Guidelines for Doing a Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis section can follow a format that is shown below. In practice we recommend this section be a single-spaced, two-column report that is limited to a single sheet of paper (both sides used). Consequently, font size is generally 10 point or less.

This report would be made for each of the major competitors. While most of this report focuses on the overall analysis of the competitor, you should recognize that you are primarily interested in how this information may impact your company and, specifically, a product or product line. Thus, you should make sure, where possible, to focus your information on how it impacts the markets in which your product competes.

Note each sub-section within a section will contain 1-5 sentences that explain the sub-section.

  • General Company Information – includes name, location (headquarters, other locations of importance), website address
  • Summary of Business – includes sections that summarize the company, business units and nature of business
  • Business Overview – includes sections on history, ownership structure, types of businesses, mission, strategy/objectives, key executives
  • Recent News/Developments – important company developments within last 6-12 months (e.g., reports from news sources, press releases, financial statements)
  • Financial and Market Share Analysis – includes sections on corporate performance, trends, market share for product
  • Marketing – includes sections on products and services offered, target markets, positioning, customers/users, pricing model, promotional efforts, sales force, and distribution
  • Other Issues – includes sections on technology capability, partnership arrangements, intangible issues
  • Competitors – list key competitors facing this company
  • SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
Part 4: Competitive Analysis
Part 5: Additional Information