Competitive Analysis (“CA”): Analyze three competitors within an industry.
A good competitive analysis is a scouting report of the actual market terrain the industry itself must
navigate in order to be successful. A Competitive Analysis is a tool utilized in the strategic planning process
Help management understand their competitive advantages and disadvantages within the industry.
Generate an understanding of competitors’ past, present, and (most importantly) future strategies.
Provide an informed basis to develop strategies to achieve competitive advantage in the future.
Forecast the returns that may be made from future investments.
In this assignment, the student will select an industry to explore. Make sure it has an IBISWorld (database)
industry code. Then prepare a competitive analysis of three of the largest industry competitors you are
analyzing (or those with relevant stats). Thoroughly research these industry competitors, representing:
1. Executive summary: High-level overview of the paper; this would be read by a busy executive to
determine interest in the report and its findings. (one-page length).
2. Industry overview and description: Financial data, revenue size, number of competitors, industry leaders,
etc. Provide key industry stats based on IBIS or Hoover’s information (other sources are available as well).
You may consider utilizing a chart to demonstrate the information in this section with some text information
to transition information and lay a foundation.
3. Key factors: Factors that drive this industry in regards to growth and innovation include an environmental
scan of the social, legal, regulatory, demographic areas, etc. Provide a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness,
Opportunity, and Threat analysis) of the industry in a grid format. Moreover, include an analysis utilizing
Porter’s Five Forces of the industry itself.
4. Analysis of the top three competitors: Develop an analysis of key factors for the competitors and a
SWOT of each competitor. A grid format presents a strong representation for both the analysis and the
SWOT. It should include company financial data, major lines of business and potential divisions of interest,
market positioning, market share, branding, target market, company overview, products, revenue, HQ,
employees, financial overview, points of differentiation, critical success factors, etc. Summarize this section
by answering the following questions:
How do the companies stand up to the competition?
What are the competitive edges of each?
What does each do better than its competition?
Where might each competitor be vulnerable?
What is the major “watch-out” for each competitor? Why? And if none, what are the vulnerabilities?
What are the market strategies utilized by each to achieve their objectives?
5. Industry future (this is your higher-level analysis of the “industry facts”): What factors will influence the
success or decline of this industry over the next three years? Where do you see the competitors in three
years, and how will the industry itself change? What recommendations would you have for each competitor
based on what you have researched? Consider how you would relate Blue Ocean Strategy to the industryspecific to the three competitors. This section should demonstrate how well you have synthesized the
information and your analysis. This section should be two to three pages in length and supported by your
6. Conclusion: Your final thoughts on this industry. Would you recommend it as an industry for investment
over the next three years? (Sections 5 & 6 need to be at least three pages with support.) Does this industry
have a future for you?
This paper requires substantive research using credible secondary sources citing six to eight credible
references sources including IBIS. The annual reports and web pages of the specific competitors should be
used for foundational information but present a potential biased perspective of the company. Therefore,
they should not be used for support throughout the paper itself. The final paper should be approximately 10
to 12 pages plus references and exhibits. The paper MUST be in APA format with a cover page, table of
contents, reference page, and any applicable appendices. NOTE: Section 5 and Section 6 should
represent a robust analysis from your background related to the stats in Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and your
research. This is where you really drill into the analysis!