Check out a free preview of the full Guide for Launching Your Next Big Idea course

The "Analyzing Competitors" Lesson is part of the full, Guide for Launching Your Next Big Idea course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul digs deeper into the competitive analysis. Identifying the core offerings, unique features, and platform integrations helps better understand how much overlap exists between products and any key differentiators. Market position and strategy are other important data points in competitive analysis.


Transcript from the "Analyzing Competitors" Lesson

>> So, what are we looking for in our competitors, okay? So I've said you wanna look at their reach. I've said you wanna try their offering, but let's actually dive into it in a little bit more depth cuz that's a little bit vague. So first of all, look at their features and functionality.

Wow, that's blown your mind, isn't it? We would never have thought to do that. But pay particular attention to certain things. First of all, what's their core offering? What's the focus of their app? Because a lot of apps will have a lot of functionality, but there's normally something that kind of sits at the core.

And what you wanna do is pay particular attention to the ones that they focus on promoting the most cuz that tends to be the heart of their app. And sometimes you can build a very similar app to somebody else but with just a different core focus. And then you can begin to differentiate yourself, all right?

So you wanna know what their core focuses are. You also wanna know what their unique features are, what makes their app different from the other competitors and potentially from your app as well. Are those things just nice to have things, right? Or are they critical to the experience for the audience you're trying to reach?

If they're just nice to thing to have things then really, they're not in a particularly strong position. Because they're relying on the fact that people want these things enough to be able to go with them over to a competitor that doesn't offer those things, right? So they've got to be pretty essential for them actually to be a good competitive advantage.

But the same applies to you, right? So if you've got a unique feature in your app, but if it's just a nice to have feature, it's probably not gonna be enough to make people move from competitor to you. So, it's gotta be something that's a killer feature. And then finally, in functionality and features, look at their integrations.

I mean, this doesn't apply to everything. It depends on what you're building and what you're creating. But oftentimes, people care quite a lot about how this works with other things, right? And that might be if you're creating something like a no customer relationship management system, it is absolutely essential that it works with everything else that you know where things are coming in.

If you're creating a task app, well, maybe less so. But even so it'd be quite nice if that syncs with my reminders app, for my iPhone or it, it worked with notion or whatever else, so those kinds of integrations are a thing that's worth paying attention to. So you wanna look at the competitors features and functionality, you also wanna look at their user experience, okay?

How easy is the thing to use? Again, there are three main areas that I pay attention to. The first is onboarding. The first time you get into an app, what is that first time experience like? Is the app easy to pick up or do I need support in order to get into it?

That is absolutely crucial. Because a lot of apps just kind of vomit people into the app, for want of a better word. And so people use it for five minutes and go, this doesn't do what I want, and then they they cancel. And so there's an opportunity there for you to give a better onboarding experience.

Often occurs competitor can have the same features and functionality but if that feature and functionality isn't obvious and easy to use, you can actually get a competitive advantage from that. So oftentimes, you see in the UK at least you see this with banking. They do advertising campaigns where they'll say things like with our app, you can photograph your check and not have to go and cash it in in person.

Well, pretty much all UK apps or banking apps do that, but some of them make it easier and more obvious of how to do than others and they actually use that as a competitive advantage. The other thing you've got to be pay attention to with user experience and I mentioned this in the product design course that I run is repeat use.

With most apps, people are using them again and again and again. So you're gonna need to use this app a little while, give it a decent run. Because what you'll notice is that as you try and use it for a little while, there'll be things that start niggling you and annoying you that you won't necessarily notice the first time.

So there'll be certain actions that you do again and again in the app that maybe are a bit difficult. That's worth noting because those kinds of things build up over time and can drive people away to competitors, especially if the competitor explicitly says we solve this problem. And then accessibility is another one.

And I don't just mean accessibility from the kind of disabled user point of view, but does it work across different platforms and different devices. So it's not unusual, for example, to find a Mac only app, right? Well, they're not really a competitor if I wanna go after the Windows users.

So it can be quite useful to know from that point of view. So we've got features and functionality, we've got user experience. We also wanna look at market position, how they position themselves in the market. So what I mean by that is, who is the primary audience that they're targeting?

So there might be segments that they're overlooking groups of people that they're not trying to appeal to. We're not targeting that maybe you could target, so you wanna know who their audiences are. And as we said in the chat room earlier, you want someone to look at their pricing.

How are they? What tiers do they have, what pricing model do they have? Do they have free trial or premium options? All of that you wanna make a note of as well. And then finally, you wanna look at their brand, right? So this includes their value proposition, so specifically kind of how they present themselves, what benefits that they provide to their audiences, what benefits they claim.

The ones that they highlight in particular. How is this app helping their users? That's at the heart of what you're trying to understand, okay? So that's market positioning. You also wanna pay. There's quite a long list of things to look for when you're looking at your competitors. You also wanna look at their strategy when it comes to marketing, okay?

So for example, what's their digital presence like? What's their website like? What's their site like? Do they have lots of landing pages aimed at different audiences? How do they go about converting users, right? What wording do they use, what tone of voice do they use, what tactics do they use?

What content marketing are they doing? Do understand the kind of keywords they're using on their blog posts. Are they targeting certain audiences in their blog post? And how are they reaching people through those kind of content marketing? So you look at something like HubSpot. And HubSpot have got a very aggressive content marketing approach where they've got specific keywords that they're going after.

And they go off to them aggressively through articles and help guides and that kind of thing. And then finally, what are they doing with paid advertising? Are they using Google ads? Are they using social media advertising? So you could dive into it there as well. Also pay good attention to the customer feedback.

So what reviews and ratings are they getting? Platforms like G2 is a great example of that, can provide you with lots of insights into what clients like and what they dislike about the company's solutions. And give you a sense of whether there are weaknesses that you can exploit.

And look at their case studies and testimonials, okay? Because these will give you an idea of the kind of use cases that their application is being used for and the kind of sectors they're being used in.

Learn Straight from the Experts Who Shape the Modern Web

  • In-depth Courses
  • Industry Leading Experts
  • Learning Paths
  • Live Interactive Workshops
Get Unlimited Access Now