Unfair advantage: get to know the strength and weakness of competitors

Unfair advantage: get to know the strength and weakness of competitors

A competitive analysis aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. It is a great way to use competitor data to your advantage. Through analysing the competitor, brands are able to stay one step ahead and are able to forecast the best action to take. This article is aimed at helping brands to understand their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and to, therefore, create winning business plans and strategies.

Strength and weakness of competitors analysis: What is SWOT analysis?

Competitor SWOT analysis is a critical part of building a competitor analysis framework. It is a crucial foundation for brands to use when making important business decisions. A SWOT analysis helps brands to pinpoint their current position in the market. This is also the best way to maximise the ROI of various marketing strategies in order to create informed SEO choices.

SWOT analysis a decision-making tool. The aim is to prepare an overview of your current business situation before creating a brand strategy. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats.

An example of a SWOT Analysis
Source: 365Careers

Strengths and Weaknesses – Internal factors that are particular to a brand’s organisation or project.

  • Strengths – List the main strengths of your competitors and, how these give them an advantage.
  • Weaknesses – Define where competitors may be lacking or at a disadvantage.

Opportunities and Threats – External factors which depend on the environment of the organisation or specific project.

  • Opportunities – Pull together collated information in order to consider aspects that the brand can exploit to create an advantage.
  • Threats – Understand concerns wich could cause trouble for the business. Stay ahead by planning the best way to eliminate or counter these.

Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of competitors

Competitor analysis is important for creating business plans. Combined with the analysis of competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, this is a powerful tool which can help brands to forge ahead.

  • Strengths – Start by comparing your brand’s products and services to those of your competitors. Some of the things that a brand can look into are; media attention, reviews, industry awards and recognition from bodies. Is the brand receiving similar feedback from industry experts and customers?
  • Weaknesses – Again, begin by comparing your brand’s products and services to those of your competitors. An important factor to consider is, whether the brands are receiving negative feedback from customers and experts
  • Opportunities – These gives brands insights on how to grow the business including breaking into new markets, business developments and more.
  • Threats – Consider the threats posed by the competition; in which areas do they excel? How can they possibly get a bigger portion of the market?

Using the competition’s failure to gain more profits

Competitor failure can light a fire in a brand to enable success. When analysed correctly, this can be a great opportunity for brands to learn from their competitor’s mistakes and prepare their business plans to avoid doing the same. Still, it is important to remember that, whilst the competitor failed, this does not automatically mean a winning solution for your company.

A diagram on how brands can start creating an analysis of strength and weakness of competitors
Source: Medium

Brands must be proactive. Think of a competitor’s failure as an opportunity to learn about negative and positive actions and use your findings to strengthen and grow your business. Some of the questions that a brand can ask when leveraging on a competitor’s failure are:

  • Did the competitor make poor financial decisions?
  • Did the competitor face a market threat?
  • Did the competitor not provide sufficient customer service?
  • Did the competitor receive negative media attention?
  • Where are the competitor’s marketing efforts going?
  • Does your competitor have a strong online presence? How are their website and social media channels performing?
  • Is the competitor profitable and securing strong sales?
  • Does the competitor have a small or large team? How often do they hire?
  • Canyou use the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to create better strategies?

Build a better content strategy

A competitive content analysis of the strength and weakness of competitors is one of the effective ways of analysing the current content, SEO and product strategies which can help create differentiated brand content.

Analysing your competitor’s content strategy will help you to understand which content is working and which is not. Brands can pinpoint exact areas in their strategy that may or may not be working through analysing content.

Reasons why brands should implement a content strategyi. Creating a strength and weakness of competitors is a good way to start this tactic.
Source: Salesforce

Brands should know how competitors are gaining their audiences and, what kind of audiences are following the competitor’s content. The results of a SWOT analysis can help. For example, a brand can go after the competitor’s strength – creating topics that beat the competition.

A brand can also use the competitor’s weaknesses by preparing content that the competitor is not creating. Diversify if possible by including content that will capture the audience’s attention – don’t be afraid to be controversial.

Brands can make their content strategy so much easier with the use of content management and marketing tools. Some of the most recommended are Contentstudio, Clearscope, and Storychief.

Build a better SEO strategy

Another important tactic to try is to understand the keywords that your brand’s competitor is targeting and ranking. Questions to consider are:

  • What keywords are they ranking for?
  • What keywords have they not ranked for?

Understanding which keywords a brand can improve on can help them to take over search engine rankings over time. Thankfully, there are dozens of tools available online that a brand can use to help in keyword research. Consider tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and Google Keyword Planner.

Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of competitors can help brands to move ahead. It is a crucial strategy that can provide important data on what brands need to do – and what they must avoid doing.

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About James

James is the founder of Customer Devoted and was previously the managing director of customer engagement agency Ogilvy One and the strategy director for customer loyalty consultancy The Collinson Group.

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