All companies exist in a competitive environment, and a completing a competitive analysis template (also know as a competitor analysis template) allows you to review how your company stacks up against both your direct and indirect competitors.
When completing a competitor analysis template you compare your company against your competitors for each of a range of competitive factors.
A completed competitive analysis template will give you the information you need to:
An example competitive analysis template is shown below:
Pro Tip: It may not be immediately obvious who all of your competitors are, particularly in regard to your indirect competitors, so it’s a good idea to create and maintain your competitors analysis template over time.
As an example of an indirect competitor let’s look at Google. It may not be obvious but Amazon can be considered an indirect competitor of Google. Why? Because Google makes money when people search for products or services and Google is able to display an ad for that product or service. This only happens for searches where there is purchase intent, not for searches where there is no purchase intent, such as obscure long-tail terms. If Amazon were to expand to such an extent that they literally sold everything, then consumers might start to completely bypass Google and go straight to Amazon whenever they wanted to buy something. This would obviously be disastrous for Google’s business model and is why Amazon can be considered an indirect competitor of Google.
A much more obvious example of an indirect competitor is that if your company sells car insurance then an indirect competitor might be a company that currently sells only home insurance.
Let’s examine each of the competitive factors that need to be filled in within the competitor analysis template. The competitive analysis template is broken down into four areas:
In this section we highlight some general facts about a company and consider its key competitive advantage:
In this section we highlight key information about how the company operates within its marketplace:
In this section we highlight key information about the products and services the company offers:
In this section we analysis each company in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and trends.
The diagram below shows a completed template:
You can download a free competitor analysis template here.
A Competitor Analysis template is a tool which can be used to help you outsmart your competition by helping you to spot opportunities and threats and make the right strategic decisions.
It is a working document that should be regularly updated and can be used to gain alignment within the organisation around where it competes with competitors.
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