One of the first questions people consider when making a serious investment, budget, or purchasing decision is, “What other options do I have?”

In this video series, you'll learn the difference between competitive analysis, competitive advantage, and competitive approach, plus when and how to use them in your pitch deck story.

3 Proven Strategies to Address Competition in Investor Pitch Decks, Sales Presentations, and Project Overviews

Most people prefer to avoid talking about competition. However, your audience will be doing their homework and research, so you might as well be prepared and bring it up.

You must address one or all of the following depending on your industry, audience, and solution.

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Competitive Approach

Addressing Different Audiences

It's not enough to have a strong competition narrative; you need to tailor it to different audiences.

Investors want reassurance that they're making the right investment, while customers seek validation for their purchasing decisions.

Vendors, partners, and affiliates need to understand the value proposition behind your offering to decide whether to align themselves with your brand.

By catering to each audience's concerns and motivations, you can enhance your pitch deck's effectiveness and credibility, increasing your chances of success.

How to demonstrate a clear understanding of the market landscape.

Competitive analysis evaluates your competition to gain insights into their strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. Understanding who your competitors are and how they operate can position your project, solutions, or business more effectively in the market.

Here's how to approach it:

  • Identify Your Competitors: Start by compiling a list of companies or providers offering similar products or services. This initial step lays the foundation for a comprehensive analysis.
  • Gather Information: Once you've identified your competitors, gather as much information about them as possible, including their target customers, pricing methods, marketing strategies, and brand personality. Analyzing these aspects will help you discern your competitive landscape more clearly.
  • Conduct a SWOT Analysis: A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is valuable for evaluating your business and competitors. It helps you identify areas where you excel and areas that need improvement while pinpointing potential opportunities and threats in the market.

Direct vs. Indirect Competitors

It's important to differentiate between direct and indirect competitors. Direct competitors offer similar products or services to the same target market, whereas indirect competitors may offer different products but serve the same needs. Understanding these distinctions is vital for a comprehensive analysis.

Understanding your competition can help you find gaps in the market where you can shine. Before discussing how you are different or better, you need to know who you compare yourself to, your solutions, or your company.

How to communicate your competitive advantage and help your audience make an informed decision

At its core, competition often revolves around three main pillars: quality, speed, and cost. While it's rare to excel in all three simultaneously, identifying where your strengths lie among these aspects is crucial.

Michael Porter's Strategy Framework

Renowned economist Michael Porter introduced a strategic framework that provides deeper insights into communicating differentiation. His framework includes:

  • Cost Leadership: Cost leadership is when you can provide the best price for mass production. Companies like IKEA and Walmart exemplify this strategy, offering competitive pricing on a wide range of products through efficient operations and strategic partnerships.
  • Best Cost Strategy: Best cost strategy is when you provide the best cost but for a narrow market. Netflix and Lexus showcase the best cost strategy by delivering unparalleled value within a specific market segment, whether streaming services or luxury automobiles.
  • Differentiation Strategy: A differentiation strategy is when you aim to be different but in a broad market. Samsung's innovative products, such as foldable phones, epitomize this strategy, where uniqueness in a broad market fosters a competitive edge.
  • Focus Strategy: A focus strategy is when you try to be different for a narrow market. Patagonia exemplifies this strategy, targeting a narrow market segment of environmentally conscious consumers with high-quality outdoor apparel.

Communicating Your Competitive Advantage

Once you've identified your competitive strategy, the next step is communicating it through business innovation or customer differentiation.

  • Business Innovation: Highlighting unique aspects of your product, technology, offerings, or operations can capture the attention of investors and showcase your ability to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Customer Differentiation: Identifying what sets your product or service apart in the eyes of your customers and conveying it through branding, messaging, and storytelling builds trust and loyalty. Your brand story and why you care about solving this market need could be all you need to communicate your advantage. Show the market why you care.

Standing out requires more than a great product or service—it demands effective communication of what makes you unique.

How to communicate your competitive approach in an evolving market

Your competitive approach is a roadmap for navigating the evolving landscape, ensuring you remain agile, relevant, and profitable. By articulating your strategy for staying competitive, you can instill confidence in investors and stakeholders, paving the way for long-term success.

Anticipating Investor Queries

Acknowledging the competitive landscape demonstrates foresight and preparation, even if your venture is new.

Investors will likely inquire about your plan to navigate competition, prompting you to outline your approach to staying relevant and profitable amid market shifts. Buyers, partners, affiliates, and vendors need assurance that you plan to stick around.

Your competitor approach can be related to your business model, operational strategies, customer segmentation, market penetration, media choices, customer relationship management, and more.

Pitch Deck Competition Slide Summary & Tips

Addressing competition isn't just about your business—it's also about empowering your end-users to be more competitive. Showcasing how your solutions enhance their competitiveness can provide added value that resonates with your audience.

Mastering competition in your pitch deck story is about more than just presenting facts. It's about crafting a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience. By understanding their needs, highlighting your unique value proposition, and outlining your strategies for staying competitive, you can capture attention, secure investments, and drive business growth.

ACTION ITEMS

Create one or more of the following slides to support your pitch deck story:

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Competitive Approach

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