In Part 1 we began by asking ourselves some guiding questions to challenge our initial assumptions. In Part 2 we defined our vision and mission, products or services and how we’ll know when we have succeeded.
Now we want to survey the competition – see where they are, what they’re doing – and why. A typical competitive analysis methodology :
- Who are they?
- Who are our competitor’s users?
- How does our competition reach their users?
- What’s the product?
- What’s the product’s position in the market?
After we’ve done our homework about our competition’s customers and devised a proper SWOT analysis, we will want to know more about how products are used.
At work I recently completed a study of 20 different sport and news websites, in particular the editorial strategy of responsive web views vs app home screens and their respective navigational schemes.
Have a look at following examples of two very similar, yet subtly different products. What conclusions do you draw from the following questions:
- What are the “jobs to be done” by this product?
- How do our competitors minimise effort?
- How do our competitors monetise?
Remember, just because a cool new feature or service exists in a competitor’s product doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your product.
It’s important to know why a feature exists, because that’s the only way you’ll be able to determine if it’s the right fit for your product and help achieve your commercial goals.