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Practical Application: Conducting Competitor Analysis

Instructor: Mary Matthiesen-Jones

Mary has worked around the world for over 30 years in international business, advertising, and market research. She has a Master's degree in International Management and has taught University undergraduate and graduate level courses .

Every business has competition. Some competitors are obvious and some are not so obvious. Apply what you have learned about analyzing the competition in these scenarios to identify possible competitors.

Direct Versus Indirect Competitors

Competition comes in two basic forms.

  1. Direct competitors operate in the same industry, offer the same basic products or services, and target the same customer groups.
  2. Indirect competitors operate in the same industry and target the same basic customers, but offer an alternative product or service.

For more traits of these two forms, review the lesson How To Conduct Competitor Analysis.

Some Competitive Scenarios

Think about these scenarios and try to identify possible direct and indirect competitors.

  • Big Bob's BBQ

Big Bob's BBQ sells real, southern-style BBQ sandwiches. Their meals include sandwiches with one-half pound of BBQ pork or beef, a side of potato salad or coleslaw, and southern sweet tea or cola. They are open for lunch and dinner.

  • The Makeup Store

The Makeup Store chain sells a wide range of medium-priced makeup and facial products in a one-stop-shopping environment. Located in malls across the country, they have makeup and skincare advisors on staff to help customers select the perfect products.

  • Japan Style

Japan Style sells affordable home furnishings based on contemporary Japanese designs. Customers mix and match furniture components such as table tops and bases. The pieces come ready to assemble at home.

  • Secure-at-Home

Secure-at-Home offers a 24-hour home security service for homes and apartments for people living alone. Licensed professionals provide local monitoring of premises in-person and electronically based on customer needs.

Who is the Competition?

Use this table to list possible direct and indirect competitors for each of the four scenarios and make notes on your reasoning. Ask yourself these questions:

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