Using Flowcharts for Competition Analysis

U“World trade means competition from anywhere; advancing technology encourages cross-industry competition. Consequently, strategic planning must consider who our future competitors will be, not only who is here today.” — Eric Allison, Uber

Commercial research represents one of the major hinges that allows modern businesses to expand, thrive, and survive in the present day. Such strategies and maneuvers gain importance because businesses can benefit from information and the subsequent competition analysis conducted from multiple perspectives. Some observers note competition analysis in the domains of marketing and strategic management implies the conduct of close assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of both current and potential competitors. When conducted diligently, such analyses allow an incumbent firm to fashion offensive and defensive strategic plans that map emerging (or perceived) market opportunities and threats. A successful, fully-fleshed competition analysis can empower businesses to gain footholds in virgin markets or compete superbly with incumbents in existing market scenarios.

The analytical framework of flowcharts offers crucial tools that enable the project of constructing a competition analysis. The cause-and-effect flows inside such an illustration represent the ideal technique of mapping competing services and goods in modern markets. In line with this, business operators can use the various stages of a flowchart to identify and position the main competitors in the expanse of a canvas. Subsequently, each stage inside this flowchart emerges as a hub of information that spurs an effective initiative of competition analysis. The commercial offerings, market strategies, product range, strengths, and weaknesses of each competitor can emerge as a circle of sub-stages that encircle each stage in the master diagram. A close perusal of the emerging illustration allows the market operator to frame a competent go-to-market strategy populated with unique elements designed to ensure success in the venture.

Investigations into the efficacy and usability of a product or service are an important part of competition analysis exercises. Flowcharts can aid such investigations when business operators outline specific actions inside said illustrations. For instance, the operator of a commercial website can commission independent agents to test said website for actual usability, the efficiency of the user interface, website navigation, etc. These actions can be embedded in a section of the flowchart as part of conducting a competition analysis. The outcomes reported by said agents can generate information and help the business to benchmark its online presence against competitors. The flowchart serves as a vehicle that guides and informs the entire exercise. In light of the above, we may state such a flowchart spurs the spirit of business competition by bringing key competitive elements to light.

Delineation lends flavor to the business exercises enshrined in the conduct of competition analysis. This implies that a business operator must work to differentiate the various levels of competitors it faces in modern markets. This assumes importance because it empowers operators to brainstorm different levels of strategy as part of the competitive stance of a business. Flowcharts that display three separate levels of horizontal sequences are ideally positioned to lead the proverbial charge into the competitive spaces of the modern market. In line with this, the business operator may classify the competition into primary, secondary, and tertiary segments. This approach empowers the enterprise to fashion separate strategies in the course of conducting a competition analysis. Subsequently, said operator can devise intelligent sub-strategies that will enable him to cope with competition at different levels. The wide expanse of a flowchart plays a central role in these deliberations.

Connecting the dots‘ – this adage gains special significance inside flowcharts when business operators plan advertising campaigns in tune with the dictates of competition analysis. The designers of such illustrations may reserve a special section that frames the outlines of an advertising campaign. This section can describe the inputs, ideas, visuals, notations, rationale, and budget – factors that power an advertising campaign. This linear representation can form the core of this section of the competition analysis initiative. It remains open to change, re-jigs, and innovation in communication as deemed appropriate by the sponsor enterprise. In time, this section may emerge as a stellar component that spotlights the actions undertaken in the aftermath of a succinct competition analysis program. Additionally, flowchart designers may elect to append critical data emanating from the advertising campaign, as part of efforts to guide the creation of better campaigns in the future.

Many observers have promoted the use of a certain intangible in the construction of a competition analysis matrix. Brand values can be estimated, plotted, tabled, and tracked; – as part of assessing the commercial competition in an open market. For instance, the brand values that distinguish a list of top fashion labels can provide useful impetus in driving a competition analysis of the global fashion industry. These values, tracked over the years with attendant changes in tow, can be mapped on a flowchart. The fluctuations in the value of this intangible can help new enterprises determine the scope of action in markets they wish to enter. Additionally, the list of values can be connected to other sections of a flowchart with a view to derive deeper levels of meaning in the commercial rhythms of a market. We note certain designers may display a flair for design and elect to append a minor spreadsheet to the competition analysis matrix.

The hordes of digital marketers that operate on the global Internet can elect to execute competition analysis from multiple points of view. One approach would include a close study of the technology deployed by the competition. Flowcharts can be devised to describe the technology that powers the digital product of each competitor under survey. A preponderance of certain technologies may emerge as an outcome, thereby prompting the newbie organization to investigate the causes thereof, and consider deploying versions of similar technologies. Additionally, such a framework of competition analysis may encourage said organization to examine the impact of such technologies on clients and consumers. These streams of information can form dense ganglia that populate the flowchart, thereby elevating the illustration to the level of a strategy document. We note interesting insights may flow from the illustrations inside said document; these, when harnessed, can assist in framing the long-term business strategy of a commercial operator.

The multifarious processes that describe the progress of natural evolution hardwired predatory instincts into mammals (and other species). When conducting a competition analysis, business operators may elect to give vent to such instincts based on the estimated chances of success. Flowcharts that describe the span of a modern competition analysis can reveal scope for (commercial) attacks that can be successfully mounted on certain competitors. The said scope hinges on discerning gaps in a certain market or weak performance by certain competitors. An intelligent perusal of the various stages of a flowchart diagram can also reveal the likely gains that may follow the mounting of an offensive strategy. Subsequently, business operators must take the proverbial call in terms of planning the execution of such strategy and implementing such plans. We note the scope for such action emerges in the late stages of such analyses, when a majority of the parameters has found description.

These lines of analyses and discussion allow us to grasp the centrality of using flowcharts in conducting competition analysis. The strategists of modern business enterprises can design unique illustrations and then proceed with the rigors that attend such analysis. The inter-connected nature of the modern flowchart and the visual expanse of such diagrams positions them uniquely to execute competent analyses. The diversity of thought, the power of the human intellect, and multiple modes of application may help expand the scope of such initiatives in the future.

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