Competitor Identification & Analysis
This Competitor Identification & Analysis is a method of identifying your own and your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and strategies, and creating an action plan to improve your market position.
To perform the Competitor Identification & Analysis:
- Identify your competitors, and rate each based on how significant and direct they are to your organization.
- Evaluate your own organization on various prepopulated criteria (including overall organizational health, product/service strengths, market strategy, resources, etc.) to understand your current strengths and weaknesses in a variety of core areas.
- Evaluate your competitors on the same criteria to understand how your organization compares in each of the core areas.
- Develop an action plan to improve your strategies and gain a better hold on your competition.
The Competitor Identification & Analysis can be used by project managers, sales leaders, strategy managers, and marketing managers.
To improve your organization’s strategies in an effective way, you must do more than just analyze your current approach – you need to understand your competitors’ approaches as well. By evaluating your competitors on their organizations and approaches, such as organizational health, talent, marketing strategies etc., you can learn from their strengths, take advantage of their weaknesses, and apply the same analysis to your own business plan (Haden, 2015). Gaining an understanding of where and how to compete in the marketplace will ultimately reduce your risks, as well as your time and money (Fiore, 2016).
“Particularly today, no company is an island. Those that most accurately perceive the competitive landscape as it is and is likely to be in the future have a distinct competitive advantage. … Focusing on changes in the resources, decision-making structures, and compensation systems of competitors … moves beyond the usual updates on key market trends and uncertainties. Its rewards are huge: fewer surprises from competitors and more opportunities to shape markets to your own advantage.” (Courtney, Horn, & Kar, 2009)
To identify your competitors:
1) NOODLE to identify all of your organization’s competitors.
2) RATE how significant/threatening and direct each competitor is to your organization:
0 = Not at all significant/threatening
1 = Slightly significant/threatening
2 = Moderately significant/threatening
3 = Very significant/threatening
4 = Extremely significant/threatening
0 = We overlap in no areas/markets
1 = We overlap in some areas/markets
2 = We overlap in many areas/markets
3 = We overlap in nearly all areas/markets
4 = We overlap in all areas/markets
3) GRAPH the results and discuss with stakeholders who the top competitors are for your organization.
Once the top competitors have been identified, move on to analyze your own organization on various criteria (such as overall organizational health, product/service strengths, market strategy, etc.):
1) DISCUSS in the comments section how you feel your organization is performing on each criterion. Attach any supporting documents or links to each tile.
2) RATE your organization’s performance for each of the criteria:
4 = We are severely underperforming in this area
3 = We are slightly underperforming in this area
2 = We are meeting expectations
1 = We are exceeding expectations in this area
0 = We are among the best in this area
3) ACTION PLAN: Create an action plan to improve any underperforming aspects of your organization.
For each of your top competitors identified earlier:
1) DISCUSS in the comments section how each competitor is performing on the various criteria.
2) RATE how well you are performing compared to this competitor on each of the criteria:
0 = We have a huge advantage over them
1 = We have a slight advantage over them
2 = We are equally matched
3 = They have a slight advantage over us
4 = They have a huge advantage over us
3) ACTION PLAN: Create an action plan to improve any aspects of your organization that are underperforming relative to your competitors.
- Team-wide alignment on who your core competitors are
- Identification of your own organization’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your competitors’
- Candid discussion about your and your competitors’ strategies
- Action plan to improve any strategic underperformance in your organization
BENEFITS & IMPACT
This analysis will enable:
Quality – Enable candid discussion involving all knowledgeable stakeholders to assess your organization’s competitive strategy and develop a plan to improve it.
Efficiency – Save time and resources by developing strategies focused on improving your organization’s strengths and mitigating its weaknesses based on your competitors’ actions and strategies.
Engagement – Involve the right stakeholders in determining your advantages and those of your competitors.
Agility – Avoid redundancy and foster innovation by being up-to-date with industry trends (Fiore, 2016).
RELATED DECISION MODELS
Courtney, H., Horn, J. T., & Kar, J. (2009). Getting into your competitor’s head. McKinsey. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/getting-into-your-competitors-head
Fiore, A. (2016). The importance of competitive analysis in advertising. The Makegood. http://www.the-makegood.com/2016/10/27/the-importance-of-competitive-analysis-in-advertising/
Haden, J. (2015). How to write a great business plan: Competitive analysis. Inc. https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-write-a-great-business-plan-competitive-analysis.html