Random business advice

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Writing Competitive Analysis Papers

Before you write a competitive take-down note for your product team or sales team, write a neutral assessment. It may help to write from the perspective of an employee of the competitor, to an audience of their sales people. Write the best story in favor of the product that you can, without naming / bashing any other products. (It is OK, however, to name features / customer requirements that you meet and few / no others do.) Once you have written this, you can use it as a source document to write your own rebuttal for your company.

If you don't do this, it is far too easy to write a sneering, condescending, dismissive article that gives everyone the feeling that your product is better, but doesn't actually address why you are better, and more importantly, may ignore areas where your competitor is stronger. It is much easier to lie to yourself than to your customer, and you and your team aren't going to buy any product.

Three Insights from JTBD Theory

  1. The customer is pursuing his own journey; your product must help in that journey to be relevant. This journey probably defies your current industry / market categorization.
  2. You can satisfy customer needs that are Rational, Emotional, or Social (or combination). If you are only solving Rational needs, you are a commodity that is bought strictly on price / benefit.
  3. Your company probably intersects the customer journey before and after the actual purchase; optimizing these points improves your value, so don't only focus on the usage / features of the product.