Competitor Analysis Templates
Successful businesses keep an eye on the competition to know where they stand by completing a competitor analysis. This article will help you learn how to select the best competitor analysis template for your organization and how to thoroughly conduct one.
What Is a Competitor Analysis?
Most industries are getting more competitive. One survey found that 90% of businesses think that their industry is more competitive now than it used to be. If you want to be successful in today’s market, you need to stay up to date on what the competition is doing. It no longer works to just ignore them.
A competitor analysis is a key tool that businesses everywhere are using to figure out how they measure up to the competition. In a standard competitor analysis, you’ll research and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of major competitors in your industry. This strategy will help you identify areas where your business can improve and those where you’re already ahead of the curve.
Your competitor analysis should ideally be part of an overall self-assessment of your own organization called a SWOT analysis. In this process, you’ll reflect on your own organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A competitor analysis extends this process to your competitors, giving you insight into how your performance compares to theirs.
A competitor analysis also pairs nicely with a competitive product analysis, which specifically homes in on the comparison between your products and theirs. While you should first conduct a broad analysis to point out where your business can grow, a competitive product analysis will give you more direct insight into what’s working for your competitors’ products and how you can improve your own.
The professionals at Archintel are experts at researching competitors and delivering insight-packed reports that can help your team plan its next moves. You don’t have to do this all your own. Let the experts help you track down the information that can start taking your business to the next level.
How to Select the Best Competitor Analysis Template
There are a wide variety of free competitor analysis templates available online that you can download and use to conduct your competitor analysis. They range from detailed to bigger picture analyses and can include elements that may be particularly important for your industry.
For example, some templates focus primarily on the products. If your products are fairly comparable to your competitors’, it may be wiser to spend time comparing your production or distribution processes. Have they managed to shave some expenses off their production costs? Does their distribution process outpace your business’s?
Other templates will concentrate on marketing strategies. They might ask you to evaluate the nature of your competition’s social media, their website, and their advertising campaigns. How does the competition market what they have to offer? How successful has that been for them?
The most comprehensive competitor analysis will include all of these elements, among others. It’s important that the template you select prompts you to evaluate your competitors from all angles and gives you the space to highlight potential areas of growth for your business.
Best Practices for Conducting a Competitor Analysis
When it comes to a competitor analysis, you want the best results for your business. As you can see from the variety of templates, a competitor analysis can be conducted in a number of ways. Here are some key strategies to make your competitor analysis a success:
Focus on yourself first
Before you can turn your attention to the competition, you need to have a good idea of where your own strengths and weaknesses lie. Knowing where you excel can help you see how those strengths measure up to the competition.
Taking a closer look at your weak spots means that you can conduct a more effective competitor analysis. As you evaluate the competition, you can target your attention to the areas where the competition is having more success than you. This approach makes for a more efficient analysis. It can also help you quickly identify strategies that will get your business growing.
Identify the main competitors in your industry
After you’ve turned your attention inward, it’s time to figure out who you need to start comparing yourself to. Some industries are relatively small or local and might lend themselves well to a thorough market analysis. Others are too large—such as industries with many larger corporations—which means it might be more useful to select a handful of major competitors that may pose a threat to your business.
The competitive intelligence professionals at Archintel can help your business conduct a more thorough analysis to make sure you don’t miss out on any industry insight. Especially for larger corporate industries that would be difficult to tackle alone, Archintel competitive intelligence will help your business stay at the forefront of your industry.
Discover how your competitors present themselves
The competition’s marketing strategy is one of the most accessible elements of a competitor analysis. You can take a look at their publicity and advertisements, their social media profiles, and their online product pages to get a feel for how the competition chooses to market themselves.
Here you can find out what might be most successful for your competitors and what they might be trying. Are they engaging more directly with customers on social media? Do they have high-quality product images, videos, or descriptions? Are their ads especially creative or appealing? Glean what you can from your competitors’ marketing strategy to inform your own.
Take a look at what their customers have to say
When you want to know what’s working for your business, you get feedback from your customers. Why not do the same with the competition’s customers?
One of the most effective strategies to find out what’s working for the competition is to evaluate customer sentiment surrounding their brand. Investigate online forums (like Reddit or Quora), customer review sites, and social media reactions to get a better sense of how customers feel about your competitors.
Are customers particularly satisfied with a certain feature? What aspect of the competition is most likely to let down their customers? How might these customers react to your own products and customer service? Answering these questions can help you learn what customers think of the competition and what you can do to meet their expectations.
Make a game plan based on what you’ve learned
The final component of your competitor analysis should be to turn your insight into real change for your business. This whole process means nothing if you’re aren’t willing to take what you’ve learned to improve your company.
What have you learned from your competition’s marketing strategy? How can customer opinions of them inform your own products and service? How does the competition address the areas that you consider your weaknesses? This insight should drive progress for your business.
The professionals at Archintel can help you transform your competitor analysis into action. They are prepared to use the insight they gather to create smart goals for your business.
Keep your business at the top of your industry. Contact Archintel to get a head start on your comprehensive competitive intelligence strategy today.