What’s a Competitive Analysis & How Do You Conduct One?

When was the stopping point time you ran a competitive analysis for your brand ? And most importantly, do you know how to do one efficiently ?
If you ‘re not surely, or if the last “ analysis ” you ran was a quick perusal of a rival ‘s web site and social media presence, you ‘re likely missing out on authoritative intelligence that could help your brand grow .
In this detailed lead, you ‘ll learn how to conduct a competitive analysis that will give your business a competitive advantage in the market .

What is a competitive market analysis?

A competitive analysis is a scheme that involves researching major competitors to gain insight into their products, sales, and market tactics. Implementing stronger business strategies, warding off competitors, and capturing market share are just a few benefits of conducting a competitive market analysis .

A competitive analysis can help you learn the ins and outs of how your competition works, and identify electric potential opportunities where you can out-perform them .
It besides enables you to stay atop of diligence trends and ensure your product is systematically meeting — and exceeding — diligence standards .
Let ‘s dive into a few more benefits of conducting competitive analyses :

  • Helps you identify your product’s unique value proposition and what makes your product different from the competitors’, which can inform future marketing efforts.
  • Enables you to identify what your competitor is doing right. This information is critical for staying relevant and ensuring both your product and your marketing campaigns are outperforming industry standards.
  • Tells you where your competitors are falling short — which helps you identify areas of opportunities in the marketplace, and test out new, unique marketing strategies they haven’t taken advantage of.
  • Learn through customer reviews what’s missing in a competitor’s product, and consider how you might add features to your own product to meet those needs.
  • Provides you with a benchmark against which you can measure your growth.

What is competitive market research?

competitive market research focuses on finding and comparing key grocery store metrics that help identify differences between your products and services and those of your competitors. comprehensive market inquiry helps establish the foundation for an effective sales and marketing scheme that helps your company stand out from the push .
next, let ‘s dive into how you can conduct a competitive analysis for your own caller .

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10 Competitive Analysis Templates

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Competitive Analysis in Marketing

Every brand can benefit from regular rival psychoanalysis. By performing a rival analysis, you ‘ll be able to :

  • Identify gaps in the market
  • Develop new products and services
  • Uncover market trends
  • Market and sell more effectively

As you can see, learning any of these four components will lead your brand down the path of accomplishment .
following, let ‘s dive into some steps you can take to conduct a comprehensive examination competitive analysis .

How to do a Competitive Analysis

  1. Determine who your competitors are.
  2. Determine what products your competitors offer.
  3. Research your competitors’ sales tactics and results.
  4. Take a look at your competitors’ pricing, as well as any perks they offer.
  5. Ensure you’re meeting competitive shipping costs.
  6. Analyze how your competitors market their products.
  7. Take note of your competition’s content strategy.
  8. Learn what technology stack your competitors’ use.
  9. Analyze the level of engagement on your competitors’ content.
  10. Observe how they promote marketing content.
  11. Look at their social media presence, strategies, and go-to platforms.
  12. Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

To run a complete and effective competitive analysis, use these ten templates, which range in aim from sales, to marketing, to product strategy .
competitive analysis template report
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1. Determine who your competitors are.

first, you ‘ll need to figure out who you ‘re truly competing with so you can compare the data accurately. What works in a business similar to yours may not work for your brand .
So how can you do this ?
Divide your “ competitors ” into two categories : direct and indirect .
direct competitors are businesses that offer a product or service that could pass as a exchangeable substitute for yours, and that operate in your same geographic sphere .
On the flip side, an indirect rival provides products that are not the lapp but could satisfy the lapp customer motivation or solve the lapp problem .
It seems simple enough on composition, but these two terms are often misused .
When comparing your sword, you should only focus on your direct competitors. This is something many brands get amiss .
Let ‘s use an example : Stitch Fix and Fabletics are both subscription-based services that sell clothes on a monthly basis and serve a exchangeable prey hearing .
But as we look deep, we can see that the actual product ( clothes in this case ) are not the same ; one brand focuses on fashionable casual outfits while the other is workout-centric overdress only .
Yes, these brands satisfy the like want for women ( having trendy clothes delivered good to their doorstep each calendar month ), but they do thus with completely different types of clothe, making them collateral competitors .
This means Kate Hudson ‘s team at Fabletics would not want to spend their clock studying Stitch Fix excessively closely since their audiences credibly vary quite a piece. even if it ‘s lone slenderly, this bantam mutant is enough to make a big dispute .
now, this does n’t mean you should toss your indirect competitors out the window completely .
Keep these brands on your radar since they could shift positions at any clock and cross over into the steer rival zone. Using our case, Stitch Fix could start a exercise line, which would surely change things for Fabletics .
This is besides one of the reasons why you ‘ll want to routinely run a rival psychoanalysis. The grocery store can and will shift at any time, and if you ‘re not constantly scoping it out, you wo n’t be mindful of these changes until it ‘s excessively late .

2. Determine what products your competitors offer.

At the heart of any occupation is its product or military service, which is what makes this a good locate to start .
You ‘ll want to analyze your rival ‘s complete merchandise line and the quality of the products or services they ‘re offering .
You should besides take note of their price and any discounts they ‘re offering customers .
Some questions to consider include :

  • Are they a low-cost or high-cost provider?
  • Are they working mainly on volume sales or one-off purchases?
  • What is their market share?
  • What are the characteristics and needs of their ideal customers?
  • Are they using different pricing strategies for online purchases versus brick and mortar?
  • How does the company differentiate itself from its competitors?
  • How do they distribute their products/services?

3. Research your competitors’ sales tactics and results.

Running a sales analysis of your competitors can be a bit crafty .
You ‘ll want to track down the answers to questions such as :

  • What does the sales process look like?
  • What channels are they selling through?
  • Do they have multiple locations and how does this give them an advantage?
  • Are they expanding? Scaling down?
  • Do they have partner reselling programs?
  • What are their customers’ reasons for not buying? For ending their relationship with the company?
  • What are their revenues each year? What about total sales volume?
  • Do they regularly discount their products or services?
  • How involved is a salesperson in the process?

These helpful pieces of data will give you an estimate of how competitive the sales action is, and what information you need to prepare your sales reps with to compete during the concluding buy stage .
For publicly held companies, you can find annual reports on-line, but you ‘ll have to do some detection to find this information from privately owned businesses .
You could find some of this data by searching through your CRM and reaching out to those customers who mentioned they were considering your rival. Find out what made them choose your product or service over others out there .
To do this, run a report that shows all prospective deals where there was an identify rival .
If this datum is not something you presently record, lecture to selling and sales to implement a system where prospects are questioned about the other companies they are considering .
basically, they ‘ll need to ask their leads ( either through a shape sphere or during a one-on-one sales conversation ) to identify who their stream service providers are, who they ‘ve used in the by, and who else they are considering during the buy summons .
When a rival is identified, have your sales team dive deeply by asking why they are considering switching to your merchandise. If you ‘ve already lost the manage, be surely to follow up with the prospect to determine why you lost to your rival. What services or features attracted the view ? Was it about price ? What ‘s the prospect ‘s mental picture of your sales march ? If they ‘ve already made the interchange, find out why they made this decision .
By asking open-ended questions, you ‘ll have honest feedback about what customers find appealing about your post and what might be turning customers away .
once you ‘ve answered these questions, you can start scoping out your rival ‘s selling efforts .

4. Take a look at your competitors’ pricing, as well as any perks they offer.

There are a few major factors that go into correctly pricing your intersection — and one major one is understanding how much your competitors are charging for a alike product or serve .
If you feel your product offers superior features compared to those of a rival, you might consider making your product or avail more expensive than industry standards. however, if you do that, you ‘ll want to ensure your sales reps are ready to explain why your product is worth the extra cost .
alternatively, possibly you feel there ‘s a col in your diligence for low-cost products. If that ‘s the case, you might aim to charge less than competitors and appeal to prospects who are n’t looking to break the bank for a high-quality product .
Of course, other factors go into correctly pricing a merchandise, but it ‘s critical you stay on top of industry price to ensure you ‘re pricing your product in a way that feels reasonable to prospects .
additionally, take a expression at any perks your competitors ‘ offer and how you might match those perks to compete. For example, possibly your competitors offer a major referral discount rate or a month-long exempt test adaptation. These perks could be the reason you ‘re losing customers, so if it feels reasonable for your brand, consider where you might match those perks — or provide some alone perks of your own if competitors ‘ do n’t offer any .

5. Ensure you’re meeting competitive shipping costs.

Did you know expensive embark is the act one rationality for haul abandonment ?
Nowadays, complimentary ship is a major fringe benefit that can attract consumers to choose one stigmatize over another. If you work in an industry where ship is a major divisor — like ecommerce — you ‘ll want to take a search at competitors ‘ ship costs and ensure you ‘re meeting ( if not exceeding ) those prices .
If most of your competitors ‘ propose free ship, you ‘ll want to look into the option for your own company. If free ship is n’t a hardheaded choice for your business, consider how you might differentiate in early ways — including loyalty programs, holiday discounts, or giveaways on sociable media .

6. Analyze how your competitors market their products.

Analyzing your rival ‘s web site is the fastest room to gauge their market efforts. Take note of any of the follow items and copy down the specific URL for future reference :

  • Do they have a blog?
  • Are they creating whitepapers or ebooks?
  • Do they post videos or webinars?
  • Do they have a podcast?
  • Are they using static visual content such as infographics and cartoons?
  • What about slide decks?
  • Do they have a FAQs section?
  • Are there featured articles?
  • Do you see press releases?
  • Do they have a media kit?
  • What about case studies?
  • Do they publish buying guides and data sheets?
  • What online and offline advertising campaigns are they running?

7. Take note of your competition’s content strategy.

then, take a look at the quantity of these items. Do they have several hundred web log posts or a minor handful ? Are there five white papers and just one ebook ?
adjacent, determine the frequency of these contented assets. Are they publishing something new each workweek or once a calendar month ? How much does a new ebook or case report come out ?
Chances are if you come across a robust archive of subject, your rival has been publishing regularly. Depending on the topics they ‘re discussing, this message may help you hone in on their lead-generating strategies .
From there, you should move on to evaluating the quality of their message. After all, if the quality is lacking, it wo n’t matter how much they post since their target audience wo n’t find much value in it .
Choose a small handful of samples to review rather of tackling every single while to make the work more manageable .
Your taster should include subject pieces covering a diverseness of topics so you ‘ll have a reasonably complete mental picture of what your rival shares with their target consultation .
When analyzing your rival ‘s content, consider the follow questions :

  • How accurate is their content?
  • Are spelling or grammar errors present?
  • How in-depth does their content go? (Is it at the introductory level that just scratches the surface or does it include more advanced topics with high-level ideas?)
  • What tone do they use?
  • Is the content structured for readability? (Are they using bullet points, bold headings, and numbered lists?)
  • Is their content free and available to anyone or do their readers need to opt-in?
  • Who is writing their content? (In-house team? One person? Multiple contributors?)
  • Is there a visible byline or bio attached to their articles?

As you continue to scan the subject, pay attention to the photos and imagery your competitors are using .
Do you promptly scroll by generic breed photos or are you impressed by custom illustrations and images ? If they ‘re using stock photos, do they at least have overlays of text quotes or calls-to-action that are specific to their business ?
If their photos are custom, are they sourced from away graphic professionals or do they appear to be done in-house ?
When you have a solid reason of your rival ‘s content market scheme, it ‘s time to find out if it ‘s sincerely working for them .

8. Learn what technology stack your competitors’ use.

Understanding what types of engineering your competitors ‘ use can be critical for helping your own company reduce friction and increase momentum within your organization .
For case, possibly you ‘ve seen positive reviews about a rival ‘s customer avail — as you ‘re conducting research, you learn the customer uses potent customer service software you have n’t been taking advantage of. This information should arm you with the opportunity to outperform your competitors ‘ processes.

To figure out which software your competitors ‘ practice, type the company ‘s URL into Built With, an effective joyride for unveiling what engineering your competitors ‘ site runs on, along with third-party plugins ranging from analytics systems to CRMs .
alternatively, you might consider looking at competitors ‘ caper listings, particularly for engineer or web developer roles. The caper number will probable mention which tools a campaigner needs to be companion with — a creative way to gain intel into the engineering your competitors ‘ use .

9. Analyze the level of engagement on your competitor’s content.

To gauge how engage your rival ‘s contented is to their readers, you ‘ll need to see how their target audience responds to what they ‘re posting .
Check the average number of comments, shares, and likes on your rival ‘s content and find out if :

  • Certain topics resonate better than others
  • The comments are negative, positive, or a mix
  • People are tweeting about specific topics more than others
  • Readers respond better to Facebook updates about certain content
  • Don’t forget to note if your competitor categorizes their content using tags, and if they have social media follow and share buttons attached to each piece of content.

10. Observe how they promote their marketing content.

From engagement, you ‘ll move right along to your rival ‘s content forwarding scheme .

  • Keyword density in the copy itself
  • Image ALT text tags
  • Use of internal linking

The surveil questions can besides help you prioritize and focus on what to pay attention to :

  • Which keywords are your competitors focusing on that you still haven’t tapped into?
  • What content of theirs is highly shared and linked to? How does your content compare?
  • Which social media platforms are your target audience using?
  • What other sites are linking back to your competitor’s site, but not yours?
  • Who else is sharing what your competitors are publishing?
  • Who is referring traffic to your competitor’s site?
  • For the keywords you want to focus on, what is the difficulty level? There are several free (and paid) tools that will give you a comprehensive evaluation of your competitor’s search engine optimization.

11. Look at their social media presence, strategies, and go-to platforms

The last area you ‘ll want to evaluate when it comes to marketing is your rival ‘s social media presence and employment rates .
How does your competition drive engagement with their stigmatize through sociable media ? Do you see social sharing buttons with each article ? Does your rival have links to their social media channels in the header, footnote, or somewhere else ? Are these clearly visible ? Do they use calls-to-action with these buttons ?
If your competitors are using a social network that you may not be on, it ‘s deserving learning more about how that chopine may be able to help your business, excessively. To determine if a raw social media platform is worth your time, check your rival ‘s engagement rates on those sites. First, visit the following sites to see if your contest has an score on these platforms :

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

then, take note of the be quantitative items from each platform :

  • Number of fans/followers
  • Posting frequency and consistency
  • Content engagement (Are users leaving comments or sharing their posts?)
  • Content virality (How many shares, repins, and retweets do their posts get?)

With the same critical eye you used to gauge your competition ‘s message marketing scheme, take a fine-toothed comb to analyze their social media strategy .
What kind of content are they posting ? Are they more focused on driving people to landing pages, resulting in modern leads ? Or are they posting ocular capacity to promote date and stigmatize awareness ?
How much of this contentedness is original ? Do they share curated contentedness from other sources ? Are these sources regular contributors ? What is the overall tone of the content ?
How does your contest interact with its followers ? How frequently do their followers interact with their capacity ?
After you collect this datum, generate an overall rate for the timbre of your rival ‘s subject. This will help you compare the pillow of your competitors using a like grade scale .

12. Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

As you evaluate each component in your rival analysis ( business, sales, and marketing ), get into the habit of performing a simplify SWOT analysis at the lapp time .
This means you ‘ll take note of your rival ‘s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats any fourth dimension you assess an overall grade .
Some questions to get you started include :

  • What is your competitor doing well? (Products, content marketing, social
  • Where does your competitor have the advantage over your brand?
  • What is the weakest area for your competitor?
  • Where does your brand have the advantage over your competitor?
  • What could they do better with?
  • In what areas would you consider this competitor a threat?
  • Are there opportunities in the market that your competitor has identified?

You ‘ll be able to compare their weaknesses against your strengths and frailty versa. By doing this, you can better position your company, and you ‘ll start to uncover areas for improvement within your own brand .

Competitive Product Analysis

product analysis drills down to discover key differences and similarities in products that share the same general market. This character of analysis if you have a rival sell products in a similar grocery store niche to your own – you want to make surely that wherever possible, you aren ’ thyroxine losing grocery store parcel to the competition .
Leveraging the model above, we can drill down and discover some of the keystone differentiators in product offerings .

Step 1: Assess your current product pricing.

The first step in any product analysis is to assess current price .
Nintendo offers three models of its Switch cabinet : The smaller light version is priced at $ 199, the criterion translation is $ 299, and the newly OLED adaptation is $ 349 .
Sony, meanwhile, offers two versions of its Playstation 5 console : The standard edition costs $ 499 and the digital version, which doesn ’ t include a disk drive, is $ 399 .

Step 2: Compare key features

following is a comparison of key features. In the lawsuit of our console table case, this means comparing features like processing might, memory, and hard drive space .

feature PS5 Standard Nintendo Switch
Hard drive space 825 GB 32 GB
random-access memory 16 GB 4 GB
USB ports 4 ports 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0
Ethernet connection gigabit none

Step 3: Pinpoint differentiators

With basic features compared, it ’ second time to dive deep with differentiators. While a glance at the chart above seems to indicate that the PS5 is outperforming its competition, this data only tell part of the story .
hera ’ sulfur why : The adult sell point of the standard and OLED Switch models is that they can be played as either hand-held consoles or docked with a base place connected to a television receiver. What ’ s more, this “ switching ” happens seamlessly, allowing players to play whenever, wherever .
The Playstation offer, meanwhile, has leaned into market-exclusive games that are only available on its system to help differentiate them from their competitors .

Step 4: Identify market gaps

The last step in a competitive product analysis is looking for gaps in the market that could help your ship’s company get ahead. When it comes to the comfort market, one likely opportunity gaining traction is the rescue of games via cloud-based services quite than physical hardware. Companies like Nvidia and Google have already made inroads in this distance and if they can overcome issues with bandwidth and reaction time, it could change the marketplace at scale .

Competitive Analysis Example

How do you stack up against the rival ? Where are you exchangeable, and what sets you apart ? This is the goal of competitive analysis. By understanding where your brand and competitors overlap and diverge, you ’ re better positioned to make strategic decisions that can help grow your brand .
Of class, it ’ second one thing to understand the benefits of competitive analysis, and it ’ s another to actually carry out an psychoanalysis that yields actionable results. Don ’ thyroxine worry – we ’ ve got you covered with a agile case .

Sony vs. Nintendo: Not all fun and games

Let ’ s take a look at popular gaming arrangement companies Sony and Nintendo. Sony ’ s newest offering – the Playstation 5 – recently hit the commercialize but has been plagued by provision shortages. Nintendo ’ s Switch cabinet, interim, has been around for several years but remains a coherent seller, specially among teens and children. This scenario is familiar for many companies on both sides of the coin ; some have introduced new products designed to compete with established market leaders, while others are looking to ensure that dependable sales don ’ triiodothyronine fall .
Using some of the steps listed above, here ’ s a flying competitive psychoanalysis exercise .

1. Determine who your competitors are.

In our exercise, it ’ sulfur Sony five Nintendo, but it ’ randomness besides worth considering Microsoft ’ south Xbox, which occupies the lapp general market vertical. This is critical for effective psychoanalysis ; even if you ’ re focused on specific competitors and how they compare, it ’ s worth considering early similar commercialize offerings .

2. Determine what products your competitors offer.

Playstation offers two PS5 versions, digital and standard, at different price points, while Nintendo offers three versions of its console. Both companies besides sell peripherals – for model, Sony sells virtual reality ( VR ) add-ons while Nintendo sells gaming peripherals such as steering wheels, tennis rackets, and differing accountant configurations .

3. Research your competitors’ sales tactics and results.

When it comes to sales tactics and marketing, Sony and Nintendo have very different approaches .
In part thanks to the holocene semiconductor device deficit, Sony has driven up necessitate via scarcity – very humble volumes of PS5 consoles remain available. Nintendo, interim, has adopted a broader approach by targeting families as their primary customer basal. This campaign is bolstered by the Switch Lite product credit line, which is smaller and less expensive, making it a popular option for children .
The numbers tell the fib : Through September 2021, Nintendo sold 14.3 million consoles, while Sony sold 7.8 million .

4. Take a look at your competitors’ pricing, as well as any perks they offer.

Sony has the higher monetary value indicate : Their standard PS5 sells for $ 499, while Nintendo ’ s most expensive offer comes in at $ 349. Both offer robust digital marketplaces and the ability to easily download raw games or services .
here, the key differentiators are tractability and fidelity. The Switch is elastic – users can dock it with their television and play it like a standard console, or pick it up and take it anywhere as a hand-held bet on system. The PS5, meanwhile, has superior graphics hardware and processing power for gamers who want the highest-fidelity experience .

5. Analyze how your competitors market their products.

If you compare the marketing efforts of Nintendo and Sony, the difference is immediately apparent : Sony ’ s ads feature realistic in-game footage and speak to the exclusive nature of their game titles ; the company has managed to secure deals with several high-profile game developers for exclusive entree to newly and existing IPs .
Nintendo, interim, uses brightly-lit ads showing happy families playing together or children using their smaller Switches while traveling .

6. Analyze the level of engagement on your competitor’s content.

engagement helps drive sales and encourage repeat purchases. While there are several ways to measure date, social media is one of the most aboveboard : In general, more followers equates to more betrothal and greater market impingement .
When it comes to our model, Sony enjoys a meaning lead over Nintendo : While the official Playstation Facebook page has 38 million followers, Nintendo has precisely 5 million .

Competitive Analysis Templates

competitive analysis is complex, particularly when you ’ re assessing multiple companies and products simultaneously. To help streamline the process, we ’ ve created 10 loose templates that make it possible to see how you stack up against the rival – and what you can do to increase marketplace partake .
Let ’ s break down our cram analysis template. hera ’ s what it looks like :
competitive analysis template fro SWOT Download Free Templates
Strengths – Identify your strengths. These may include specific pieces of intellectual property, products that are unique to the market, or a work force that outperforms the competition .
Weaknesses – here, it ’ sulfur deserving considering likely issues around pricing, leadership, staff employee turnover, and new competitors in the market .
Opportunities – This part of the SWOT analysis can focus on newfangled market niches, evolving consumer preferences, or modern technologies being developed by your company .
Threats – These might include new taxes or regulations on existing products or an increasing number of alike products in the lapp market outer space that could negatively affect your overall share .

How Does Your Business Stack Up?

Before you accurately compare your contest, you need to establish a service line. This besides helps when it comes time to perform a SWOT analysis .
Take an objective look at your business, sales, and commercialize reports through the lapp metrics you use to evaluate your contest .
record this information just like you would with a rival and use this as your baseline to compare across the circuit board .
Editor ‘s note : This military post was primitively published prior to July 2018 but has been updated for breadth.

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