Hi, my competitors! - How to Make A Successful Competitive Analysis?

While the development of Internet industry, the bounces that come with a large population is reducing sharply and even close to disappearing. Every minute, in all areas, there are so many products have been launched. Even though the new-born, like sharing bikes app, once people know you, there will be a hundred same products in no time.

This industry is developing so fast, product should not be updating with your eyes closed. You need to open your eyes, and look what others do.

This is all about Competitive Analysis. First of all, let wikipedia tell you what is Competitive Analysis.

Competitor analysis in marketing and strategic management is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. This analysis provides both an offensive and defensive strategic context to identify opportunities and threats. Profiling coalesces all of the relevant sources of competitor analysis into one framework in the support of efficient and effective strategy formulation, implementation, monitoring and adjustment.

Then, let me tell you the three essential issues in Competitor Analysis:

1. The right competitor
2. The right purpose
3. The right selection

Good competitor analysis starts from looking for the right competitors. Who is your competitor? Not only just the products those who have a direct relationship of competition, but also the other tools. For examples, as a prototyping tool, Axure has many competitors, not just the other tools like Justinmind and Mockplus, they also have to compete with the wireframing-only tool, Balsamiq, the Flinto for mac which is completely tied to Sketch, even the InVision, which has all the function relying on creating hotspots.

Sometimes, even the product that never has heard of each other can be the competitors of each other. I actually met a guy using Mockplus to creat an interior design.

While choosing your competitors, don't just look for the competitors in the narrow meaning, there are many great products which are not glittering, and you need to pay some attention to them. Your product can only be better by learning from others.

After picking up your competitors, you can start to analyze them with a specific purpose. So, what is a right purpose for competitor analysis?

Basically, there are two kinds of purposes:

First kind would be subjective purpose. It depends on the stage of product development and the future plan. According to the plan and the feedback during the product operation, you will get your right purpose.

While, the second kind is comparely objective. You can analyze the tools which are popular and having a large part of the market, to figure out the cause of their being successful. Not just the appearance, you need to get the real reason behind the scene. There are countless examples, such as the sync and share libraries function of Mockplus, and the link point operation of Proto.io. They have really got what's behind and made some good optimizations.

Last but not the least, and even the most important. That is you must have a right selection.

It's good to learn from the competitors, and it's easy to become someone else even become nobody. You are required to select what to learn carefully. There are so many fantastic products with creativities at the beginning, but in the end, they all lose themselves, and vanish in the sea of products. No matter which kind your product is, do not forget to hold on to your heart, don't just change how you want the product to be.

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