For every business, a competitor is always present, and why not use this to your advantage?
Singhwal offers specialized services for competitive analysis in a wide range of subject domains. A competitive analysis covers several aspects with respect to competitors in your field of business. In other words, it refers to a systematic process which includes the collection and analysis of information based on strengths, weaknesses and future intentions of competitors. It helps you to identify that what kind of threat you may face in the future with respect to their financial well being and also it provides what kind of opportunities are in front of you based on competitor’s strength and weakness. The competitive analysis used to evaluate the rival companies which are known to you already and/ or the entire competitors practicing in the field of your concern.
Understanding how your competitors manage their intellectual assets can help determine their future strategies, which in turn will help you assess your own organizational position vis- a- vis other competitors in the industry. For example, what kind of patent filing and prosecution strategy the competitor has been following, how the competitor is aggressive in their own research or acquisition of product/ IP from rival companies, their patent litigation strategy etc helps you to design your business strategy.
Competitive analysis helps to identify the direct and indirect competitor. The direct competitor means that one who practicing in the same domain and same product or technology as of our domain. Indirect competitor is one who practicing in the same or different domain but dealing with different product or technology which can substitute the product or technology which we are manufacturing or marketing.
Based on the requirement, the competitor analysis must include both direct and indirect competitor. The direct competitor means that they working on same product which we are working. Also, the product targets the same customer for the same problem. For example, portable device for counting your daily steps. Here the product, the targeted customers and their problems are same as of our product. In case of indirect competitor there is a difference either in product, target customer or the customer’s problem as compared to our product or technology. This has to be carried out because, the product or technology used by the indirect competitor may heavily impact our business. Say for example, the client is manufacturing a drug X for treating the disease Y. The competitor manufactures the drug A for treating the same disease Y. If the competitor’s product A has more advantages than the product X then the client’s market share for that product would be shifted to competitor’s product A. Therefore, in addition to evaluating the direct competition, it is highly recommended to evaluate the indirect competitor a well for right business decision.
Our team at Singhwal uses a set of techniques and processes to formulate a thorough comparative analysis report. Some of the main aspects that are taken into consideration are as follows:
- Assessing the different technologies that are covered in a specific subject domain and further analyzing who are the main players in these technologies.
This analysis includes both direct and indirect competitors and helps the client to understand the available opportunities and threats associated with the particular product in specific domain. By knowing the top 10 or main players in the specific technology it is easy to follow only those competitors and their activities such as patent filing, product launch, acquisition, collaborative work etc rather than monitoring the entire competitors. It also helps to understand and strategize how different technology or product available with the competitor will impact the client’s business.
- Understanding which of the players play a lead role in the main technologies in question.
It is important to monitor the competitors who are vigorously working in the specific technology or product thereby strategies our business. It is useful to identify the gap in the specific technology and hence start to work and invest on that technology in order to provide competing technology or product from the client. It also helps to strategize to work on alternate technology or product thereby to seize competitor’s market share.
- Analyzing the strength of your portfolio in comparison to portfolios of competitors
Evaluating the strength, weakness, opportunities and threat (SWOT analysis) of competitor’s technology or product helps the client to strategize their portfolio/ priority/ business. The competitor may be expertise in particular technology and has robust R&D team and manufacturing facility and IP protection such as patent & trademark to practice the particular product or technology. Therefore, the client may relook into their portfolio and business strategy to introduce or work on alternate product or technology compared to the competitor’s product in order to find out any alternative viable options. In some cases, their portfolio comparison helps the client to acquire the competitor’s product or technology and in some cases the competitor may sell the prduct or technologies which are generating low or negligible revenues to the client.
- Analyzing a specific competitors portfolio if it is of high relevance.
In most of the cases, a limited number of competitors are vigorously working on particular product or technologies which are highly relevant or same to the product or technology what the client is practicing. Therefore, monitoring their product, marketing activity, IP protection etc is highly necessary in order to avoid any threats in the future from the particular competitor. In addition, monitoring their patent portfolio may useful to identify any gap in the particular technology and hence the client can work on that space to fill the gap. This helps the client to provide competing product or technology and hence may lead to license any IP assets or fix a way forward for collaborative work with the competitor in that particular product.
Alternatively, once the competitor’s strength is identified and SWOT analysis are made, then we have two options The first ption is to try and do incremental innovation to the competitor’s product or technology and the second option is to move away from the particular technology or product and create an alternate technology or product which will be competing with the rival company’s product.
It is also important to analyse whether the competitor’s product is driving the market or their marketing team and sales strategy such as offer to the end user or less price etc is driving the market. In some cases, the competitor makes strong relationship with the customer and hence increasing the sales value of their product.
There are several other factors that need to be taken into consideration while conducting a Competitive Analysis Report. Let us understand these factors through an example.
An example with respect to a health care equipment in the health care domain, some of the factors that are analyzed may include country specific competitors, location of R&D facility, demand for sales of equipment, patent portfolio for the particular product trademark data of the company and their other products, market presence in different countries, the marketing strategy etc.
All these aspects will give an overview of the technology and its strengths and weaknesses in the target market. Some of the other aspects of the competitors that our team assesses includes patent filing patterns over the years, specific subject area of majority of patent filings, legal status of the patent and patent applications, etc.
Competitive analysis reports are also generated in combination with specific patent searches and landscape analysis, depending on the requirements of the client. Our team assesses the apt strategy to give the client the most comprehensive report based on their needs. We have a systematized process where specific requirements of the client are taken into consideration and the competitor analysis is conducted based on it. Based on client’s requirement we focus on the competitor’s activity in particular area and provide detailed report. For example, focusing on competitors product available in the market, competitor’s pipeline, patent filing strategy, other company acquisition strategy, sales and marketing strategy etc.
Our competitive analysis report helps the client anf their IP counsel to understand that how the rival companies are increasing their IP portfolio. The competitor may file a patent application on their own or they may acquire a patent portfolio from some other company or startup. Also the competitors may file a patent application for the invention originated from collaborative work. This analysis helps the client to evaluate and adopt the strategy followed by the competitor.
It also helps to identify that for which market or region the competitor is working for. Therefore, the client can evaluate the reason behind for the competitor to focus on specific geography thereby the client also can take necessary steps to evaluate their fesibility to enter into those market. It also help the client to protect their IP in those countries.
Importantly, the competitive analysis helps to know the future product and the strategy associated with the product. One can easily identity the technology to be adopted by a competitor for particular activity. Therefore, this analysis helps the client that whether those IP is concern for your business or not. This analysis informs the client that how a competitor’s technology is advanced or beneficial to the public in terms of safety, cost wise etc and hence invariably impact the client’s business. In addition, the client may work on the specific technology to compete with the competitor. This also helps the client to explore research and strategize their business plan towars alternate technology.
It informs you about what kind of patent prosecution strategies and patent portfolio maintenance the competitor has been following. The competitor may abandon the patent applications which are under prosecution and do not pay maintenance fees for the granted patent related to specific technology or product. This info helps you to understand that the competitor may withdraw the product or technology associated with those abandoned patent or patent application and moving towards different technology or product. This analysis also indirectly informs that the abandoned patent/ patent applications are less value to the competitor. In addition, this also informs that the competitor is preparing/ focusing himself towards different market and/or different product.
By evaluating the IP/ patent prosecution strategy such as accelerated examination of patent application and use of patent prosecution highway we can understand about the competitor’s product to be launched soon in the market or competitor’s plan to enforce the patent application, upon grant, against the infringer.
Overall, the competitive analysis report informs us about the competitor’s business strategy during earlier time and how it changes at present and what kind of possible strategies the competitor will be adopting in the near future. It helps us to understand their strength and weakness and hence what kind of threat or opportunity the competitor is showing against us.
The competitive analysis should be updated at least once in a six months in order to follow up the competitor’s entire activities including new product launch, product withdrawal from the market, financial situation, any IP licensing activities, acquisition etc.
Our expertise comes into picture in collecting qualified data and understanding the importance of the data to plot out the most consolidated report. Therefore choosing Singhwal for your Competitive Analysis will assure you a good overview of your competitors past, present and further steps in the industry. Analyzing your competitors step may benefit your company to take important decisions in the years to come.