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V. Competitor Analysis
Describe who your current competitors are, and why customers buy from them. Compare your own product to that of your competition on the basis of price, performance, service, warranties, and other pertinent features.. Know the similarities, the differences, and the ways in which your product is unique. Develop reasons why customers should choose your product over that of another company.

An effective marketing strategy cannot be developed without a thorough knowledge of the competition. Read all annual reports, newspaper articles, advertising, company literature and published statistics related to the competition. Question suppliers and attend trade shows and business fairs. Continually seek information on competitors’ products, research and development activities, production methods and costs, organizational designs, financial status, marketing strategies and general strengths and weaknesses. If the business is a retail establishment, remember that location is a prime consideration.

Use information about the competition as a tool for bettering your own business. Look for trends in their advertising, pricing, or promotion and for variances from the usual, which could indicate new strategies or test marketing. Do not overreact to a change in operations by the competition, but always be prepared to make adjustments based on their actions if necessary.