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How to Analyze Competitors (for Marketers)

A framework for competitor analysis

You have identified important competitors you want to analyze. (How? See this related post.) It helps to think through what you want to get out of this exercise.

Components of Competitor Analysis

The following perspective draws heavily on what is sometimes called the “Resource-Based View” (RBV) of strategy. Neil Morgan (2012) provides an excellent overview of the RBV as it applies to marketing strategy and overall business performance. At a high level, an organization uses its capabilities to translate its resources into a strategy that creates positional advantage in the market and leads to business performance:

Adapted from Day and Wensley (1988), Morgan (2012)

In Summary

A good competitor analysis looks at how resources and capabilities enable a positional advantage or disadvantage in the market, and how that leads to business performance. Understanding how these elements work in a system as a whole will help you identify whether a competitor represents a potential threat to your organization and how they might behave in the future.

A practical business professor musing on marketing and management from his not quite ivory tower. Writings do not represent the views of Northeastern University