Competitive audit: how to do one yourself!


I was recently at a technology panel discussion. The bar area was pretty crowded, and as I chatted with people I noticed something — most people I met were lawyers. Then I scanned the room — I saw there were a lot of guys of a certain age in dark suits and conservative ties. When we talked, as expected, they told me who they were and what they did.

But it was really hard to tell them apart — especially since their business cards looked similar too.

My point? These folks didn’t do much to differentiate themselves. Because they looked, sounded, and marketed the same, I had a hard time remembering any of them.

These days most sectors are crowded and competitive — just like that roomful of lawyers. Your audience may not be able to tell you apart from similar organizations. If you don’t differentiate yourself, you won’t be remembered.

DIY competitive audit

Here’s how to do a simple competitive audit. This exercise will help you to understand your brand’s competitive positioning. You’ll also be able to spot any clever ideas your competitors are using, and, uh, borrow them!
First, find the home pages of 4 similar organizations to yours, and your home page. Either print them out, or just view them on different tabs on your browser.
  • Look and feel: does everyone use the same colors and type of photos? Are the logos similar?
  • Content: is everyone saying similar things? Can you tell their home page statements apart? Is the type of content, such as testimonials, or success stories, the same?
  • Voice: Does it sound like the text on different sites was written by the same person — perhaps a bureaucrat without a lot of passion?
A competitive audit is a big part of brand strategy — one of our core services. Email us here if you would like information on LevinsonBlock’s branding services.


The United States Census has received thousands of forms in which people have claimed to be an alien race from Star Trek. The most popular race is Vulcan.