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Competitor Analysis and Modeling

A clear understanding of the key competitors is essential in predicting market outcomes. On a basic level, it is important to assess the attributes and prices of the key competing products. This understanding makes it possible to model a customer's choices in the current environment. However, understanding a competitor's current offerings is not sufficient in highly competitive environments. It is also important to be able to predict what actions a competitor will likely take and how they will respond to changes in the environment. A failure to do so will slow response times and perhaps result in taking an action that will trigger an unfavorable competitive response. For example, a market static simulation model price cut might reveal that a price cut could effectively increase share and profitability. However, such a price cut is likely to be matched by competitors resulting in lower margins. SMD has developed a dynamic market simulation system called ReactorTM that makes it for a product manager to develop and test hypotheses about a competitor's pricing policy.

A competitor analysis will help you identify competitive threats and determine a product and pricing policy that will improve your market position while minimizing the risk of unprofitable competitive retaliation. It will also assist in predicting competitive impacts and likely responses to potential pricing actions. For more information on the importance of understanding competitor responses see the article on SMART Pricing.

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