Competitor analysis is a research process that seeks to benchmark a brand against others in the same sector or market. This can help to define what makes the brand unique by analysing what factors customers look at when choosing between rival companies.
Competitor analysis has two primary aims. Firstly, to obtain information about important competitors; and secondly to use that information to predict competitor behaviour.
Ideally, the information gleaned from competitor analysis will be used to help us work out:
› Who your competition is
› What your competitors' strategies and planned actions are
› How to influence your competitors' behaviours to your own advantage
Casual knowledge about competitors usually doesn't give us all the information we need. It's often worth digging deeper and looking at annual shareholder reports, interviews with analysts, statements by managers and press releases (where relevant).
It's also a good idea to look at important existing competitors as well as potential competitors who might enter your industry - either by extending their present strategy or by vertically integrating. It's always good to think a bit more outside the box.