Mastering the art of competitor analysis: A comprehensive guide


Competitor analysis is a vital component in today’s business landscape. It is a method of learning more about a market’s dynamics, your audience’s preferences, and new trends that are changing the industry’s flow. Understanding how your competitors work, their strategies, and what they excel at can be an incredibly effective way to grow your business. 

In this post, we will discuss the art of competitor analysis and how it can help you gain a competitive edge in any industry.

What is competitor analysis?

Competitor analysis is the evaluation of competitors in your industry. This usually involves gathering data on a competitor’s products and services, examining their marketing strategies, and using online research and surveys to pinpoint their market position. The data is analyzed thoroughly to identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses.

This research’s purpose is to help inform your company’s decision-making and enhance your competitiveness in a market.

Why is it important?

There are many reasons to conduct competitor analysis, such as:

  • Learning about the strengths and weaknesses of another company
  • Understanding your market position relative to competitors
  • Identifying competitive threats in the industry
  • Discovering new opportunities in the market
  • Exploring new trends to gain an advantage
  • Learning how to differentiate your products and services
  • Improving your marketing strategies
  • Assisting your business with complex decision-making

In short, competitor analysis gives your company the upper hand in a market by learning about your rivals. When you understand what other companies are doing, you can use that knowledge to make better decisions.

Steps to conduct a competitor analysis

To conduct an analysis of a competitive landscape, you need to first identify your competitors. This is usually divided into direct and indirect competitors.

Direct competitors offer similar products and services that target the same audience. On the other hand, indirect competitors offer products and services that are alternatives to your own. For example, laptop and desktop computers serve different audiences but are still considered indirect competitors because they are alternatives to each other.

The next step is to gather information about your competitors. This is done by searching their websites, reading news about them, and checking press releases. There is no limit to how much research you can perform on a competitor. It can be as simple as looking at their website and social media pages or as involved as examining their patents and making assumptions about future products and services.

Finally, the data has to be analyzed. This focuses on making sense of all the information you’ve gathered. This can be separated into objective reports, such as detailed facts and figures, to generate informative graphs and charts. Alternatively, it can be subjective information, such as assuming what a competitor could do based on their marketing efforts and patents.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a competitor’s business, projects, or products. Examples of strengths and weaknesses could include a company’s resources and capabilities. Opportunities could be new trends that companies are taking advantage of. Threats refer to anything that could threaten a competitor’s current market position, such as shifts in consumer preferences, changes in government regulations, and technological advancements.

Tools and techniques for competitor analysis

  • SWOT analysis is one of the most popular techniques for assessing a competitor.
  • Market surveys and interviews can lead to direct insights from consumers and industry experts. Stakeholders can also offer meaningful input to help gauge a competitor’s marketing position.
  • Online research can utilize tools to search competitor websites, social media platforms, and publications. Review websites can also offer insights into competitors’ products and what they’re doing wrong or correct.
  • Price comparison tools are a simple yet effective way to compare your prices with competitors. They can be used by retailers and online stores, as well as larger companies that want to target a certain type of audience or budget.
  • Industry reports and market research are objective sources of information that can provide valuable insights into market trends, competitive markets, and future outlooks to help you make informed decisions.

Tips for effective competitor analysis

  • Understand your market. It’s important to know precisely what is a competitive market and when you should be conducting competitor research. Some markets, especially niche ones, might not have direct competitors, but instead indirect competitors that should be taken into consideration since they could be more of a threat.
  • Monitor changes over time. Markets typically don’t change overnight. Competitor analysis is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to monitor changes and trends continuously so that you stay informed.
  • Utilize multiple data sources. It’s vital not to rely on just a single point of information or data set. Gather information from multiple sources and combine it to better understand the market.

Real-life examples

There are many great examples of how brands use competitor analysis to grow their brands.


The popular fast-food chain is well-known for its comments on social media. It uses social listening tools to track when people are talking about the company so that it can reply. It also uses this tool to monitor activity from fast-food competitors. This has helped Wendy’s gain a strong reputation on social media.


Amazon uses real-time price monitoring tools to adjust its prices in real-time to match or beat other online retailers. Prices can change so often that if you check your Amazon basket at the beginning and end of the day, you’ll likely get messages about product price changes.


In short, competitor analysis is an important strategy for helping your business better understand what competitors are doing. It’ll help you better understand the market, make more informed decisions, and uncover new opportunities and trends to exploit. Regularly conducting competitor analysis will keep your business up-to-date with the industry, trends, and consumer preferences.

About the author

Author: FITT Team

The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) is the standards, certification and training body dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification to individuals and businesses. Created by business for business, FITT’s international business training solutions are the standard of excellence for global trade professionals around the world.

disqus comments