A startup’s use of competitive and comparator intelligence can make all the difference in its success or failure. That’s why it’s so important to understand the differences in competitive vs. comparative research.
What is Competitive Intelligence?
Competitive intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing information about companies in your market that are targeting the same potential customers.
The first step for any company when it comes to competitive intelligence is getting your team aligned on who exactly those competitors are, and then prioritizing what information to collect. Deciding who your biggest competitors are can be as easy as evaluating the market and seeing which companies people are choosing over you. Then, figure out which companies you can quickly gain ground on will help you prioritize your research. Some common types of data researched for competitive intelligence are:
- market share
- proximity to customer base
- customer reviews
- company culture
Anything that you think will give you a competitive advantage is worth taking into consideration.
What is Comparator Intelligence?
Comparators are companies that may not be directly competitive to you but are like you in other ways. For example, they may solve a similar problem as your company, but for customers in a different industry, or use similar pricing and packaging strategies. With comparators, there may be an opportunity to learn from each other or even work together and develop a partnership.
Looking outside of your market gives you a wider range of information and a larger sample size of which strategies work and don’t work. Researching comparators, much like researching competitors, can give you and your startup an upper hand on other companies in your market. While researching competitors helps you focus efforts to bolster your competitive advantage in your market, doing research on similar companies that you wouldn’t consider competitors can help inspire fresh ideas.
Another added bonus of researching and analyzing comparators is that you can identify companies to potentially partner with, and others who are possibly willing to share knowledge and provide guidance to your startup.
Knowing what the companies in and around your market are doing is a key to becoming a successful startup. With competitive and comparative intelligence and a team that is fully committed to its research, you can ensure everyone in your company is on the same page and working toward the same clear and measurable goals.
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