A way to examine and categorise your competitors is according to whether they are direct or indirect, and immediate or emerging.  

There are possibly many people out there offering similar products to you – your direct competitors. 

There are also those serving your customers’ needs in a different way – indirect competitors. 

Those who already do what you do – are immediate competitors

Those who could start doing what you do – are emerging competitors

Unlike previous visual aids, for this analysis you should use a positioning chart.  The x axis goes from indirect to direct, and the y axis represents time.

Your immediate/direct quadrant needs to be closely analysed frequently, whilst not forgetting to keep your eye on those in your indirect/emerging segment, as they could take the market right out of your ball game.

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