How to do Competitive Analysis for Startups

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Doing a competitive analysis is crucial for any company, but especially startups looking to differentiate themselves. Here's an inside look at how one company put together a competitive overview to deeply understand their market positioning.

Choose the Right Competitors Don't try to analyze every potential competitor in your broad market. Focus on the top 3-5 competitors that are top of mind for your target customers. These could be industry leaders, companies targeting the same niche, or ones your customers frequently compare you to.

Research Key Differentiators Group your analysis into categories like positioning, differentiation, company size and history, pricing, and product feature comparisons. Look at both functional differences as well as the visual design and user experience. Use data sources like LinkedIn, Crunchbase, and product demos to research:

  • Taglines and target customers

  • Unique value propositions

  • Funding raised, revenue, headcount

  • Pricing and business models

  • Screenshots and product walkthroughs

Map Product/Feature Differences Create a table listing out product features that are most important to your buyers. Mark which competitors offer those features to visualize where there are gaps you can fill or areas where you surpass others. Seek customer input here if possible.

Ongoing Competitive Scans
Treat competitive analysis as an ongoing initiative rather than a one-off project. Schedule regular checks for pricing changes, new feature releases, funding news, etc. and update your analysis to stay on top of this crucial market intelligence. Deeper dives like customer sentiment analyses and demo feedback can complement regular scans.

In summary, take a strategic approach to competitive analysis to identify growth opportunities and fully leverage your differentiation. Comparing business models, product functionality, and messaging is invaluable market intelligence that both startups and enterprises should tap into. Analyze your competitors today to fuel your future success!

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Emad Hasan