The w-50 Companies

We often hear executives say they want to be the “Amazon” or “Apple” or “Netflix” (or insert your favorite company “here”) of their industry. Borrowing proven ideas is an excellent way to shorten time-to-value, especially when the strategies are from outside your industry. The challenge is figuring what to do and how large the gaps are between your organization and the benchmarks. With wRatings, you can skip the guesswork: Our system allows you to compare your organization’s performance to any of our benchmark companies, what we call the W-50™ companies.

The W-50 is an elite selection of companies that we continually monitor through online panels to discover how well they meet customer expectations. Subscribers have access to this proprietary data so you can build competitive strength and, ultimately, durable advantages. 

We organize the W-50 in two ways: By Sector and By Focus. Our sectors follow traditional segments, although their names are slightly more consumer-oriented (vs. shareholder-oriented). We also select companies based on their focus, which we divide into three categories: Value, Premium and Challenger.

Focus allows companies within the same industry to compete and win a large share of customers without necessarily imposing on other customer bases. This means industries typically don’t have just one market leader but three separate leaders that focus their efforts on meeting certain customer expectations uniquely.

By segmenting the W-50 into their groups by focus, you can see precisely how companies build their competitive strength.

IndustryValuePremiumChallenger
ApparelNike (NKE)Lululemon (LULU)Under Armour (UAA)
AutomotiveFord (F)Mercedes (DDAIF)Tesla (TSLA)
ElectronicsGoogle Android (GOOGL)IBM (IBM)Apple (AAPL)
EnergyExxon Mobil (XOM)Hess (HES)Williams Cos. (WMB)
EquipmentBoeing (BA)Deere (DE)iRobot (IRBT)
FinanceSchwab (SCHW)American Express (AXP)Square (SQ)
Food & MeatsKroger (KR)Diageo (DEO)Beyond Meat (BYND)
Health CareJ & J (JNJ)Stryker (SYK)PetMed Express (PETS)
MediaFacebook (FB)Disney (DIS)Netflix (NFLX)
Real EstateKB Homes (LEN)Toll Brothers (TOL)Zillow Group (Z)
RestaurantStarbucks (SBUX)Cheesecake Factory (CAKE)Domino’s Pizza (DPZ)
RetailCostco (COST)Tapestry (TPR)Amazon (AMZN)
SoftwareMicrosoft (MSFT)Oracle (ORCL)Slack (WORK)
TelecomIntel (INTC)Netgear (NTGR)Zoom (ZM)
Travel & TransportSouthwest Airlines (JBLU)UPS (FDX)Uber (UBER)
In addition to the 45 above, we include current benchmarks on 5 companies from our historical archives.