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Competitive Demand: Definition, Function and Example          

Competitive Demand: Definition, Function and Example

Competitive Demand: Definition, Function and Example

Competitive demand refers to the demand for a good or service when there are many available substitutes. Competitive Demand exists when there are alternative products available. Competitive demand helps consumers to choose an alternative product if one product hard to procure. 

Competitive demand is characterized by a range of features that distinguish it from other market structures. Buyers have a wide variety of options to choose from, as there are many different suppliers and substitutes available in the market. As a result, consumers can easily switch between different goods and services, giving them great bargaining power.

Buyers and sellers in a competitive market are price takers, meaning that they have to accept the market-determined price, as they do not have the power to influence it. The demand in a competitive market tends to be highly elastic. This is because even a small change in price can lead to a significant change in the quantity demanded by consumers, as they can quickly switch to other substitutes.

The goods or services offered by competitors are usually homogeneous, meaning that they are perceived as very similar by buyers and lack any distinguishing features. These features of competitive demand ensure that buyers have plenty of choices, while sellers have to accept market prices, leading to efficient outcomes for both.

The opposite of a competitive market is a monopoly market. it is characterized by the presence of only one dominant supplier. In this type of market, there are no close substitutes available, giving the monopolist significant control over the price. Since the monopolist faces little competitive pressure, the demand in a monopoly is generally inelastic.

What is Competitive Demand?

Competitive demand arises when alternative products or services are available to the customers. The consumer has the option to choose from one or more products or services. In the case of product monopoly, competitive demand does not exist.

We can understand the scenario with the help of the following example. The demand for brand A type of product existed. The customers favored the brand A of printing paper. 

Later, with the price increase of brand A, some of the customers tried to find an alternative product. Brand B also produced paper and was cheaper. The new consumers who were searching for an alternative, found the quality of brand B to be acceptable. Therefore they started buying printing paper for brand B.

The rise in demand for brand B printing paper reduced the demand for paper B. Thus, the cheaper price of product A reduces the demand for product B. This cross-elasticity of demand helps to fix the market price of a specific product.

What is Competitive Demand?
Competitive Demand: Definition, Function and Example 9

What is the importance of competitive demand?

Competitive demand is important for a healthy, fair, and innovative market economy. Competitive demand creates healthy market competition. When there are many players offering similar goods and services, they compete for customers. This competition pressures firms to offer the best combination of price, quality, and features. Monopolies dominate and competition suffers without competitive demand.

Firms must compete for consumers due to competitive demand. Since buyers have multiple choices, firms have to work to attract and retain customers. They have to strive to better meet customer needs through lower prices, higher quality, new innovations, or better service. rivals will capture their market share f they don’t. This competition benefits consumers.

Competitive demand leads to fair pricing. There are many substitutes means no supplier has undue control over the price. One firm charge too much will cause buyers to simply switch to a cheaper alternative. This forces firms to price competitively and pass on cost savings and efficiencies to consumers in the form of lower prices. Fair pricing is good for the overall economy.

Competitive demand leads to a higher quality of goods and services. In order to stand out, suppliers aim to offer superior quality and continually improve their products or services. customers have many other choices  If quality lags. Pressure to match or exceed the quality of rivals results in increasing quality standards over time.

Competitive demand spurs innovation. Many competitors mean the only way for firms to gain a competitive advantage is through new innovations – by developing new products, improving processes, or business models. Innovation benefits both consumers and producers in the long run.

Competitive demand leads to better working conditions and higher wages for workers. With many employers competing for workers, especially skilled workers, they have to offer compelling pay and benefits to attract and retain good employees. This upward pressure on wages and working conditions is good for labor in general.

Competitive demand brings an end to market monopoly. Multiple sellers, rather than just one dominant provider, characterize a competitive market. No one controls the entire supply or influences prices. Competitive demand prevents monopolies from forming or weakening existing monopolies. A lack of monopoly power benefits both buyers and sellers in a market.

What is the function of competitive demand?

One of the key functions of competitive demand is its influence on pricing strategies. Two or more products competing directly against each other means their demand depends on the prices of one another – forcing businesses to consider competitor prices when setting their own. This often results in price wars where companies lower their own prices to outbid rivals and impact overall market equilibrium negatively. Competition-induced demand also contributes to product differentiation.

Businesses looking to distinguish themselves from their rivals may choose to differentiate their products through unique features, quality improvements, or branding in order to stand out from their rivals and create niche markets and customer loyalty by appealing to specific attributes or the perceived value of one brand over the other. Furthermore, product differentiation allows businesses to target specific segments of the market which fulfill individual consumer needs and preferences more efficiently. 

Market share allocation is also determined by competitive demand. Companies compete to gain more of the market, which in turn can lead to greater profits, growth, and long-term success. Market share allocation is determined by relative demand between competing products or services and businesses must adapt their strategies in response to shifts in competitive demand as any decrease could significantly hurt a company’s bottom line. Competitive demand also contributes to an economy’s efficient allocation of resources by driving innovation between businesses.

Competition between firms drives innovation, encouraging the creation of new products and services which lead to better utilization of resources. Companies must allocate their resources effectively in order to outcompete rivals and meet customer demands, leading them to discover more cost-effective production methods and technology improvements that lead to an ultimately more productive economy.

Consumer welfare is also greatly improved through competitive demand. When businesses compete to attract customers, they often feel pressured to enhance the quality of their goods and services while offering lower prices or additional benefits that lead to greater variety and better overall value for consumers. Consumer welfare increases as individuals can access higher-quality goods at more cost-effective prices as a result.

How does competitive demand work?

Competitive demand refers to an environment in which there are multiple buyers and sellers for an identical product or service, but no individual can influence its price; prices are determined through supply and demand in the market. Competition increases the demand for products, suppliers have an incentive to increase supply to match it – leading to lower and more stable prices for their products. Consider wheat as an example: there are many farmers producing it and consumers buying it; when demand spikes one year, farmers will plant additional acres to increase supply – thus stabilizing the price. 

Companies operating in a competitive market face constant pressure to increase efficiency and reduce costs in order to remain viable or risk losing customers to competitors. Suppliers tend to have little power in raising prices because consumers have access to alternative suppliers if necessary – ultimately leading to lower prices, increased efficiency, more choices for consumers, and higher quality standards overall. Too much competition also has drawbacks. Too much price competition could lead to a race to the bottom in terms of price, decreasing profit margins for companies while discouraging potential newcomers from entering the market. 

Competitive markets may lack stability due to unpredictable demand fluctuations; when demand drops suddenly suppliers could struggle as prices decline and ultimately go out of business altogether. Consumers stand to benefit greatly from competitive demand, but suppliers face risks as a result. Policymakers attempt to strike a balance by encouraging competitive markets while protecting companies against unfair competition or market failures. Their ultimate aim should be a vibrant marketplace that spurs innovation while increasing economic efficiency for both companies and consumers.

What is a good competitive demand?

A good competitive demand exists when there are alternative products available. Good competitive demand is created when there is more than one alternative option or substitute. There are so many brands of laptops available. Some brands are pricey and some brands come cheap. When the branded companies increased their products to a much higher level, the refurbished laptops and second-hand laptops fulfilled the demands of consumers who wanted to buy cheap laptops. But the branded laptops also found buyers. Those are different segments of buyers.  Some characteristics of a well-functioning competitive demand include the below.

Low barriers to entry

It is easy for new suppliers to enter the market. This encourages innovation and prevents existing players from charging monopoly prices.

Many small suppliers

There are many suppliers in the market, but none with dominant control. This gives consumers more choices and prevents price gouging.

Incentive for efficiency

Suppliers face pressure to keep costs low and efficiency high. Those who can’t may lose customers to rivals. This benefits consumers through lower prices.

Responsive to changes

Suppliers are able to quickly adjust production and prices in response to shifts in demand. This helps stabilize the market and prevents large booms and busts.

Fair competition

There are rules against predatory pricing, price fixing, and other unfair practices. Healthy competition spurs suppliers to compete on the merits of their products, not through manipulation.

Sufficient profit margins

Competitive pressure reduces profit margins, but they are not driven so low that new suppliers are discouraged from entering the market. Some level of profit is necessary to attract investment and spur innovation.

Benefits for consumers

The ultimate result of good competitive demand is lower prices, higher quality, more choice, and improved convenience for consumers. The benefits of competition are passed through to the end user.


The market is not characterized by extreme volatility. Demand and supply remain in relative balance, and suppliers are not constantly struggling with boom and bust cycles. A stable competitive market is sustainable in the long run.

Good competitive demand leads to a competitive marketplace that benefits both consumers and suppliers, with the right balance of competitive pressure and stability. When implemented well, it can drive economic efficiency, innovation, and prosperity.

What are the factors that affect competitive demand?

Eight key factors impact competitive demand mainly. These include the number of suppliers, barriers to entry, availability of substitutes, suppliers’ costs, demand, price sensitivity, regulations, technology, and globalization. More suppliers in a market promote competition and reduce control over pricing, and an ideal competitive market has many small suppliers. Lower barriers to entry encourage new competitors and decrease competitive pressure. 

The availability of many good substitutes for a product reduces the ability of suppliers to raise prices, increasing competitive demand. Lower production costs allow suppliers to lower prices, increasing competitive demand. Higher demand for a product gives suppliers more opportunity to raise prices, while lower demand forces suppliers to lower prices to attract customers, impacting competitive demand. Consumers are highly sensitive to price and willing to shop around more based on price increases and pressure on suppliers to lower prices. Regulations that promote competition and prohibit unfair practices encourage competitive demand. 

Technological advancements enable new competitors and new substitutes, and lower production costs, increasing competitive demand. In a global economy, foreign suppliers may enter a domestic market, increasing competition, while global trade barriers like tariffs have the opposite effect. Therefore, factors that promote more suppliers, lower barriers to entry, more substitutes, lower costs, higher demand, higher price sensitivity, pro-competition policies, new technologies, and globalization contribute to greater competitive demand in a market, while opposite factors reduce competitive pressure and give existing suppliers more control.

What is an example of competitive demand?

Demand for meat is always there. Here is a comparison of demand for beef and pork to show how a competitive demand functions in a market. Beef and pork are similar types of meat. Both of them are red meat we can assume consumers prefer to eat both of them. Many consumers prefer beef more than pork. But usually, nobody buys beef and pork at the same time. Now, if the supply of beef gets hampered, the price of beef rises due to existing demand. 

A sudden increase in the price of beef pushes consumers to buy more pork instead of beef because pork is cheaper in price. This phenomenon causes a rise in demand for pork and a fall in demand for beef. Pork is a cheaper substitute for beef and consumers happily accept pork in their meals. This is an ideal example of competitive demand. When the demand for pork rises, prices of beef come down to a lower level to attract consumers. Thus a price regulation is created automatically for the customers. 

What is an example of competitive demand?
Competitive Demand: Definition, Function and Example 10

What is the formula for competitive demand?

There is no mathematical formula to calculate competitive demand. But we can deduce it from the total number of existing consumers by a number of similar products at similar prices. We can deduce demand for each product. 

In order to calculate demand for a product, we use the following formula. sl7ffFVQ7SBb7oJgx 8UkOTmjPFaHN Ib02BLq5YDq0X5FA48wdKwwYD6Ip2hS3XLyRVwc72td5W7PH7xFK2 tp58CKAgx V2f 09tAUhZj8YLhdW2Ynx

Qd is the quantity of the demanded good, f is the demand function, P is the price of the good, Pg is the price of the competitor good and Y is the income of the consumer.

How to calculate competitive demand?

Calculating competitive demand quantitatively is challenging. But there are approaches that provide rough estimates. One approach is to count the number of suppliers, where more suppliers signify more competitive demand. Another approach is to measure market concentration, where a lower ratio indicates more fragmentation and competition. Determining barriers to entry by surveying suppliers about key obstacles to new competitors entering a market provides insights. Checking the availability of substitutes and tracking price sensitivity also provide an estimate of competitive pressure. 

Benchmarking the profit margins of suppliers in an industry relative to the overall average reveals the level of competitive demand. Finally, reviewing regulations evaluates whether they encourage or discourage new market entrants. Rules that prohibit anti-competitive behavior and unfair pricing while imposing minimal barriers to entry promote competitive demand.

While none of these analyses are perfect, the combination of multiple approaches yield a more accurate assessment of the level of competitive demand in a market. Understanding the factors that determine the degree of competition is crucial to measuring its impact and making informed decisions about market strategy.

What does a higher competitive demand mean?

A higher competitive demand means there is more competition among suppliers in a market. This has several implications. More competition means suppliers have to lower their prices to attract customers and gain market share. This benefits consumers through cheaper goods and services. A greater number of suppliers means there are more alternatives available to consumers. People have more options to choose from based on their preferences. Competitive pressure forces suppliers to continuously improve their products and services to stand out. This results in higher overall quality as companies vie for customers. 

To lower prices and increase quality, suppliers have to improve productivity and cut unnecessary costs. Competition spurs companies to operate more efficiently. Rivalry among suppliers leads to more innovation, as companies seek ways to gain a competitive advantage. New technologies, products, and business models emerge. However, intense competition also makes it difficult for higher-cost or lower-quality suppliers to survive. Some companies struggle or even go out of business. Only the fittest competitors remain. Competitive suppliers have to adjust quickly to new conditions, and furthermore, when demand changes. 

They are responsive to shifts in customer needs and tastes to avoid losing market share. A highly competitive market is fast-changing, as suppliers continually adjust prices, improve products, introduce innovations, and enter or exit the market. The status quo is constantly being disrupted. It is good for consumers, but more competition means lower profits for suppliers overall. They have less ability to raise prices and margins as rivals quickly undercut them. Some level of profit is needed to sustain a competitive industry long-term.

What does a lower competitive demand mean?

A lower competitive demand typically means that there are fewer competitors in a market competing for the same customers or resources. This has several implications. Fewer competitors mean existing firms have a greater ability to influence the market, raise prices, and set terms that benefit them. They don’t have to worry as much about competitors stealing their customers or market share. Less competition also means firms have more leeway to raise prices without losing many customers or sales. This often translates into higher profit margins for companies. 

Competition is limited means companies are less compelled to rapidly improve their products, services, and customer experience. They don’t have to fear as much that competitors will out-innovate them. Innovation  slow down. Customers typically have fewer options or choices when there are fewer competitors in a market. This limits their ability to find the best product or service for their needs at the best price. 

Competitive markets often result in greater efficiency as competitors strive to meet customer needs and gain an advantage. Less competitive markets  lack this incentive and become inefficient over time. Competition spurs companies to tap into new opportunities to gain customers and boost sales. With less competition, companies are more inclined to be complacent. This leads to slower expansion into new segments, slower product/service improvements, and slower overall market growth.

How does competitive demand affect the economy?

Competitive demand plays a crucial role in shaping the overall health of an economy. When there is healthy competition among producers and suppliers in the market, it contributes to greater market efficiency and more diverse consumer options. This, in turn, fosters an environment where businesses are encouraged to innovate and improve their products and services to gain an advantage over their competitors. One of the primary ways competitive demand impacts the economy is by promoting innovation and product development. 

When firms compete for market share, they are compelled to invest in research and development to create new products or improve existing ones. This drive for innovation leads to technological advancements and better quality goods and services for consumers. As a result, businesses become more productive, which leads to economic growth and increased prosperity.

Another positive effect of competitive demand is the potential for improved wage structures and working conditions. As companies vie to attract and retain the best talent, they must offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. This not only benefits workers directly but also contributes to a more robust labor market. In turn, better wages and improved working conditions lead to increased consumer spending, further fueling economic growth. 

Competitive demand also supports the generation of new employment opportunities. As industries evolve and new players enter the market, job creation occurs across various sectors. This growth in employment not only helps to reduce unemployment rates but also contributes to a more stable economic environment at both the micro and macro levels. Competitive demand prevents monopolies from dominating the market. When a single company has a monopoly, it dictates prices and stifles innovation, leading to stagnation in the industry.

In contrast, an economy with a competitive market structure encourages businesses to continually improve to maintain their market share. This fosters a more dynamic and responsive economic landscape, supporting growth and development. 

Competitive demand also enhances the purchasing power of consumers. As businesses compete to offer better products and services at more attractive prices, consumers benefit from increased choice and value for money. This drives consumer spending, which is a critical component of any healthy economy. When consumers have more disposable income and purchase goods and services with greater confidence, this positive cycle of supply and demand reinforces economic growth.

How does competitive demand affect the stock market?

Competitive demand has a significant impact on the stock market and stock prices. This impact has several implications. Companies with little competition and strong market power tend to have higher and more stable stock prices. Investors will pay more for shares of these companies because of their ability to generate consistent profits and cash flow. Stocks of smaller companies in competitive markets tend to be more volatile.

Their stock prices swing up and down more dramatically based on competition, innovation, and other market forces. There is more uncertainty about their future success and ability to gain a strong market position. There is a constant risk of new competitors emerging with innovative products that disrupt existing companies. This risk of disruption poses a threat to established firms and causes investors to discount their stock and projected future cash flows. As companies look to strengthen their competitive position, they often pursue mergers and acquisitions. This M&A activity influences the stock market through acquisitions, speculation, and related stock price movements.  

Any events that significantly impact the competitive dynamics in an industry tend to move stock prices. This includes new product releases, strategic moves by competitors, gains/losses of major customers, technological changes, regulatory actions, and more. Investors closely monitor these events and factor them into stock valuations. Over time, money flows into the stock market reflect broader economic trends. When competitive industries with high growth are in favor, investors may shift more funds into stocks of companies in those industries. This demand then lifts those stock prices, often raising valuations for the overall stock market.

How does competitive demand affect consumers?

Competitive demand has a significant impact on consumers, as it shapes the market environment in which they make purchasing decisions. By fostering healthy competition among manufacturers, producers, and service providers, competitive demand offers several key benefits to consumers. Competitive demand leads to a diverse range of products and services available in the market. Consumers are able to choose from a wide variety of offerings, each designed to cater to different preferences and needs. This abundance of choice empowers consumers to make informed decisions and select products that best meet their requirements and budget.

Competitive demand contributes to fair pricing of products and services. When businesses compete, they are often driven to offer more attractive pricing to entice customers. This competitive pricing allows consumers to gain maximum value from their purchases, ensuring they receive high-quality goods and services at reasonable prices. Another advantage of competitive demand for consumers is the assurance of higher quality products. As companies vie for market share, they are incentivized to invest in research and development to create better and more efficient products. This results in consumers benefiting from improved goods and services, which ultimately enhances their overall satisfaction and experience. Competitive demand encourages innovation, leading to the development of new products and services that were previously unavailable.

This continual process of innovation ensures that consumers have access to the latest advancements and technologies, thereby improving their quality of life and enabling them to stay abreast of new trends. Due to the positive economic conditions fostered by competitive demand, consumers often experience an increase in their purchasing power. As wages rise and the economy strengthens, consumers have more disposable income to spend on goods and services. This increased purchasing power allows them to enjoy a higher standard of living and further stimulates the economic cycle of supply and demand.

What is the difference between composite demand and competitive demand?

Below are the differences between composite and competitive demand in a table form.

FeatureComposite DemandCompetitive Demand
DefinitionDemand for a good or service that has multiple uses.Demand for a good or service that has substitutes.
ExamplesSugar, wheat, wood, etc.Name-brand and store-brand medicine, Coke and Pepsi, etc.
Relationship between goodsGoods are substitutes for each other.Goods are not substitutes for each other.
Effect of a change in priceA change in the price of one good will affect the demand for the other goods.A change in the price of one good will not affect the demand for the other goods.
Arjun Remesh

Head of Content

Arjun is a seasoned stock market content expert with over 7 years of experience in stock market, technical & fundamental analysis. Since 2020, he has been a key contributor to Strike platform. Arjun is an active stock market investor with his in-depth stock market analysis knowledge. Arjun is also an certified stock market researcher from Indiacharts, mentored by Rohit Srivastava.

Shivam Gaba

Reviewer of Content

Shivam is a stock market content expert with CFTe certification. He is been trading from last 8 years in indian stock market. He has a vast knowledge in technical analysis, financial market education, product management, risk assessment, derivatives trading & market Research. He won Zerodha 60-Day Challenge thrice in a row. He is being mentored by Rohit Srivastava, Indiacharts.

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