Competitive insight. Is it necessary? Does it matter to you?

Have you ever been caught off guard by a competitor’s actions – or inactions –, or found yourself facing rivals you hadn’t even considered? Many businesses view their competitors through a narrow lens, often underestimating their strategies or failing to recognize the full spectrum of competition. This essay delves into the necessity of comprehensive competitive insight, exploring strategies to understand and outmaneuver competitors by broadening the scope of analysis and reimagining the dynamics of rivalry for strategic supremacy.

Strategies for competitive insight

– Broaden your horizon: 

Identify your real competitors, extending beyond those offering similar products or services. Consider alternative technologies or solutions and account for players both up and down the value chain.

– Deep dive into competitor analysis: 

Move past superficial judgments to gather and analyze concrete data. Conduct thorough examinations of costs, product offerings, market trends, and social media presence to gain a comprehensive understanding.

– Understand competitor behavior: 

Dive into the emotional and personal motivations driving your competitors. Engage in role-playing to adopt their perspective, a practice best refreshed every couple of years.

– Reevaluate your SWOT analysis: 

Consider your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats from your competitors’ viewpoint.

– Forecast competitive dynamics:

Develop scenarios predicting how the competitive landscape might evolve and anticipate potential responses to your strategies.

– Redefine competition: 

You’re not bound to traditional competitive tactics; it’s possible to change the game’s rules

My personal insights

In many leadership discussions, perceptions of competitors tend to be inaccurate, outdated, or misleading, influenced by recent events or personal anecdotes. From the numerous competitor analyses I’ve led or participated in, teams consistently find they know more than they think – once they compile their information. And integrating new external insights often proves a pivotal part of the insight.

However, the true chrystallization occurs in well-crafted role plays, immersing in the competitors’ mindset. This approach is effective across industries worldwide, offering fresh interpretations and highlighting information gaps.

Some overarching observations

– A struggling competitor can be unpredictable, capable of unexpected tactics.

– Having higher-cost competitors can be advantageous, as more uniform cost structures tend to result in erratic earnings.

– Oligopolies display more erratic behaviors than sectors with numerous players.

– Market share matters, but it must be a meaningful share – creating customer preference and/or cost efficiencies.

Want to transform how you view and engage with your competitors? 

Let’s journey together to refine your competitive strategies, ensuring you’re prepared for every move on the business chessboard. Connect with me at or +31-6-53361249 to explore deeper insights and tailored strategies that can elevate your competitive edge. 

Inspired, but not facing a concrete challenge right now? Let’s connect on LinkedIn to stay in touch and share valuable insights.