If the thought of doing a competitive analysis makes you want to walk out of the office and never come back, we get it. It is such a time-consuming task that can get complicated and boring quite easily. If you have never done any before or simply hate the thought of doing it, lucky for you we have compiled an easy 6 step guide to completing a competitive analysis.
First of all, before we begin you need to understand what a competitive analysis is. It is essentially a way for you to spot your competition and to know how they have positioned themselves, presenting themselves in the market, and compare your strengths and weaknesses to theirs.
Now that you have a basic idea of what it is let’s talk about the 6 steps.
𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟭 : 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗰𝘁 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘀
This list should include anyone and everyone who you think is your field doing the same thing as you. It should also include anyone who could be a potential competitor. To give you a rough idea, if your company is a traditional athleisure brand your competitors could range from reebok, Adidas and Nike.
𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟮 : 𝗗𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝘄𝗼 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽𝘀
These two groups are your current competitors; brands that are of similar backgrounds and aspiring competitors; brands that you wish to compete with. Based on the previous example, let us take those three traditional athleisure brands as your current competitors. Now, the brands you wish to compete with could be luxury activewear brands.
𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟯 : 𝗗𝗼𝘄𝗻𝗹𝗼𝗮𝗱 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗹𝘆𝘀𝗶𝘀
A quick search on google will help you find hundreds of pre-made competitor analysis templates. We recommend using the template on smartsheet.com. It is free and easy to work your way through.
𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟰 : 𝗡𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲
This is when you start to analyze the competitors that you have listed in step 1. Be thorough and look at every aspect of that brand as this is the most important step in competitor analysis. From their mission and goals to their logos and visual aspects, make sure to fill every detail listed in your template.
𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟱 : 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘆
Think of your company from all aspects; the good and the bad. Treat your brand as a competitor and document all aspects of your brand. Keep an open mind as you list out things that the brands you aspire to compete with doing and qualities you want to avoid that the brands you compete with do. For example, you might want to compete on pricing with Nike, but you might who their brand affiliates are so that is something you would want to avoid.
𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟲 : 𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗺
When you have an overall idea of every brand’s image, grab that whiteboard and start mapping out where you lie on that Cartesian chart. Plot out several variations based on multiple polarities; for example low quality vs high quality or Niche vs. comprehensive.
As you have reached the end of conducting a competitor analysis you should now have a better undressing of your competition as well as an understanding of what your company excels at. Finally, you should be able to answer this simple yet important question; Why should a customer choose your products or services instead of the brands you are competing against.