Competitor SWOT Analysis: How To Gather Data and What To Do With It

competitor swot analysis

“Know your enemy and know yourself” – This quote dates back 2500 years to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. And while your competitors aren’t your enemy, per se, in a fiercely competitive market where you’re vying for the same business, it’s important to understand your peers as much as you understand your own business. This is where competitor SWOT analysis comes in.

A competitor SWOT analysis is simply a way to assess your competitor’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so that you can better understand their business and, in turn, your own.

When to Conduct a Competitor SWOT Analysis

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to conduct a SWOT analysis on your competitors. Here are just a few of them:

When you're feeling stagnant

If you feel like your business is stuck in a rut, a competitor SWOT analysis can give you the insights you need to get moving again.

Maybe you’re not generating enough new leads or your conversion rates are low. Maybe your prices are too high or your product just doesn’t stack up to the competition.

A competitor SWOT analysis can help you identify these issues and come up with a plan to address them.

When you're entering a new market

If you’re planning to enter a new market, you need to do your homework first. A SWOT analysis of your main competitors will give you a good indication of whether you’re likely to succeed and how best to approach the market.

By understanding your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you can develop a plan to take advantage of their weaknesses and get ahead of the competition right from the start. You can also anticipate any potential threats they may pose to your business.

When you're launching a new product

When you’re launching a new product, it’s vital to understand how your competitor’s products compare. What features do customer most value? What price points are they willing to pay?

A competitor SWOT analysis can help you answer these questions and give you a clear picture of the market landscape. This will allow you to position your product appropriately and make sure it’s appealing to your target audience.

When you're planning a marketing campaign

If you’re planning a marketing campaign, understanding your competitor’s marketing strategy can be a read help and inspiration. What channels are they using? What messages are they sending out? Who are they targeting and how?

A competitor SWOT analysis can help you answer these questions and give you a clear picture of the market landscape. This will allow you to position your product appropriately and make sure it’s appealing to your target audience.

6 Steps to Competitor SWOT Analysis

1. Identify which competitor(s) you want to analyse

The first step is to identify your main competitor or competitors. This will depend on your industry and market. If you’re in a small niche market, you may only have one or two direct competitors. If you’re in a large, established market, you may have dozens of competitors.

If this is the case, you may want to select four or five of the most relevant competitors for your specific use case. For example, if you’re planning to enter a new market, you may want to focus on competitors who are already established in that market.

2. Gather data about your competitor(s)

Once you’ve identified your competitor or competitors, it’s time to start gathering data. This data can come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Their website: products, price points, etc.
  • Social media: competitor posts, sentiment, audience profiling, etc.
  • Industry reports: revenue, market share, etc.
  • Financial reports: if public.
  • News articles: competitor mentions, press releases, etc.
  • Review sites: consumer reviews, employee reviews.

3. Analyse the data

Once you have all the data, it’s time to start analysing it. As you may have noticed, a lot of the data sources mentioned above provide unstructured data, meaning it’s not always easy to gather, format and analyse.

Symanto is an industry leader in Natural Language Processing technology, turning unstructured data into meaningful and actionable insights. For example, it can analyse thousands of customer and employee reviews and social media comments and derive truly meaningful insights.

For example, our aspect-based sentiment heatmap will show you at a glance which features of your competitor’s product or service are highly positively or negatively perceived by customers. How do each company’s consumers perceive customer service? Value for money? Product quality? This is valuable information that can help you fine-tune your own product offering.

Symanto also provides unique psychographic insights to help you better understand your competitor’s audience. For example, you might find that while both you and your competitor target young, working professionals, your competitors might attract rational thinkers and extroverts, while your company aims to target emotionally driven introverts.

4. Identify competitor strengths and weaknesses

Start by identifying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths might include:

  • A strong brand name or reputation
  • A wide product range
  • A large customer base
  • Good employee satisfaction and talent retention

Weaknesses might include:

  • High prices
  • Poor customer service
  • A small product range
  • Reliance on one key supplier

5. Identify competitor opportunities and threats

Now you need to identify competitor opportunities and threats.

Opportunities might include:

  • Changes in consumer trends or behaviour
  • Entering new markets or segments
  • Developing new products or services

Threats might include:

  • A competitor is acquired by a larger company
  • Another competitor launches a new product that takes away market share
  • Lack of assimilation with new technologies
  • Key personnel retiring

By conducting a competitor SWOT analysis, you can gain valuable insights into the market landscape, your competitor’s positioning and what it will take for your product to succeed.

6. Take action

Now that you have a clear understanding of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to take action. Use this information to come up with a plan to beat them at their own game. Maybe you need to revamp your marketing strategy or focus on improving your product quality. Whatever it is, don’t just sit on this information – take action!

Get Started With Symanto

If you want to take your competitor SWOT analysis to the next level, consider using Symanto. We offer a suite of AI-powered tools that can help you benchmark your competitors and understand their strategies and their consumers.

Get deep insights into your competitors’ performance from the perspective of their customers and their employees.

Symanto will help you source, gather and analyse unstructured data using advanced NLP technology to give you the most accurate competitor analysis possible. Using a combination of machine learning and human expertise, we deliver competitor analysis that is reliable and tailored to specific industries including banking, car dealership, consumer electronics, eCommerce, hospitality, pharma, retail and more.

Our intuitive data visualisations enable you to compare various competitors at once. Our interactive reports enable you to explore the data from high-level overviews down to granular details.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help you take your competitor analysis to the next level.