MECE Case Framework Example

MECE case framework example is great for understanding how to be MECE during your case interview. You must be able to structure your case in a way that demonstrates to your interviewer than you understand how to be mutual exclusive and collectively exhaustive. If not, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a consulting offer. Listen to Jenny Rae as she expertly lays out an example of how to structure your case interview in a MECE manner.

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MECE Case Framework Example YouTube Transcription

This is something that we are often asked about in our case interview workshops, that we do on campuses at over sixty campuses around the world. And this is something that I think would be really helpful for you to understand. So I’ve prepared a prompt as well as an example, of two kinds of structures. A MECE case framework examlpe that is MECE, and one that is not. Just to give you an idea of what it means to have a MECE case structure.

The Case Prompt

The prompt is just a basic business story. It’s a colleague of mine and a friend who now has launched, what is the fastest growing organic deodorant in the country. It’s made largely from charcoal, and you have to apply it in a stick format. And they just recently were adopted at Target as one of their entrant points for retail. So this is a really exciting growth plan for them. Right now they’re in the United States and they’re doing about twenty million dollars in revenue. But they’re interested in international expansion. And our goal is to help them think about that as the consulting firm. So you’re gonna get this in a case, just as an aside, this is a pretty clear market entry case. And the structure that we’re gonna use just to demonstrate what a MECE structure looks like, it’s not the only structure that you could use to solve it.

The Business Case Summary

But the fundamentals are:

  • this is a pretty small business
  • at twenty million in revenue
  • they have a consumer product
  • it’s a new product in a niche segment
  • and they’re interested in not market expansion in their current market
  • but actually overseas market expansion which is a market entry framework.

We’re going use for this one the market study framework from Management Consulted. And that has five standard pieces to it that you can use or not use as you’re thinking about it.

5 Key Areas

So the first one, a non MECE framework, I’m just gonna talk through five of the key areas.

  1. The first one is the market.
  2. The second are competitors.
  3. The third are customers.
  4. The fourth is the company and its’ capabilities.
  5. And the fifth is the product.

In this case when we think about those five areas, there are some that could naturally overlap. And I’m going to demonstrate how you can make the mistake of letting them overlap.

Mistake Of Overlap

In market, for example, you could look at data that includes the fragmentation of the market. That’s a pretty clear overlap with a competitor segment. You could also look at the market share breakdown, inside the market. That’s also an overlap of the competitors segment. And you could look at market growth rates, which is not an overlap. When you go to the competitor segment, you could talk about how market share has changed over time. That’s a different data point but it’s still overlaps with what you talked about inside the market.

Relative Market Share

In addition, you could talk about relative market share. And even though we talked about fragmentation before, relative market share is going to use similar data. So again, that’s one key area where you could have some overlap. In addition for customers if you said the overall growth rate of customers using the product, that could be a little bit similar to what you looked at inside the market category. And we could keep going, but it’s not necessary to demonstrate that this is an issue.


Especially in these first three categories, when you’re thinking about market, and you’re talking about competitors, they’re thinking about customers. Fundamentally when you sum up all the customers in a market, then they add up to the market in total. And when you fundamentally sum up all the competitors that are selling in the market, not their total revenues, but the revenue in this segment, then you get the market. So these could be some naturally overlapping buckets. And you’re not going to be able to be MECE or mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive by using them.

MECE Case Framework Example

So in contrast, if you wanted to solve this problem using a structure that was more MECE, you want to make sure that you don’t have any overlap in data. And the key way to do that is to think about the market as a whole, and then to think about just the competitor breakdown, and the customer breakdown.

What To Identify

So just to exemplify that, we want to identify the growth rate of markets outside of the US, that are top-ten markets. We want to identify the size in revenues of markets outside the US. And we want to identify regulatory concerns about entering new products in markets outside of the US. We want to be very specific that we were thinking only about the macro market, and not about customers, or about competitors in those markets.

Dominance Of Competitors

Secondarily we want to think about the dominance in the competitors bucket of certain areas. We want to think about market share by market, of key international global players. It’s likely by the way that this kind of product would be ripe for acquisition by a large multinational company, like Procter & Gamble. So we want to identify what their market share was in key markets. If one of their key market share areas was Germany, we might want to enter Germany first. And we want to be really specific that were thinking about the competitor bucket in terms of the future plan for the business.


We also might want to identify fragmentation of cross current markets. We might want to identify the growth rate of competitor products. We might want to identify three key features of competitor products, such as their price, their brand positioning, and their marketing strategy.

Customer Segments

When we would go over to customers, we want to make sure that we weren’t thinking about the market as a whole, but we’re thinking about customer segments. Who are the three major customer segments that are buying these products. What are the age demographics of the customer segments. We really want to make sure that we identify what customer segments are being used, inside those areas. And you don’t want to roll it back up to the market.


So as you’re going through your interview process, make sure in a situation like this or any others that you come across, that you’re being MECE. That you’re not overlapping any of your categories. You don’t have to worry as much in cases about being the “C”, the collectively exhaustive, it’s not as important. But being mutually exclusive is key to efficiency in solving case interviews.

We hope that you enjoyed this video on being MECE through a case framework example. If you have questions about case interview structuring we would love to help. And we do reviews of case interview structures as well as we have structured drills on the website. So please make sure you check out everything that we have for you at

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