The Beginner’s Guide to the Competitive Matrix [Template]

Have you ever been playing a game and had to look around to check out the competition?

Whether you currently own or you’re looking to start your own business, you need to do the same thing. Luckily, there’s a methodical way to do that: by conducting a competitive analysis and creating a competitive matrix.

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A competitive matrix will help you identify your competitors and lay out their products, sales, and marketing strategies in a visual format. By doing this, you’ll learn where you’re positioned in the market, how to differentiate yourself from your competition, and how to improve upon your processes so you can beat them in the marketplace.

Below, you’ll learn what a competitive matrix is and review some templates and examples.

Competitor Matrix Types

Before you dive into the world of competitive matrices, it’s important to understand that there are different types you can use to compare your company to your competitors:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Competitive Advantage Matrix
  • Competitive Profile Matrix
  • Sales Matrix
  • Product Feature and Benefit Matrix
  • Price Matrix

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a technique used to assess how your business compares to its competitors. The acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It analyzes internal and external factors that affect the current and future potential of your business. By identifying these elements, you create a space to capitalize on your strengths, improve your weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and eliminate threats.

If your company has an excellent profit record, this is a strength. If your company offers a small variety of products to its customers, this could be seen as a weakness. How do you determine what information goes into your SWOT analysis? Below are some questions you can use to guide you.

Strength Questions

The following questions should help you discover where your company excels. This information will help you attract and draw in new customers as well as maintain existing ones.

  • What resources do you have?
  • What makes you better than your competitors?
  • What do your customers like about your product/services?

Weakness Questions

It’s difficult for your organization to improve if you have no system to determine your weaknesses. To remain competitive within your industry, you need to discover these faults to correct them.

  • What do your customers dislike about your products/services?
  • What areas do your competitors have an advantage in?
  • Do you or your employees lack knowledge or skill?
  • What resources do you lack?

Opportunity Questions

Keeping an eye on your competition is necessary; however, watching for available opportunities will give your business a competitive advantage. These opportunities can come from both monitoring your competitors as well as industry trends.

  • What are the current trends?
  • What is the market missing?
  • Is there available talent that you could hire?
  • Are your competitors failing to satisfy their customers?
  • Is your target market changing in a way that could help you?

Threat Questions

Threats can come up within a business at any time. These can be internal or external factors that potentially harm your company and its operations. Identifying these threats will help your business run efficiently.

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Has there been an increase in your competition?
  • What are the obstacles you are currently facing?
  • Are your employees satisfied with their pay and benefits?
  • Are government regulations going to affect you?
  • Is there a product on the market that will make yours outdated?

As demonstrated by these questions, a SWOT analysis matrix can help your company identify elements that are often overlooked.

Competitive Advantage Matrix

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A competitive advantage matrix analyzes your company’s competitive advantage by assessing volume production and differentiation. Its purpose is to determine how your company can grow.

This matrix has two axes — vertical and horizontal. The vertical axis evaluates the number of opportunities available for achieving a competitive advantage, while the horizontal axis measures the potential size of the competitive advantage. Using this information, the competitive advantage matrix is segmented into four boxes:

  • Stalemate – Few advantages with small potential
  • Volume – Few advantages with great potential
  • Fragmented – Many advantages with small potential
  • Specialized – Many advantages with great potential

Using this information gives you the tools to determine where your competitive advantage comes from.

Competitive Profile Matrix

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A competitive profile matrix is a tool your company can use to directly compare your strengths and weaknesses to industry competitors. For this matrix, you will use four elements: critical success factor, weight, rating, and score.

Critical success factors are areas that will determine your success. Examples are brand reputation, range of