Understanding Competitive Factors

Understanding Competitive Factors is key to winning business. But what are they and how do you use them?

Competitive Factors are the criteria your customers use to choose between your business and your Competitors and Competitor Categories.

These could include things like 'price' and 'quality'.

However, these are fairly generic factors and don't really help you to understand and target your strategy very effectively.

So look for factors that are more specific to your industry or business.

For example:

  • for Ikea, "Instant Fulfillment" is a competitive factor. That means that customers can take the furniture home with them instead of waiting weeks to have their order filled from a conventional furniture store.
  • for Cirque du Soleil, a "Refined Viewing Environment" is a competitive factor that sets them apart from the traditional big tent environment of the circuses against which they were competing.

Remember also that competitive factors can also be things you don't want to compete on.

For example:

  • "Animal shows" were a big draw for some customers, but Cirque du Soleil chose to forego those in order to appeal to people who thought animals in circuses were cruel, even though they knew that would lose them some customers.
  • "Customisation" is a big draw fro upmarket furniture stores, but Ikea chose to forego that, even though they knew that would them some customers.

You can see further examples of competitive factors at Examples of Strategy Canvases.

Once you've identified your competitive factors, you can score each of your competitors against them and add notes explaining your scores.

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Updated: 2022-01-25