When my design agency is starting on a branding project for one of our client’s one of the main research areas is taking a close look at the competition, in particular how our client needs to position themselves in relation to this. Our mantra here in the studio is “The greater the insight into the competition, the greater the competitive edge”.

When we undergo a competitive audit for our clients we often use a checklist to enable us to gather all the information we need. In a nutshell this audit examines the competition’s brand, their key messaging and their position in the marketplace. Below is the checklist we have been using, its taken from Alina Wheelers Branding Bible – Designing Brand Identity.

1.    Who are the competitors in question?

2.    What d their brands stand for?

3.    What audience do they serve?

4.    What advantages and strengths do they have?

5.    What disadvantages and weaknesses do they have?

6.    What are their modes of selling and cultivating customers and clients?

7.    How do they position themselves?

8.    How do they characterise their customers?

9.    What are their key messages?

10. What is their financial condition?

11. How much market share do they hold?

12. How dos the competition use brand identity to leverage success?

13. What do they look and feel like?

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