What Makes a ‘Good’ Competitor in a Market

Do you think Usain Bolt would race you in 100m, win, and say “Gee, that was a good win!” to himself?

No. Not a chance!

The same logic applies in all markets, identifying a good competitor is crucial for relevant comparison of success.

Your most direct competitors are identified within your strategic group. The biggest example of this would be the battle of the smartphone. For Samsung, their strategic group would consist of Apple, Google (Pixel), Sony and HTC.
These make up the most direct competitors that can then be ranked and compared to provide a more accurate picture for performance within the market segment.

The next layer we can identify is that of the industry competition. Looking at the same industry for Samsung, we expand from the strategic group to get a big picture that could reveal more general trends.

To maintain a strong position in the market, Samsung must monitor new entrants or substitutes to ensure they have a position that they can continue to defend. For Samsung, they might ask themselves if there are any new technologies that may make their phones redundant.

For the most part, Samsung needs to look no further than Apple for a competitor analysis that can provide context to their own performance.


Hooley, G, Piercy, N, Nicoulaud, B & Rudd, J 2017, Marketing Strategy & Competitive Positioning, 6th Ed., Pearson, Harlow, UK.


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