What Is a Competitive Product?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A competitive product can generate a profit in a sector with a number of similar products and services. It may be preferred by consumers because of price, convenience, performance, and other factors. Companies can use a variety of tools to assess the competitiveness of their products and determine how to capture more market share. This can be a particular concern in sectors of the market with a large number of entrants, all offering similar options in terms of major product characteristics.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Charting can help companies, as well as consumers, compare competitive products. In computing, for example, a chart with different types of laptops might discuss screen size and type, memory, and features. These provide information about the options available and can help distinguish a competitive product from others. For example, one company might offer a laptop with a large screen at a very low price when compared to other units, making it stand out from the market.

In the design of products and consideration of marketing and pricing, companies want to create a competitive product. Their goal is to deliver something that consumers prefer, at a price point that will still generate a profit for the company. A variety of tools can be used to bring prices down, or to encourage consumers to buy a slightly more expensive product. Luxury goods, for example, have a high price as part of their marketing allure; expense can make them competitive.

Tight markets with lots of similar offerings can be tough to navigate. Companies need to exercise innovation in their designs, or the accompanying features. Backpacks, for example, all follow a basic design model. To stand out, a company might offer low pricing, a lifetime warranty, or special features like more adjustable straps that make it easier to fit a pack to the wearer. Or, the company might consider an aesthetically interesting design to make its products stand out on the rack to create a competitive product.

Product research can include extensive comparisons. Companies may purchase products sold by competitors in their industry to see what kinds of features and services are offered. This helps them determine if their own products will be able to compete, and contributes to the development of the next design iteration to strike a blow at their rivals. Innovations tend to create a ripple effect, as one company picks up a new feature and others follow suit to stay in the market with a competitive product.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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