Identification of Market Competitive Factors

For each priority cell, an evaluation of the market competitive factors should be performed. Key questions to address when defining market competitive factors are:

▪ What are the key criteria by which our customers make their choice?

▪ How can we help our customers gain advantages in his competitive arena?

▪ How can a competitive position of excellence with respect to competitors be achieved and maintained?




A comprehensive list of competitive factors is presented in Table 3.

TABLE 3. Competitive factors, priorities and position with respect to competitors


Competitive factor


Position with respect to competitors

Quality compliance




variety at a given time


variety over time



Product performance

functional performance






After-sale service

education and training

quickness of repair





Environmental performance

reduction of raw materials

reduction of energy consumption

reduction of toxic materials


clean emission

reduction of other inputs



safe disposal




cost of raw material

in-plant handling of materials







material waste


product and waste disposal

commercialization costs

life cycle costs

distribution costs





delivery (timing, reliability, flexibility)



New product development speed and new product introduction






Priority according to customers: Grade 1 (low importance); Grade 4 (extreme importance)

Position with respect to competitors: + (better); = (same); - (less)

The above table should be applied in each critical product-market pair. Note that the customer's opinions should be taken into account when completing the table. However, the customer may not have a precise idea of what he really wants, and his view should therefore always be analysed carefully. The following questions should be answered in relation to Table 3:

Critical questions related to Table 3:

Which of the factors taken for granted by our industry should be eliminated?

Which competitive factors should be reduced well below industrial standards? Which competitive factors should be raised well above industrial standards?

Which competitive factors should be created? (not previously considered/offered by the industry)

How do people become aware of their need for your product or service?

How do consumers find what you offer? How do consumers order and purchase your product or service?

How is your product or service delivered? How is your product installed?

How is your product or service paid for?

How is your product stored?

What is the customer really using your product for?

What do customers need help with when they use your product?

What about return or exchanges? How is your product repaired or serviced?

What happens when your product is disposed of or no longer used?

Careful attention to these questions will lead to identification of the market competitive factors. It should be addressed that the analysis so far concerns the firm's overall competitiveness and therefore may involve many aspects not related to technology.




Technology Strategy Formulation :  Assessment   Selection   Portfolio