Global / How to Use Industry Research
How to Do a Competitive Analysis

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by IBISWorld
Sep 28 2020

What is a competitive analysis?

A competitive analysis is a research method used by companies that want to identify who their top competitors are, compare their business strategies and figure out what threats these competitors present to their company.

A competitive analysis is a useful tool used to improve a company’s business strategy and also learn how to differentiate from the competition in order to attract a larger market. Industry research reports provide most of the information needed to complete a competitive analysis, including major companies, market trends and growth strategies.

How do you conduct a competitive analysis?

Identify your competitors

Figuring out which companies are a direct or indirect competition is the first step.

Searching for companies that offer similar products or services is important to determine how you will reach your target market and how to build a strategy that sets you apart from the competition. Whether you are a local, national or global company, there will likely be a couple of companies that have similarities to yours.

Industry research reports include analysis about the most relevant companies participating in an industry along with their respective market share and growth strategies, making it easier for a company using an industry research report to determine who their top competitors are.

Analyze your competitors

There are various factors one should analyze in order to get a general view of your competitor’s strategy. In this step, one has to look for the overall brand image, company values and identity as well as the products and/or services offered, price ranges and the similarities and differences you have or strive to have with them.

Industry research reports provide a competitive landscape on what the average operator is competing against, internally and externally, which serves as a checklist on what a specific company is lacking and areas of improvement.

Visualize your position against theirs

To visualize yourself in the same market space, you have to compare the quality of the products or services you are offering as well as the pricing. In order to determine how to set your strategy, you have to decide whether you want to compete with other companies within a specific price range or target market and how you want to set the approach.

Products and services as well as major markets are top sections in industry research reports that provide an overview on who the main companies are targeting and what are they offering them. By applying this knowledge about the industry to the competitive analysis, it can help you find niche and growing product and markets segments that will set you apart from the competition.

Build your strategy

From analyzing other companies and comparing your position to theirs, it is easier to find areas for improvement that your company can use for its own benefit, whether it is content creation, product quality, marketing and social media strategies, among others.

After you have a list of competitors and their overall strategy, you can apply what you learned to your company and prepare for success. Industry research reports provide current and growing market trends that help you identify gaps in the industry and in other companies, which will teach you how to sell a product or service more efficiently.