels and relationships with dealers and retailers." Cooper highlights the fact that they have built "close working relationships through the years with independent dealers," and feels that "those relationships have enabled it to obtain a competitive advantage in that channel of the market."
- Product Offering: According to their 2019 annual report, "Cooper specializes in the design, manufacturer, marketing and sales of passenger car, light truck, truck and bus radial, motorcycle and racing tires."
- Revenue: In 2018, the company's revenue (net sales) was $2.808 billion.
- Target Audience: Overall, the company's target audience based on end-users are all consumers, ranging from everyday drivers to off-roaders and motorsports consumers. Cooper serves the geographic regions of North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. According to the company's most recent annual report, their "customers include independent tire dealers, wholesale distributors, regional and national retail tire chains and large retail chains that sell tires," and that the company does "not currently sell its products directly to end users, except through three company-owned retail stores." Furthermore, the company states that they have a "broad customer base that includes purchasers of proprietary brand tires that are marketed and distributed by [Cooper] and private label tires which are manufactured by [Cooper] by marketed and distributed by [Cooper's] customers."
- Value Proposition: The company's value proposition, according to their official website, is providing long-lasting tires built by a well-established company (founded in 1914) that has lots of accrued knowledge/expertise in the industry. The company's tries are also backed by a 45-day road test/mileage warranty.
- Brand Positioning: According to their most recent annual report, Cooper's brand positioning involves "building a sustainable, cost competitive position." The company primarily positions itself as a tire replacement business. Overall, the company is focused on launching new products that demonstrate industry leadership in terms of performance and mileage.
- Messaging: Cooper Tires's tagline is 'Go With The Coopers.' Overall, the company's messaging revolves around high performance and commitment/dedication. They also promote themselves actively as 'an American company' and highlight the fact that they are "one of only two global tire manufacturers headquartered in the United States" and that they have a long company history within the country. The company says that their tires are 'made to last'.
Yokohama Tire Corporation
- Competitive Advantage: Yokohama's main competitive advantage is its ability to expand its production capacity and its development of high-functioning products. The company also states that it aims to maintain a competitive edge in terms of cost and tire technology.
- Product Offering: Yokohama manufactures tires and also operates a diverse range of other polymer-related product lines, including "high-pressure hoses, sealants and adhesives, other industrial products, aircraft fixtures and components, and golf equipment." In terms of tire segments, the company provides premium car tires, winter tires, and hobby tires (e.g. racing, classic cars)
- Revenue: The company's 2018 revenue is 650.2 billion yen (or, $6.06 billion USD).
- Target Audience: The company's 2018 annual report states that automobile makers, retailers, and other businesses are key customer segments of their tire business. The company also targets motorsports competitors along with general consumers.
- Value Proposition: Yokohama's value proposition is offered in terms of high-quality design and tire technology and innovation, which is aimed at "giving drivers better control on the road." They also focus on eco-consciousness, stating that they "have eliminated the use of CFCs and trichloroethane in the manufacturing process, and have switched from heavy oil to natural gas to reduce CO2 emissions and save energy."
- Brand Positioning: The company states that they strive to position themselves as a brand that is "trusted and valued" by customers around the world. They further note that they are working towards engaging more with customers via social media and aiming to help them "get more out of motoring lifestyles." Yokohama aims to position itself as a 'go-to' for high-end tires.
- Messaging: Yokohama often uses messaging related to being a leader, they describe themselves as 'a world leader', 'advancing the leading edge of the industry,' and a 'leader in technology and innovation,' being the 'first Japanese tire manufacturer to be granted ISO9001 certification.' The company also actively promotes messaging related to it's eco-friendly initiatives, along with having their tire products manufactured in the U.S. On their social media accounts, they promote the hashtag #onyokohamas and include posts related to the high-performance of their tires, featuring racing and off-road vehicles sporting their tires.