How to Analyze Your Competition with a Cross SWOT Analysis



An important part of any business strategy is understanding your competition. A cross SWOT analysis is an effective way to compare your business strengths and weaknesses with that of your competitors. This type of detailed examination can give you insights into opportunities you may be missing, as well as areas to avoid.

A SWOT analysis is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Cross SWOT analysis takes this a step further by comparing all four elements between two entities—typically a business and its direct competitor. You can also use it when developing strategies for competing with indirect competitors or reaching new markets or customers.

To properly execute a cross SWOT analysis, it’s important to establish clear criteria and select the right entity to compare yourself with. There are many strategies that you can use such as analyzing customer satisfaction surveys, industry reports or peers in the same field. To make the most out of the comparison, you must consider all aspects of the market – current trends, media coverage and pricing structures, customer perception and potential customer needs.

The idea behind conducting a cross-SWOT analysis is that by knowing where you stand vis-a-vis your competitor will allow you to make more informed decisions about running your own business successfully in a competitive environment. With this information at hand, entrepreneurs can develop effective marketing plans that either build on their competitive advantage or create new opportunities for success against their toughest rivals.

What is a Cross SWOT Analysis?

A Cross SWOT Analysis is a powerful tool used by businesses to identify their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to their competitors on the market. The Cross SWOT Analysis helps you see the internal factors (Strengths and Weaknesses) of your business against the external factors (Opportunities and Threats) of your competitors. By gathering competitive data for a Cross SWOT Analysis, you will be able to determine if you are competitively advantaged or disadvantaged, assess how competitively different your business is from that of your competition, and identify potential influencers.

The Cross SWOT Analysis tool consists of four analysis steps:

  1. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses: Look at what features, products, services, channels, processes, etc., are working well for you in comparison to what’s working well for your competition. Compare where each company stands in terms of customer service processes, product selection/branding strategy/inventory management process/distribution network/digital presence etc.?
  2. Analyze Opportunities and Threats: Determine which opportunities might help bring new customers in while learning what threats might hinder customer acquisition or satisfaction levels. Consider researching customer preferences around product features/functionality they would expect from similar products offered by competitors etc..
  3. Make Comparative Assessments: Evaluate areas like pricing models or brand positioning across both businesses that might influence overall customer base / perceptions about the company’s value proposition.
  4. Brainstorm Potential Solutions: Use the information collected from step 1-3 combined with any market research gathered as a roadmap for where growth can be capitalized upon for both companies – whether through strategically exploring current areas such as digital channels or discover untapped opportunities in existing markets to acquire new customers? Utilizing this analytic process allows organizations to properly plan additional objectives & resources budgets needed to achieve goals.

Benefits of a Cross SWOT Analysis

A Cross SWOT Analysis is one of the most comprehensive methods available to effectively analyze a company’s competitive environment. The analysis itself is simple, but interpreting it and deriving actionable insights can be difficult.

When analyzing your competition with a Cross SWOT Analysis, it is important to consider both strengths and weaknesses of your business relative to that of the competition. This helps you identify which areas are performing better than others and which areas are lacking. Additionally, Cross SWOT Analysis allows you to gain insight into potential threats and opportunities posed by the industry or market in which you operate.

The benefits a Cross SWOT Analysis provides are numerous:

  • It allows you to systematically analyze various factors that may affect your business, such as competitors’ strategies, industry trends, global or economic changes, or technological advancements.
  • It guides strategy formation by addressing key questions such as: “What are the strengths of my company or product relative to my competitors?”
  • It provides a benchmark for examining your current strategies in relation to those of other companies in the same industry.
  • It gives you an opportunity to determine where new opportunities lie within a changing market place.
  • It also helps identify potential weaknesses that need improvement or rectification within your own organization before they become more serious issues later on.

Steps to Perform a Cross SWOT Analysis

A Cross SWOT Analysis is an excellent tool to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. It can help you identify your competition’s key differentiators and areas where you have the potential to gain a competitive edge. It can also help you understand the current opportunities and threats that your competition is facing.

In this article, we will take a closer look at how to perform a Cross SWOT Analysis and the steps you should take to get started:

Identify Your Competitors

A Cross SWOT analysis is used to compare the strengths and weaknesses within an organization to those of its competitors. It is an effective way to discover threats and opportunities in the external business environment and make informed strategies to gain a competitive advantage. To successfully implement a cross SWOT analysis, it’s essential to gain knowledge on the competitors in your industry.

Identifying Your Competitors
When conducting a Cross SWOT analysis, the first step is to identify who are your top competitors in the market. Research into your competitors will help you evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as they’re related to your own, but also provide you with data on their activity in the market compared to yours.

You must do an extensive investigation of all potential competitors before drawing any significant conclusions; this includes evaluating information publicly available about their activities such as product offerings, pricing strategies and competitive advantages. Industry resources like analyst reports, case studies and online surveys can also provide relevant data for better understanding what makes up a competitor’s success or shortcomings. Additionally, pay close attention to third-party reviewers; those that provide objective deductions about prices, services and customer experiences often give direct insight into how well a competitor is doing within its market space.

Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The first step in performing a Cross SWOT Analysis is to analyze your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing the differences between where your company has an advantage and where it lags behind its competitors can help provide insight into areas where other companies may have an edge.

You should review the aspects of your business that bring you market share, customer loyalty or other advantages. These may include factors such as resources, assets, customer service or brand recognition. Additionally, you should identify weaknesses in comparison to competitors. This could include skill gaps, deficiencies in key systems or processes, or any type of comparative disadvantage. It’s important to get a clear understanding of how these strengths and weaknesses differentiate your company from its competitors so that you can adjust accordingly.

By comparing the results of this analysis with those for the competition, management can make well-informed decisions about addressing their own organization’s strengths and weaknesses as well as recognizing opportunities and threats from external sources.

Analyze Your Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses

When undertaking a cross SWOT analysis, analyzing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses is the next step. In order to effectively analyze your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, there are a few key steps to take.

  1. Compile a list of the products or services that each of your competitors offers. Evaluate what each offers in terms of value (i.e., features, quality, etc.). It can also be helpful to identify how their offerings differ from yours as well as what advantages they may have over you. For example, if one competitor has access to materials or technology you do not have access to, that would constitute a strength from which they could potentially benefit more than you could. On the other hand, if the same competitor has high fixed costs and low margins on their products’ sale prices due to those costs, that would constitute a weakness for them relative to someone like yourself who does not incur such costs—and thus could undercut them on price without sacrificing much in terms of profit margins.
  2. Begin going through customer reviews and feedback related to each of your competitor’s products or services. As you review this information pay attention to any particular benefit that one product or service may have over another that customers praise highly; these benefits can be considered strengths relative to your own offerings in certain cases while also providing insights into areas where an opportunity may exist with regard to improving on features which customers seem dissatisfied with—i.e., potentially validating weaknesses of particular competitors relative to their own offerings as well as potential opportunities for oneself.
  3. Use some form of financial analysis such as income statements and balance sheets or financial ratios and benchmarks when available in order to gain insight into how different companies are managing costs relative to market size and/or industry averages – resulting in greater clarity with regards to overall financial performance relative both directly between companies and against industry standards at large. This can provide an invaluable insight into where specific industries are headed and which ones may be better able position themselves for success given ongoing trends – ultimately presenting insights into not only how markets are changing but why those changes are happening which can further inform strategy decisions regarding potential opportunities within said marketplace(s).

Identify Opportunities and Threats

The first step of the Cross SWOT Analysis is to identify the opportunities and threats that both you and your competitor are facing. Make sure to look at both internal and external factors when doing this, such as financial or demographic changes, economic trends, legislation, or technological advancements.

Once you have identified these opportunities and threats, make sure to prioritize them by order of importance or urgency. Separate the threats from the opportunities and review them thoroughly in order to gain a better understanding of what areas you are able to capitalize on for yourself or your business. For example, if your competitor is facing high costs due to a recent change in import rules, this could be an opportunity for you as it opens up more space in the market for you.

Noting all factors that can affect your business decisions is important when performing a Cross SWOT Analysis because it will help inform your strategy going forward.


In conclusion, a Cross SWOT analysis can help businesses make better decisions by taking a comprehensive look at both the internal and external environment. Businesses gain an understanding of strengths, weaknesses, areas of opportunity, and threats to their success by comparing to the competition. Key areas for competitiveness are identified through this comparison.

The strengths and weaknesses that a business does not possess can be addressed through strategic partnerships or collaborations with other companies. Areas for growth and expansion should also be considered if opportunities are identified during the Cross SWOT Analysis. Finally, measures to mitigate potential threats should be taken carefully in order to eliminate any risks which may pose challenges to success.

A Cross SWOT Analysis is a valuable tool for business managers and decision makers in gaining insight into their competitor’s environment while identifying areas of strength or weakness within their own organization. This analysis allows them to make informed decisions on how best to compete in the marketplace and stay ahead of the competition.