Living in ignorance can be disastrous for a business and not staying up to date with the competition is one way to get there.
Completing a competitive product analysis helps you see where you stand in the industry and which areas could use improvement.
A great example of missing the boat is Blockbuster refusing to buy Netflix. They thought it was a joke and quickly turned down the $50 million dollar sale price of a company that is now worth $200 billion.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but the takeaway here is more about underestimating the competition to the point of not doing due diligence.
Let jump right into it and get started on your competitive product analysis.
1. What does your product offer?
We need to know what we’re comparing against.
While it might seem trivial to list out everything that your product can do, it’s a good starting point for this competitive product analysis.
If you offer a few different products or services, don’t try to clump everything together under one umbrella, this will be confusing and will result in a less effective analysis.
Focus on your main product, then rinse and repeat.
Start by listing out your key product pricing tiers and features in a table. Organize these into sections that best fit your business.
Don’t try and make this perfect, it is bound to change as you begin your analysis. We just need to make a foundation at this point.
2. How does it compare to the competition?
Alright, now let’s see how you stack up against the competition in terms of features.
Start with their pricing, product and service pages. They should list out exactly what they offer. Use the table you made from the previous section as a checklist for competing products.
Are they offering something that’s not on your list?
Well, don’t just sit there, add it.
You’ll see how quickly this sheet starts to get filled out. Trends should start to become apparent across your industry.
Maintaining a clear understanding of your competitor’s offering will help you explain the benefits that your product has in comparison.
One way to automate this practice is to track your competitor’s pricing page.
3. Dig deeper with your competitive product analysis
Your competitor’s website is what they want you to see.
Let’s bring out your inner Sherlock Holmes and drill down into what other stakeholders are saying about your competitors
Look through their product/service reviews, use Twitter to deep dive into conversations and check out comments on their public posts.
Every channel gives some insight that will help build a clearer picture of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
Youtube is another great spot to do some research, sometimes the comments on those are more telling.
Figure out what aspects the competition is highlighting and add it to your table.
4. Is your product pricing too high or too low?
Face it, you’ll never have the perfect pricing. There’s always some money left on the table. However, having a good understanding of the market will help get you as close as possible to that sweet spot.
Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that your competitor’s pricing is simple. In your table, it’s a good idea to breakdown your competitors offering into their packages.
The goal here is to compare like for like, we want to see how you stack up against their offering.
You may see a necessity to restructure your own offering to become more appealing.
Remember, you’re not alone.
Just like you, your competitors will be updating their features and pricing. It’s very time consuming to be checking multiple competitor websites each day hoping to catch a change.
One solution would be to use the automated website monitoring solution that is part of the Accordably package. Simply put the specific webpage URL that you would like to track and Accordably will do the rest. If there are any changes, we will inform you and show you exactly what’s been updated.
5. Can you find your competitor’s future product direction?
Some businesses may have their roadmap public and others might tease it on a reply to a customer, being ahead of the game never hurts.
Knowing what direction your competitor wants to go can help with your own planning.
Maybe you see that they are coming more for your business or that they are targeting a customer that you never considered.
It’s better to be prepared than blindsided.
6. Being prepared, by being aware
I’m sure you will hear that focusing on your competitors isn’t smart.
Well, you heard right. Being consumed by their every move to the point that you forget about your own product is not a recommended route.
However, completely ignoring your competitors is foolish.
All it takes is completing an initial competitive product analysis or a full-blown competitor analysis and then monitoring for changes.
Accordably automates the monitoring part so that you receive a clean report each week that highlights the most important actions from your competitors.