At the end of this page you will find a free Competitor Analysis Template. But first some guidelines on how to carry out such an analysis.
A Competitor Analysis is an appraisal of the current and potential issues to do with the competitors within a defined market of a business.
Well, in business, you have to make a lot of decisions, some of which are make-or-break decisions. These decisions are entirely dependent on the information you have when you are making those them.
Logically, gathering the best information you can, will only lead to improved decision making.
Now, information can cost time and money, but what you invest before you make your decisions will save you the tenfold afterwards, if you have to correct a wrong decision and end up having to sort out a huge mess.
Where better to get key information, but by looking at what the main competitors to your business are doing. Why invent the wheel again?
Look for key decisions they have made – and learn from their mistakes or build on their successes. It’s pure logic.
There is a variety of techniques you can use – all of them are simple frameworks that help you categorise your questions and to ensure you get a rounded picture. It is the degree of your research and founded information that will make for a valuable competitor analysis.
One of these approaches – and the most usual is the 7Ps approach that looks as follows:
This web diagram shows the results of comparing the differences. These are achieved by rating your key issues, a rating for your business against a rating for your competitors business. It can be done easily in an excel file and a web diagram made from the sum total results from each area.
It will have it's benefits if you are presenting the information to others as it gives a clean overview visual that is easily understood by all.
From this sample graph, you can read that while pricing can be compared favorably, the areas of promotion and physical evidence are in need of improvement.
I have used the basis of the 7Ps approach to form a framework for a Competitor Analysis.
This can be used as it is - or added to, depending on what your analysis needs.
It uses the categories
This is for those who do not wish to download the PDF file.
Once you have gathered all the information on your competitor, your job is now to summarize down to key issues. You can use an affinity diagram approach to do just that.
The main aim is to reduce the quantity of ideas and facts down to an actionable list. The set of “reducing” the information to a concise list is equally as important as the analysis itself and should be given equal attention. This list will give you the basis for a set of goals on how to develop your marketing strategy.
There are several approaches you can use to “make sense” of this information.If you are about to introduce a change in your approach, try doing a Forcefield analysis. You may also want to take the key points now and evaluate them using a SWOT analysis.
No one single analysis method stands well on it’s own, it is always accompanied by a second method in an effort to make usable information out of what you have learned.
Simply Click on the Image to go to our Free Downloads and Resources Page, where you will access the free template.