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One of the most common issues I see in the work of brand managers writing a landscape analysis is that the analysis becomes a collection of random information as opposed to information with a clear point. This means that your landscape assessment could have a lack of purpose or a lack of direction—something that’s necessary when you are going to tell a senior audience your story.
In order to address this issue, you want to frame sections of the landscape analysis so that it results in more pointed and meaningful takeaways for your audience. One way to do this is to use strategic questions to help frame and set up your landscape analysis. You can also use these questions as a filter for editing information down to only the most important takeaways so that people remember what you want them to remember.
Example Strategic Questions to Organize a Landscape Analysis
The following four questions are examples you could use to structure a landscape analysis. These may not be the exact questions you need to use or you might have more questions that you want to use. But, using questions like these to help frame sections of your landscape will give each section more of a point or purpose.
What category conventions could we break?
You could create a section of category information with lots of statistics that are interesting, but may lack a clear point. Using a question like this or framing it in this way gives you a specific point to answer and and a clearer way to organize the information.
How might we stand out among competition?
It’s common to have a section on competition in a landscape analysis. But instead of just listing information on competitors or creating comparison grids of your competitors, think about how you might actually stand out from your competition. Focus the information you include on answering this specific question.
Are there unmet consumer needs we can answer?
Instead of just having a consumer section in your landscape assessment, you might focus on unmet consumer needs you can answer or capitalize on. When asked in this way, it forces you to take all the consumer information you have but whittle it down to the most important things such as unmet needs that are opportunities for your business or brand.
What is the profit potential of this opportunity?
Again, instead of simply having a section on opportunity size, you can now tailor that information in a way that tells a story about the potential of the project that you’re working on.
These may not be all the questions that you’ll ever need to organize your landscape assessment. But they serve as good examples to help you focus on the things that are most important for the audience and senior stakeholders that you’ll eventually present to.
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Kevin Namaky is CEO at the Gurulocity Brand Management Institute, a marketing education company that trains and consults for notable brand teams including Kimberly-Clark, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Bolthouse Farms and Gorilla Brands. Kevin is a featured instructor for the American Marketing Association, lectures at the IU Kelley School of business, and has been featured in Ad Age, Forbes, Fast Company and the CMO Council. Previously Kevin worked for 20 years in the corporate and agency world growing notable brands. Follow/connect with Kevin on LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.