Patent Competitive Benchmarking: Importance, Types & Benefits

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What Is Competitor Benchmarking?


Competitor benchmarking is a way of obtaining a measure – a benchmark. Simply stated, benchmarks are the “what,” and benchmarking is the “how.” Benchmarking is a technique that allows one to maintain an edge by knowing where one stands.

It is a process of determining the best method, strategies, and techniques for achieving desired business goals through a set of parameters. Benchmarking is important to organizations as it permits you to take a deeper dive into the way you compete against your competitors. 

The idea of “Benchmarking” comes from benchmark. A benchmark is a triangulation symbol that surveyors on land make on a rock, wall, or building, and those who make measurements on land then use this sign as a reference point to make other measurements.  

By figuring out gaps in procedures and inspecting how different leaders are engaging in their goals, you could keep your advantage, live on pinnacle of essential tendencies or movements on your space, or emulate their success. 

Benchmarking isn’t just questioning different companies or visiting and documenting every other business enterprise’s center or process. When utilizing benchmarking, a business enterprise should not restrict the scope to its relevant industry, nor should the benchmark be a one-time event. 

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Competitor Research 

Competitor research is a process to recognize the way to compete with your industry competitors. It is a method of collecting and analyzing information based on strengths, weaknesses, and future intentions of competitors and the usage of that information to improve.

It facilitates coming across and knowing your enterprise peers, their strengths, and weaknesses, and how they have advanced over a period. It offers a way of understanding why the business is underperforming and helps in developing better counter techniques primarily based on statistics. 

To sustain in today’s competitive world, one must adopt a forward-thinking outlook. Competitor Research aids in streamlining your processes and determining future strategies which help in growing your business. 

Difference between Benchmarking & Competitor Research

1. What Is Competitor Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is the practice of comparing your business to that of your competitors. Many businesses choose to benchmark in several different areas from sales to customer service to company structure.

While there is no “one size fits all” approach to benchmarking there are some key steps you can take to develop a successful plan for your business. Having a benchmarking plan will help you identify areas of opportunity, stay on top of your business, and allow you to develop strategies to reach your goals. 

Competitive benchmarking is the process of comparing your product to those at the top of your competitive set. In order to set yourself apart from other product offerings, you should consistently try and find ways to improve via analysis with data-backed insights.

The idea behind competitive benchmarking is that organizations want to be better than one another through measurement or comparison to the competition, and better than themselves over time. 

Competitive benchmarking is the process of comparing products against several competitors using a set collection of metrics. This is used to measure the performance of a product and compare it to others over time.

This will often include looking into best practices for specific metrics, which involves companies being able to build upon their own strengths by defining what ‘best practices are when it comes down to specific methods or approaches, like how they are calculated or explained on a per-project basis, for example. It also is a major step when doing product research about your competitors. 

2. What Is the Purpose of Competitor Benchmarking? 

Competitive benchmarks allow you to view how other companies and organizations are performing. This gives you an idea of what you need to improve upon and how you can use the data to your advantage.

These benchmarks will also help you plan and articulate your key priorities and objectives. Having benchmarks is one of the best ways to show that you have a good understanding of your industry, and you are planning future advancements. 

  • If you want to know how your brand is doing, you need to benchmark it against the competition. 
  • A competitive benchmark is a metric that examines what your competitors are doing that you are not doing and vice versa. 
  • Some examples include: 
  • Conducting surveys 
  • Noticing what content is resonating with your target audience 
  • Conducting individual and group interviews 
  • Seeing how your competitors are advertising, and 
  • Keep track of all the information you collect. 


3. Importance Of Competitor Benchmarking?

Competitor benchmarking is the act of comparing your business’s performance to that of your competitors. It is a particularly useful tool in determining where you fit in the market and how you can improve your company.

The main reason you would want to benchmark is that it makes you stand out to consumers. You will be able to see how your business compares to competitors and how you can be better. You can only win if you are able to identify your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the market.

It is essential to take a comprehensive competitor analysis of your competitors. This will help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. 

4. How To Conduct Competitor Benchmarking?

The technical terms behind competitor benchmarking are competitive analysis, competitive profiling, and competitive intelligence. Competitor benchmarking should be conducted within the first three months of a business plan.

When an investor has an extremely low competence of your potential competitors, he will simply believe that your business idea is uncontested in the market. It is essential to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and to examine the factors which make you different from your competitors. 

5. What Are the Benefits of Competitor Benchmarking?

Competitive benchmarking is a valuable tool for new businesses that are just starting out. When starting a new business, there are many things to consider. One of them is your competition.

One method of effectively using competitive benchmarking is to create a customer profile of your competitors’ average customers. This profile will tell you the average age, income, and other factors that lead your competitors to believe they will buy their product.

This will allow you to reach these customers through your marketing strategies and thrive in the business world. Competitive benchmarking brings value to your business. 


6. What Are Types of Competitor Benchmarking?

Benchmarks are defined as standards of measurement. In business, they are ways of comparing a company’s performance against other companies in their industry. Benchmarks can be broken down into four main types. They are Top-Line benchmarks: These benchmark a company’s performance with regards to sales. Bottom-Line benchmarks: This type of benchmark assesses how well a company has done in terms of profits. Operating benchmarks: This benchmarks a company’s performance in relation to its costs. Strategic benchmarks: This type of benchmark evaluates how well a company has performed against its own goals. 

7. How To Choose Your Competitive Benchmarks? 

In a competitive world, it is imperative to have benchmarks that compare your business to competitors. If you do not understand the benchmarks of your competitors, it will be more difficult to understand how well your business is doing. There are two main benchmarks you should be following to improve your business.

First, you want to look at your competitors’ sales records. If they are increasing their profits, then you will want to focus on that. If they are decreasing their profits, you want to not follow that.

Second, you want to look at your competitors’ new business opportunities. If they are increasing their number of new customers and new investors, then you want to focus on that. If they are losing new customers and new investors, you want to not focus on that. 

8. How To Use Competitive Analysis for Benchmarking?

Every business owner should know how to use competitive analysis for benchmarking. There are two main goals of competitive analysis: research your competitors and learn from their successes.

Comparing your product’s performance to various competitors will give you an idea of how well you are doing. Identify your competitors by checking out the list of services they provide and the clients they typically work with.

You can learn a lot just by following their marketing strategies and reading reviews people write about their businesses.

If you find that your competitors are doing better than you are, you can use their insight to improve your product. If you are doing better than your competitors, then you may want to stick with what you are doing and not make any major changes. 

9. What Is the Potential Risk of Doing Competitive Benchmarking?

Competitive benchmarking is the process by which you compare your performance with that of your competitors. It is a widespread practice and one of the most effective tools out there for improving marketing performance.

This can be dangerous, though. What if your competitors are using a cheaper product than you are and you think it is a better idea to use theirs? This will jeopardize the quality of your product and you might need to start over.

Or what if your competitors have a better marketing strategy than you do, so you decide to just use theirs? This means you will be following the same path and not gaining any real advantage and you will be wasting time that could be spent following your own strategy. 

How Understanding Competitor’s Next Technology Move helps? 

A company will always face competition, no matter what product or service it is offering. The key to success is to understand your competitors and their business practices. Knowing who your business competitors are and what they are offering in the market helps you differentiate your products, services, and marketing.  

The competitors’ moves can be anticipated from an annual planning process or are prompted by external events visible to all companies.  

Competitors’ technology moves can be predicted by analyzing the elements of corporate culture and history that constrain and guide a company’s behavior and translate the results into strategic maps. A strategic map explains how a company creates value by linking its strategic objectives to its activities and provides a key criterion for success. 

The answers to the company’s intentions and performance can be found in the press releases hidden on the competitors’ websites. Once you have identified the measures of success through the strategy map, assembling the puzzle will require the necessary effort but it is no longer a mystery. 

The value of considering competitor’s research and analysis is that it provides a wider perspective of where other players in an industry or sector are focusing, while highlighting competitive threats and opportunities. For example, you may find that there is increased activity in an emerging technology area that is related to the market you operate in, but it was not on your radar.  

Few competitors may generate real surprises. 

Competitive intelligence is useful for understanding what your competitors are doing and it helps you predict their next moves and plan your strategy accordingly. 

Trend analysis helps to examine the drivers of change and provides insight into how industry boundaries may change.  

Scenario planning can enrich this by exploring how certain the driver of factors (trends) can interact with environmental uncertainties. Together, these techniques allow leaders to prepare for the future and enable them to develop an early warning system for market and industry shifts. 

Business war games can be used to understand how your competitors will behave in the future. In this technique, leaders experience different strategic moves based on the possible actions of their competitors. This allows you to take precautions to respond to potential threats or to exploit hidden opportunities. 

The competitors which are most likely to succeed with new strategic initiatives are those that are already outperforming financially. These competitors are also the likeliest to search for a new initiative, making them the ones to focus on when watching for surprise strategic moves. 

Why choose a particular brand? This question is the deciding factor in separating you from your competition. When comparing your competitors USP to your own USP, clear talking points surrounding your brand will arise. 

Studying competitor’s Next technology move helps fine-tune your mission statements, products, services, and anything else you can do to create distinguishable topics that can leverage over your competition.

Having in-depth knowledge of the competitor’s strategy helps to predict their competitor’s future moves. A company may miss the fact that a competitor may have switched to another superior technology.

Competitive analysis helps you learn from this perspective. Knowing that competitors are looking for alternative technologies for a particular problem can help you determine if the solution they are studying has an advantage.

Based on this, you can decide whether to use your own technology or alternative technology. It is important that researchers keep an eye on their competitor’s moves and predict their futuristic additions so that their own research strategy could be developed accordingly and the gap between what you offer and what the market expects can be reduced. 

Many a time, companies no idea here how other technologies, developed in similar or different applications, could provide ideas for patenting new features for a product / brand. Having knowledge of the competitor’s technology moves helps to derive ideas for their own product line.  

Knowing competitor’s technology moves can help develop new product or implement new features in existing products/services for gaining market edge and thereby becoming the first movers in the market, further enabling a company to establish strong brand recognition and customer loyalty before competitors enter the arena.

Understanding the competitor’s technology moves presents opportunities for organizations to reinvent their business models and drive significant efficiency into their operating models. Companies that are more prepared and adept at leveraging these technologies can seize a significant competitive advantage.

Understanding the competitor’s technology moves helps to update and chart challenges that your competitors and the market are facing. This further helps you in anticipating potential market changes, threats, and campaigns that can be rebutted. 

Companies should spend strategic-planning time and try to anticipate all their competitors’ possible strategic moves. They can gain an advantage from anticipating their competitors’ strategic moves.  

By systematically keeping track of competitor’s technology moves over time, your company will be able to track trends that will allow you to better adapt to your competition, market and customer base. 

What Is Competitor Monitoring? 

Competitor monitoring is a process of tracking your rivals, to gather information about your competitors, what competing products and services they are providing, what prices they are offering their services, and what kind of market trends they are following. 

This process of gathering, evaluating, and applying data on opponents, consumers, and other market variables is also called Competitive intelligence. 

Importance Of Monitoring Competitors 

Competitor monitoring is a great way to stay on the cutting edge of your industry. Monitoring competitors will also help you to come up with new solutions and ways to approach problems that your competitors might run into.

Make a list of your competitors and add whatever information you have about them. Things like, who their target market is, what their strategy is, what products they sell etc. Then, set up a folder to organize the information. Update it regularly and you will gain a wealth of knowledge on how to approach issues and what you need to be doing to stay ahead of the game.

You can view a competitor’s website and take notes on what they’re doing. It can be helpful to see what they’re doing wrong and make sure you’re not making the same mistakes. If you have time, you can also watch them and see what customers say about them.

Often, customers will talk about a competitor in a more negative way than they will talk about your company.

By keeping track of your competitors, you can identify how you can improve your business! studying their approaches may be able to assist you iron out some of the wrinkles. Keeping an eye on what your competitors are lagging at and what they are very good at, is the thing that can guide you in a better way.

In the business world, it’s important to keep track of your competitors to see what they’re doing and how successful they are with it. Go over their site and study the different pages, from the copy to the sales page.

Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Once you’ve got that down, you can figure out how to go about your business so that you can avoid the missteps of your competitors. If you have time, you can also watch them and see what customers say about them.

Often, customers will talk about a competitor in a more negative way this might be a wonderful place to look for leads. Knowing the reason why the customers are dissatisfied with your competitors’ services and how can your services attract them towards your business is a best way to grow.

Monitoring the price of your opponents’ products can help in smart pricing strategies. If your competitors are selling the same product at a very low cost, then it is very obvious that you can lose a big no. of audience or consumers so you can adjust your amount of products accordingly.

You can track the pricing of competitors and if you find you are the only one who is leading in the industry then you can hike your prices accordingly to get more benefits. Thus, tracking competitive pricing plays a vital role in smart pricing strategies.

It’s vital for a business to keep an eye on their competitors. By watching what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, you can avoid potential losses by making sure you’re staying one step ahead of them.

You can do this by reviewing their strengths and weaknesses, finding their weaknesses, and making sure your product is better than theirs. While you should watch your competitors the most, try to take time to research your customers.

By doing this, you’re creating a product or service that’s likely to be desired by most. Be sure to keep an eye out for the trends in your industry and make sure you’re adjusting your product or service as necessary.

Knowing ahead of time about any potential surprises from your rivals, such as a lunch of a new product or any promotional campaigns, will help you to better prepare for and implement a counter-strategy.

Any down-sizing approach or new product invention by a rival is less likely to have an impact on your business since you are already ready for the “surprises” due to ongoing monitoring.

Especially in the age of social media, the way we do business is continuously evolving. New trends emerge on a regular basis. Because your rivals may notice things before you do, they may be a valuable source of knowledge when it comes to finding new methods to advertise yourself.

Another advantage of competitive monitoring is that it aids in the detection of emerging or new threats. New competitors entering the market or current competitors preparing to combine with or take over another business in the same industry are examples of these dangers.

All of these, components can be harmful for your market share. As a result, competition monitoring helps you to plan of time to avoid any prospective dangers to your company.

Once you started investing your time in monitoring your opponents on regular basis, you will get to know their business behavior and strategies.

Understanding their strategies will enable you to anticipate what they will do next, giving you the benefit of being one step ahead of them. You can devise your own tactics to ensure that you don’t do exactly what they intend.

Tracking marketing channels of your competitors will always provide you the best options to choose the best one marketing channel. By choosing the best marketing channel you can engage your customers for more time and can increase your sales exponentially.

Spying on your competitors content strategies informs you how frequently your competitors post their content, what kind of content they are posting on regular basis, and what kind of content is attracting their audience. So, spying on your competitor’s content strategies can improve your content strategies too.

Competitor Benchmarking Examples 

Competitor benchmarking is a method of comparing your company’s position to that of a plurality of competitors. It focuses on technological field analysis, highlighting vital technologies, processes, and methods that are required to fulfil the basic development, with a strong focus on competitors. Competitor benchmarking can also help you figure out how your competitors are advancing their product lines and provide new ideas for improving your own. 

For a better understanding, a few examples of competitor benchmarking based on IP analysis are provided below. 

Competitor Benchmarking for Unilever v/s Other Companies Based on IP Analysis: 

Unilever is a multinational organization that sells consumer goods such as foods, beverages, cleaning products, and personal care items. One of the products provided by Unilever is “anti-wrinkle Cream”.

The Unilever files patents that disclose the analyzing techniques of anti-wrinkle cream, the software /platforms used and the application areas of all types of anti-wrinkle cream.

The competitors of Unilever are P & G, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, and Lotus etc. These businesses are also involved in the same domain and have filed patents. 

The competitor benchmarking on anti-wrinkle cream is done to identify the patent documents (including granted patents, published patent applications) filed by Unilever and other competitors that exclusively disclose the analyzing techniques of anti-wrinkle cream, the software /platform used and the application areas of all types of anti-wrinkle cream. his procedure is carried out to assess Unilever’s market position in relation to its competitors as well as Unilever’s future research plans. 

Patent distribution in different categories  

Anti-wrinkle cream patents are categorized under four major categories as follows:  

  1. Composition  
  2. Formulation 
  3. Administrating route  
  4. Application  

Comparison Between ‘Unilever’ and ‘P & G’

Competitor Benchmarking

Comparison Between ‘Unilever’ and ‘Johnson & Johnson’: 

Comparison between ‘Unilever’ and ‘L’Oréal’

Conclusion (Unilever Market Position and Innovation Scope)

In this section, we will talk about the Unilever’s Market position and Scope of Innovation where Unilever can focus in future.

To conclude the same, we have done competitor benchmarking analysis for Unilever v/s other companies based on IP data, and, for the same, we have considered the following categories such as Composition, Formulation, Administrating route, and Application as provided herein above. Further, our conclusion about Competitor Benchmarking for Unilever v/s other companies are as follows: 

  • Unilever’s patent portfolio does not include patent related to oil-water-oil or water-oil-water emulsion, whereas P&G and L’Oréal have done extensive research and development in this area and secured many patents in this. 
  • Further, considering no patents on treatment of lesions, Unilever’s anti-wrinkle product seems ineffective in the treatment of lesions, whereas other competitor seems to have secured many patents for both anti-wrinkle and lesions treatment. 
  • Also, Unilever does not possess any patents related to ‘Injections’ in category of Administrating route. 

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