An important component to any successful consortia or technology alliance is understanding your landscape. For industry and collaborators alike, it is important to understand who is doing what in your ecosystem/marketplace as it can (and often does) directly impact the work of your organization. A competitive analysis will help you do just that, by providing a comprehensive overview of the offerings, services, marketing strategies, and customer satisfaction levels of those in your ecosystem. The information you gather will help you design your work products and craft a successful marketing strategy to promote its adoption to the market.

Follow these 5 steps to complete a competitive analysis of your industry:

Step 1: Establish Competitive Analysis Methods and Tools

Founders of many collaborations often use some of the tools below to ascertain the need for their collaboration and its purpose:

  • SWOT analysis: This method examines strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats faced by an organization. It helps you determine how you compare with others on these dimensions to better position your alliance..
  • Strategic Group Analysis: This method identifies groups (or “strategic groups”) within an ecosystem or industry based on features or consumer needs to determine which group your alliance or consortium fits into best (and thus which group represents your competition).
  • BCG (Growth Share) Matrix: The BCG matrix identifies organizations as being either low-growth firms or high-growth firms based on their market share; then it divides them into three categories – the cash cow segment, dog segment (higher costs), and star segment.

Step 2: Understand the Landscape and where you fit

When a technology collective is forming, it is extremely useful, if not necessary, to understand the goals and objectives of similar organizations in your ecosystem. This prevents overlap of work and redundancy and, worse, the creation of competing, unharmonious industry practices and standards that divide the marketplace and confuse consumers. Understanding the landscape helps collaboration Founders  know their value to the ecosystem and what needs to be done by their membership organization  to positively impact change. Your team will also remain motivated as they will see their efforts contributing towards something bigger than themselves. After you understand your landscape, set goals that support your mission and enable your members to understand the value of their contributions to your alliance. Establish KPI’s and metrics to measure success and review theses periodically to ensure progress is being met in your organization. 

Step 3: Create Landscape Profiles

 Identifying big players who are impactful in your landscape. List them in a table or spreadsheet. You can rank them in terms of how impactful they are to the ecosystem and to your organization. Next, include details about their domain, mission statement, description, and offerings or features that distinguish them. Doing so will provide a more robust vision into where your consortia can make a difference and fill gaps in the market that are underserved. These differences, or unique selling propositions, will be championed to position your consortia well in the market.

Step 4: Evaluate Marketing Strategies

The next step in your analysis is to evaluate the marketing strategies of the impactful members of your ecosystem and how they use channels.

Step 5: Elaborate, Adjust, and Execute!

After performing any landscape analysis, share your findings with your membership, and your leadership. Discuss your findings and gather feedback. integrate the knowledge that you have learned into your strategies and refine them. In some cases, landscape analyses can alter your objectives as well, so take a look at them to ensure they still support your purpose.  Be sure to stay true to the research in order to accomplish positioning your consortia strategically. That being said, the only way to determine the accuracy of your findings is to launch marketing efforts. Adjustments may need to be made based on further discoveries or campaign results.


In the end, your competitive analysis will determine how you can best position your consortia, technology alliance, business, or organization against competitors and the industry at large. In the end, you can make your consortia and its work product have more impact and greater takes time and patience to do it right.

More About IEEE-ISTO

ISTO was established in January 1999 to meet the needs of global emerging technology alliances, industry consortia, trade associations, and other technology collectives. ISTO provides the infrastructure, support and expertise to support standards development efforts and market adoptions of emerging technologies. ISTO offers legal not-for-profit formation, technology association management, executive leadership, financial management, membership administration, web and digital marketing, and more. ISTO is a neutral, safe harbor for industry and government to build relationships, successfully collaborate and fulfill your missions.  

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