There’s an old saying, “know thy enemy, know thyself.” But that’s actually just a paraphrase from a much longer Sun Tzu quote:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Okay, you might not do actual battle with your competitors. But it doesn’t hurt to know them as well as you know yourself.
That’s where a competitor analysis can help.
Do Some Competitor Recon
Competitor analysis is simply a recon mission, where you examine several aspects of your competitor’s products or services.
It benefits your entire team and allows you to make better strategic decisions.
- The right competitors. Won’t make much sense to study Pepsi or Coke if you’re not in the soda game. Make sure it’s someone in your market or doing something similar.
- The right parts. Doesn’t make much sense to study parts of a competitor if it’s not relevant to what you’re doing.
You also have to know where to look and who to ask. Preferably with your own audience or target audience of potential customers. Small plug: Helio makes it easy for you to access a target audience or simply use your own.
Don’t Do the Same Old User Tests
Use a competitor analysis when you want to do something completely different from your usual user testing or surveys.
- Understand what sets you apart from your competition
- Ferret out opportunities that they missed
- Find markets and audiences that your competitors aren’t catering too
- Discover the niche you can own in your market
Get Started With These Tips
It can be daunting to know where to start. But don’t worry we got you.
Our advocates take these steps in their competitor analysis:
- Gauge their top navigation or call-to-action. Does it make sense? Is it understandable what action(s) an audience needs to take?
- Gauge the reaction from an actual audience. How do users react to a page? It’s colors, its messaging, etc. An impression test is great for this.
- Gauge their satisfaction with your competitors. Figure out the level of how people are either satisfied or dissatisfied with a competitor and their offerings.
Here’s an example of a competitor analysis we did on a landing page conversion and the data we collected:
But we have something that’ll get you started a lot sooner. Our Competitor Analysis template gets you started on all the things we just talked about. Simply plug-and-play!