In the consumer packaged goods industry brand owners have the opportunity to try competitors products in the same way the consumer would. Along with this, it is beneficial to conduct an ongoing competitor analysis that will inform future decisions on product development, line extensions, branding, pricing and marketing strategy. Understanding the competition is not so a brand can follow, but so a brand can truly stand out.
Choose a documentation approach so you can look back over time and your insights are not lost. For some companies this is simply done by creating a document template (ex: excel or similar) with headings that capture the important attributes.
Commit to a schedule for revisiting the competition as the marketplace changes quickly.
Review a wide range of attributes:
Product: label claims, certifications, composition, quality, packaging, format, unit size.
Price: price per unit, variation in different sales channels, price strategy
Placement: geographical regions, retailers, ecommerce platforms
Branding, Marketing, Promotions: brand identity and messaging style (digital and on package), social media approach, website, sales approach in e-commerce and retailer point of sale (POS) promotions
Physically review actual product as much as possible, document your observations and keep products or take photos for reference.
Note your observations on the strengths and weakness of competitor products. It is helpful to include columns for this in your document template.
Meaningful insights are gained during a review of product strengths and weakness compared to the competitors. Such as opportunities for improvement, how a product is unique and why a consumer would choose the product over others.
The SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis approach guides a comparison of products to the marketplace. BDC has a downloadable template: here