The best way to illustrate a competitive analysis canvas is to complete one for a company while showing the sources used.
Imagine that you are interested in analyzing the competition for Spotify, the music streaming service. Doing a Google search for "most popular music streaming services" will quickly generate a list of the main sites. Although a full competitive analysis would require a competitive analysis canvas to be completed for each competitor, we're going to pick one company (another music streaming service called Deezer) for this illustration.
The completed canvas
Begin with a look at the completed canvas for Deezer.
As you examine the Deezer canvas, take note of the following:
A lot of helpful information was available on their website.
Reading online interviews with the CEO and CMO yielded the most interesting information.
Facts came from Crunchbase and LinkedIn.
Being familiar with the industry (music streaming) helps determine what constraints the company has, how that impacts finances and the business model, and what is unique about their offering. Do some general reading if you're not familiar with the industry.
The last publicly available information on revenues and profit/loss was from 2014. While it's out-dated, it's still useful information.
Sources of information
All of the information on this canvas is available on the internet.
A visit to the Deezer website supplied a lot of information such as:
Price: available on a pricing page
Mission: available on the about page
Culture: described on the jobs page, often used to attract potential future employees
Business model: derived from the pricing page.
Company size: the about page supplies the number of countries they are active in and the active user totals
This is a great start, but I also like to see what others say about a company, not just what they say about themselves. This helps me fill in some other areas of the canvas I haven't completed yet. It also helps to refine what I already have.
Financials: Crunchbase has information on their funding history. Also, this article features the managing director's prediction that the company will be profitable in a couple of years, meaning they are currently losing money. The same article highlights their most recent (2014) revenues and losses.
Company size: I looked at their company profile page on LinkedIn, which tells me the number of current employees.
Unique value proposition: It took a bit longer to get a sense of what Deezer can offer that their competitors cannot. The features page on the website mentions Flow, their standout proprietary feature, which is an algorithm that suggests infinite music lists matched to the user's tastes. It is intuitive so whichever company has the biggest database of songs has a huge advantage. By looking at Spotify who has over 30 million songs available, you can see that Deezer has more (43 million). Having the most songs is a unique value proposition.
By reading this interview with the CEO, you can see that Deezer is unique in that they offer local music in other countries such as Colombia (80% local). Providing this much local music is a unique benefit to Deezer.
Business model: This interview with the CMO discusses how advertising is destined to be a fundamental part of the business model, particularly for free users.
Although you may fill out a canvas differently (selecting different sources or choosing different information), seeing how it was filled in from the variety of sources above should be a good guideline for filling out your own in the future.