Guidelines for Doing a Competitive Analysis

When doing a competitive analysis is part of a market study, the preparer of the plan can follow a format that is shown below. This report would be made for each of the major competitors. While most of this report focuses on the overall analysis of the competitor, it should be recognized that the researcher is primarily interested in how this information may impact their company and, specifically, a product or product line. Thus, one should make sure, where possible, to focus information on how it impacts the markets in which the company’s product competes.

  • 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, social media, etc.)
  • 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, legal concerns, intangible issues
  • Competitors – list key competitors facing this company
  • SWOT – summarize strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats