Most competitive analyses I see are plots of logos on some sort of 2x2 with the company in question sitting firmly and lonely in the top right corner. You have to think about whether this is the right framework to use though for your specific situation though.

The 2x2 is the sister of the Venn diagram. All other competitors have 1 of 2 things, and you have both, the best of both worlds.

But, maybe in your industry there are 3, or 4 things that matter, not 2. In that case use a simple feature table. Or, maybe it boils down to just 1 thing: a bar chart with cost per hour can do the trick.

If you are struggling to find the right graph, you can try the following. Write down the list of competitors, and jot down in very short words, why they are inferior. Take a new piece of paper and group competitors that are similar together. Try to find common descriptors (not real time, not location-specific etc. etc.). Draw a first table. Re-draw the table with competitor rows (groups) and descriptor columns so that the "Y" and "N" marks form cohesive blocks. Group descriptors together if they are the same. Repeat this process a number of times. Then make the descriptors positive and invert the "Y" and "N"s if you have to.

You can do this on whiteboards, with yellow stickers, but I somehow prefer to blast through a lot of paper while doing this.

The standard slide insertion templates of my presentation app SlideMagic contain a lot of frameworks for competitive analysis: yes, a 2x2 or a 3x3, but also tables and even a Venn-like diagram (a slightly boxy one).

Image via WikiPedia (GIF alert)

If you liked this post, why not subscribe to daily updates about presentation design via email? Just blog posts, no spam, or you can follow Jan on Twitter to never miss a thing.