Analyse Competition


Every company needs to know what its competitors are doing. Many have a formal competitor analysis activity, which they update regularly. There are two main purposes to competitor analyses, leading to a natural focus on Part III or IV:

a) To help craft your strategy, by better understanding where competitors are going

b) To come up with tactics to win with customers

It is possible to go into more depth analysing any and all competitors. Look at the company analysis for ideas about how to go deeper in any area. Look also at the industry analysis for ideas if you want to broaden your analysis beyond competitors.

I Executive Summary

[Summarise the facts that are most relevant to the purpose of this analysis]

II Who are our competitors?

  • Who are our current competitors? Consider both direct (making similar products and services) and indirect (competing for the same customer budget/job)
  • Who are our future competitors?
    • New entrants from outside the industry?
    • Current customers vertically integrating backwards?
    • Current suppliers vertically integrating forwards?
  • What different types of competitive business models do we face? [Tool: Competitive positioning map]

III How can we respond to our competitors strategies? 

  • What are our competitors current strategy?
    • What is the market share  and trend
      • by customer segment?
      • by product range?
    • Where are they making money? What are their key Product/Market units?
    • How does our cost position compare to each competitor? [Tool: Benchmarking]
    • What are their Strengths and Weaknesses? [Tool: SWOT Analysis, Asymmetries]
    • Who is winning share of mind with business partners/distributors?
  • What is our competitors future strategy?
    • What are their objectives/goals?
    • Where are they investing?
      • What is their new product pipeline?
      • What new markets are they going to enter?
      • What new partnerships/channels are they establishing?
      • What commitments have they made to manufacturing/logistics capacity?
      • What new capabilities are they building?
      • What are their latest IT investments? What does this say about where they will compete?
    • What are they testing/piloting?
  • Given this competitive map, where should we play?

IV How can we respond to our competitors tactics?

  • What is our key differentiator vs each competitor?
    • How do our product/service features compare to competitors?
    • How does our pricing compare to competitors?
  • What sales/promotion tactics do our competitors rely on?
    • How do we counter them?
    • What tactics can we use that are hard for our competitors to respond to?

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