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What is Competitive Analysis? (A Definitive Guide)

Competitive analysis is the systematic process of identifying, analyzing, and comparing competitors in a particular industry or market. The primary goal is to gain insights into the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, identify opportunities and threats, and ultimately make informed decisions to outperform rivals.


In the dynamic landscape of business, staying ahead of the competition is crucial for success. Companies that thrive are those that not only understand their own strengths and weaknesses but also have a comprehensive understanding of their competitors. This process of evaluating and understanding competitors is known as competitive analysis. In this article, we will delve into the importance of competitive analysis and explore how it can be a strategic tool for businesses aiming for sustained success.

Types of Competitors

Competitors come in various forms, and understanding the different types is essential for effective competitive analysis. Here are several types of competitors that businesses may encounter in the marketplace:

  • Direct Competitors: These are businesses that offer similar products or services to the same target market. They operate in the same industry and compete directly for the same customer base. Direct competitors are often the most obvious rivals and share a similar value proposition.

  • Indirect Competitors: Unlike direct competitors, indirect competitors address the same customer needs but with different products or services. They may operate in different industries but still compete for the same consumer spending. Understanding indirect competitors is crucial as they can impact a business by providing alternative solutions to the same problem.

  • Substitute Competitors: Substitute competitors offer products or services that can replace or be used in place of another. Consumers may choose between these alternatives based on factors such as price, convenience, or specific features. For example, a consumer might choose streaming services as a substitute for traditional cable TV.

  • Potential Competitors: These are businesses that are not currently direct competitors but have the potential to enter the market and become significant players. Monitoring potential competitors is essential for anticipating market shifts and preparing for new entrants.

Key Components of Competitive Analysis:

  1. Identifying Competitors:

This is the first step in competitive analysis. Identifying the key players in the market plays a huge role in the success of your analysis. Most times it's quite difficult to identify your competitors. That is why Brandmoxe exist. At Brandmoxe our intelligence systems constantly provides you with suggestions of your competitors so you could proactively fine-tune your business strategy with confidence.

  1. Market Share Analysis:
  • Determining the market share of each competitor helps in understanding their relative size and influence in the industry. Market share is often calculated as a percentage of total sales within a specific market. The business with the highest market share may have a competitive advantage, but a smaller player with a niche focus might be equally influential in a specific segment. Analyzing market share trends over time can reveal shifts in consumer preferences, emerging competitors, or changes in the competitive landscape.
  1. Product or Service Analysis:

Understanding the unique selling propositions (USPs) of competitors' products or services is essential. This involves a detailed examination of features, quality, pricing, and positioning. Businesses should identify areas where their products or services excel and where they may lag behind competitors. This analysis guides product development, marketing strategies, and overall positioning in the market. Examine the market for your product or service. Then, figure out what other companies sell something that would compete with you. Once this is done, pay particular attention to their product and marketing efforts. Examining the product life cycle of both the business and its competitors helps anticipate future trends and demands in the market.

  1. SWOT Analysis:

SWOT is an acronym for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat, and so SWOT analysis is a technique for accessing these four aspects of a business.

  • Strengths: Internal attributes that give a business a competitive advantage. This could include a strong brand, advanced technology, skilled workforce, or unique intellectual property.

  • Weaknesses: Internal factors that put a business at a disadvantage compared to competitors. Weaknesses could include outdated technology, limited resources, or gaps in product/service offerings.

  • Opportunities: External factors in the market that can be leveraged for growth. Opportunities might include emerging trends, unmet customer needs, or changes in regulations.

  • Threats: External factors that could pose challenges to the business. Threats may include new competitors, economic downturns, changing consumer preferences, or industry regulations.

  1. Customer Analysis:

Customer analysis is a systematic process of examining and understanding various aspects of a business's customers. This strategic practice involves collecting and evaluating data to gain insights into the characteristics, behaviors, preferences, and needs of a company's target audience. The primary goal of customer analysis is to make informed business decisions, enhance customer satisfaction, and create strategies that resonate with the intended consumer base. The key components of customer analysis includes:

  • Demographics: Understanding the demographic profile of a competitor's customer base helps in identifying potential target markets and tailoring marketing strategies accordingly.

  • Preferences and Behavior: Analyzing customer preferences, behavior, and feedback provides insights into what customers value and dislike about competitors' products or services.

  • Customer Loyalty: Assessing the level of customer loyalty a competitor enjoys helps in understanding the strength of their customer relationships. High customer retention rates may indicate a strong brand or exceptional customer service.

  • Customer Acquisition and Retention Strategies: Examining how competitors attract and retain customers can provide valuable insights for improving one's own customer acquisition and retention strategies.

Benefits of competitive analysis

  1. Strategic Decision-Making: Competitive analysis provides valuable insights that form the foundation for strategic decision-making. By understanding the competitive landscape, businesses can make informed choices about pricing, product development, marketing strategies, and overall positioning in the market. This proactive approach helps in anticipating market shifts and staying ahead of industry trends.

  2. Market Positioning: A thorough understanding of competitors allows businesses to position themselves effectively in the market. By identifying and capitalizing on their unique strengths, companies can differentiate themselves from rivals. Whether through superior quality, innovative features, or exceptional customer service, a well-executed competitive analysis helps define and communicate the distinct value proposition of a business.

  3. Innovation and Improvement: Competitive analysis is a catalyst for innovation. By closely examining competitors' products, services, and market strategies, businesses can identify gaps in the market or areas where they can improve. This analysis inspires a culture of continuous improvement and encourages the development of new and innovative solutions to meet evolving customer needs.

  4. Risk Mitigation: Understanding the competitive landscape allows businesses to identify potential risks and challenges. By anticipating competitors' moves, market trends, and external factors, companies can proactively develop risk mitigation strategies. This proactive stance is crucial for navigating uncertainties, adapting to changes, and minimizing the impact of unforeseen challenges.

  5. Opportunity Identification: Competitive analysis helps businesses identify untapped market opportunities. By evaluating competitors' weaknesses or gaps in their offerings, companies can discover areas where they can excel. This proactive approach to opportunity identification enables businesses to capitalize on emerging trends, unmet customer needs, or overlooked market segments.

Tools and Techniques for Competitive Analysis

  1. Market Research: Market research is an organized effort to gather information about target markets and customers: know about them, starting with who they are. It is an important component of business strategy and a major factor in maintaining competitiveness. This involves utilizing surveys, interviews, and data analysis to gather information about customer preferences and market trends.

  2. Competitor Benchmarking: Competitive benchmarking is a process that compares competitors to understand how they achieve their competitive advantage. This involves comparing key performance metrics, such as pricing, features, and customer satisfaction, against competitors. Competitive benchmarking not only helps companies find areas for improvement, but also encourages them to take action

  3. SWOT Analysis: SWOT analysis is a framework for evaluating a company's competitive position and developing strategic planning. It is a structured approach to assessing internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. It assesses internal and external factors, as well as current and future potential.

  4. Social Media Monitoring: Social media monitoring, also known as listening, can help businesses analyze their competitors and learn from their behavior. This involves tracking competitors' social media activities and customer interactions to understand market sentiment.

  5. Industry Reports and Publications: Industry reports and publications play a vital role in competitive analysis by providing comprehensive and up-to-date information about the broader business environment. These sources go beyond the specific actions of individual competitors and offer insights into market trends, industry benchmarks, reports, articles, publications, and emerging opportunities or challenges.

Here at Brandmoxe, we provide you with all the necessary tools to help uncover valuable insights about your market rivals, empowering you to make informed decisions. You don't need an extensive market research expertise – simply input competitor data or choose from our system suggestions and let our system generate valuable intelligence.

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