A Marketing-Focused Change to SWOT
In the Buyer-Based book, these two analyses are different chapters, because they are both complex looks at complex topics. Here, because they are so closely related, I will keep them together.
I have performed no less than a metric crap-ton of SWOT analysis, and I find that the layout used there is useful in many situations – but not in the context of this program. We want to look at the competitor and their products in a different type of light. I do this in a spreadsheet, table, or in a custom app that can be made on Zoho Creator or the like.
I have created a Google sheet that you can look at for how I lay out the information for competitor analysis:
(The google sheet can be accessed here: Competitor and Competitor Product Analysis)
The fields I use for the competitor analysis are:
– Primary Facilities / Locations
– Estimated Sales of Competing Products
– Markets Served
– Top Customers
– Primary Applications
– Solutions Offered
– Value Propositions
These are all important to me, and let me clearly understand how this competitor interacts with me and my target lists. I won’t always know all of the information, but I will at least think about it, and have the other stakeholders around me think about it as well.
I take the competitor analysis one step further and break down their products, as illustrated in the table below:
The fields I use for this are:
– Value Proposition for the product as a whole
– List of benefits
– List of weaknesses
– List of most useful features
– Unique Selling Points (USP)
– Cost (if known)
– Price (or a close estimation if not available)
These are all given a code and attached to a market and one of my products or services. This lets me logically pull information, and if you do this in excel you can make a handy pivot table that can produce some pretty compelling graphics. I use this type of information to give myself good comparative metrics and an effective way to illustrate what the competitive landscape looks like.