What Does Competitive Landscape Mean?
The competitive landscape is the list of options available to a customer that competing products and solutions offer. This also includes your product. Customers might choose not to purchase anything, which is also an option in the competitive landscape.
What Is a Competitive Landscape Analysis
Gaining an understanding of the competitive landscape will require some research on your end. As a product team, you should conduct a competitive analysis to learn about all the alternatives to your product. This research often reveals that there are more competitors than the team initially thought.
Conducting a competitive analysis is key for product teams in order to learn about all the alternatives to their product. This type of research is important because it often reveals that there are more competitors than what was originally assumed.
How Do You Perform a Competitive Landscape Analysis?
In order to research your competitors and conduct an effective competitive analysis, we suggest following the tips below:
1. Subscribe to your competitor’s newsletters, follow them on social media, and check out the content they publish on their website. By doing this, you will be updated on any new product they are working on as well as any enhancements they are making to current products.
2. Friend your competitors. This strategy is a valuable way to learn about the new products they’re working on and which enhancements they’re planning for current products.
3. Create a competitive comparison matrix to evaluate your competition.
As you learn more about your competitors and what they’re offering, it’ll be useful to get a complete picture of how their solutions measure up against yours.
One best practice is to build a competitive matrix. This will allow you to view side-by-side details of each competitive product in your market, including features, pricing, customer support, average customer reviews, etc. This will give you a good overview of where you stand in comparison to the competition and what areas you need to focus on improving.
Adding alternative solutions to your competitive landscape will help you get a better understanding of how people are solving the problem your product addresses. This will allow you to improve upon your own product or find new ways to market it to potential customers.
When you’re thinking through all the ways a customer could solve the problem your product addresses, you should use your imagination—or market surveys—to come up with as many possibilities as you can. People can find creative ways to get things done that don’t involve buying a product built to solve that problem.
If your target market is using a different type of tool—even something free—to solve their problem, you’ll need to know that, so you can make sure your product offers something more that they need or want.
What Are the Benefits of a Competitive Landscape Analysis?
There are plenty of reasons why your team should perform competitive analysis, and if you’re not convinced, here are a few of the biggest reasons that should change your mind.
1. Conducting a competitive analysis can help you avoid costly missteps.
When you take the time to analyze the competitive landscape, including identifying alternative solutions your prospective customers might already be using, you can save time and resources in the long run.
Rather than building something your market doesn’t need—because they’ve found a workaround—you will instead be able to address a problem the market needs solving and is interested in buying.
2. Reviewing your competitors can help you uncover new product or feature ideas.
Your product team might have an effective strategy for communicating with your target users and learning about their priorities. That’s great. But no matter how effective that process is, you won’t catch every new trend or market need. By reviewing what your competitors are up to, you can also gain collective insights from their market research.
In addition to helping you uncover new product or feature ideas, a competitive landscape analysis can also help you find ways to improve your customer journey. For example, if you notice that a competitor’s product has a feature that yours doesn’t, you can investigate whether that feature would be valuable to your target users. Or, if you see that a competitor’s marketing messages are more effective than yours, you can adapt your own messages to be more customer-focused.
3. Gain insights about new markets, industries, and user personas.
When you perform a competitive landscape analysis, you’ll gain valuable insights not only about the products your competitors sell but also about where they’re selling them. This process is one of the most eye-opening and productive aspects of competitive analysis.
Your team might learn, for example, that a competitor has found a way to solve a problem for an industry your company hadn’t even considered targeting. If your product offers similar functionality, you might find success in pursuing that industry as well.