Analyzing Your Competition
Differentiate yourself from the competition and think about what you can offer that is not already there. How can you be the only one who offers it? How can you make it better than your competitors? Competitors are the people who share the same market space with you.
However, not all competitors are created equal. You want to be able to identify your key competitors and analyze their strengths and weaknesses in order to improve yourself and your own market position.
Competitive analysis and application is a valuable tool to gain insight into the behavior of current and potential competitors as well as gain an understanding of the broader competitive environment through the gathering, analysis and application of competitive information.
Businesses can use this information to support strategic decision-making, inform their positioning, build market orientation, and gain a competitive advantage.
The purpose of competitor intelligence needs to be clear to organizations. As per their competitor profiles, the output required and research should be carefully targeted;
- Assessment of needs
- Satisfaction of customers
- Positioning of the company
Carry out Competitor research effectively
It is not enough to collect information about the activities of competitors on an informal basis or ad hoc basis.
Taking a proactive, thorough, and structured approach to research can provide information as well as conversation with clients and industry contacts.
In doing so, organisations can reduce the unexpected, take advantage of opportunities, and manage threats.
You can find information online about market trends, legislation, customers, suppliers, and competitors.
There are search engines, websites, and other sources of general information that are easily accessible and in an easily digestible format.
Specialist information about competitors, technical and product development are still difficult to obtain online, but techniques for gathering this type of information have expanded to include social media channels, for example, and websites that assemble competitor analytics.
Information gathering can be ethical or unethical. There are few ethical issues with publicly available information from sources such as press releases, annual reports, job advertisements, and the internet.
In contrast, sending employees to competitor organizations for job interviews is questionable.
The use of methods such as electronic surveillance and hacking to conduct business espionage is highly unethical and in most cases illegal.
As part of a broader market and environmental analysis programme, individuals and organizations can use this checklist to gather information in a structured and proactive manner.
If you want to know how to do competitive analysis the right way, make sure you are doing it with a clear goal in mind. Make sure you are using the right tools, and be aware of your data limitations.