Competitor Research: Using market research to win in your Competitive Environment

Competitive positioning – what are your business objectives?

The start of any research is to understand where you want the business to be.

  • What products and features,
  • what positioning in the market,
  • what sort of price point.
  • Any business imperatives to satisfy?

This helps define ‘where you want to play’ and ‘what you want to achieve’.

What is your precise product?

You also need to define what your product or service actually is. What features etc.

  • What is the problem your product or service solves?
  • This will define what sort of competitors you will be up against.

As part of the researching your competitive landscape it is really useful to be able to understand what aspect of your product or service is actually driving perceived value.

Competitive landscape research

The big items you need to cover include:

Identify potential competitors: standard players, disruptors, new entrants …

  • Assess their strategy, analyse their risk to you

Identify competing products, looking at

  • USPs and features
  • Pricing
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Market share
  • Customer (and market in general) feedback

General market trends

Geographic, supply, or regulatory issues

Competitive landscape – market feedback

Do your desk research!

  • Loads of info is in public domain
  • Websites, press releases, articles, case studies, even use glassdoor!

But its likely you will need to get market feedback of some sort. Survey the market or customers to find out new information:

  • Needs and ‘pain points’
  • Views on existing providers in the market – likes and dislikes!
  • Views on pricing, costs etc
  • Views on emerging needs
  • Maybe also test out your USPs as well!

Define USPs to meet market trends

Create a structured analysis (eg standard SWOT or similar)

  • Find attractive gaps in the market
  • Define your USPs to suit

Make sure these align with how the market is changing

  • new products (disruption or gradual evolution)
  • what customers want
  • price sensitivity
  • regulatory changes
  • Technology changes

Review this regularly!

Choose where to play – and win

With this set of detailed information, you have:

  • Assessed the competition
  • Gathered key market feedback
  • Identified viable commercial gaps in the market you can fill

Make your choices based on knowledge.

Implement to win!

By Philip Todd, our Market Research Expert.

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