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7 Types of Competitive Benchmarking

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Competitive benchmarking is the process of comparing your products, services, processes and practices to a direct competitor using standard measurements. This may be done to evaluate your current competitive position, develop strategies and evaluate performance. The following are common types of competitive benchmarking.

Figure of Merit

A figure of merit is a product metric that customers consider when making a purchase. These typically serve as common benchmarks that all competitors in an industry work to improve. For example, cost per watt is a figure of merit for solar panels.

Financial Results

Using the financial reports of competitors to gather financial performance metrics such as revenue per employee.

Operational Metrics

Operating metrics may be available in a firm's marketing communications. Alternatively, industry consultants or market research firms may offer estimates. For example, firms might compare the energy efficiency of their data centers against best in class results.

Marketing Metrics

Marketing metrics such as brand recognition and top of mind are commonly available for an industry.


Sales teams may benchmark things such as customer acquisition cost and gross margins against a close competitor.

Customer Service

Service industries are often benchmarked using customer satisfaction with such data independently collected by market research firms.

Customer Experience

A firm may benchmark intangible elements of services such as the taste of food against a close competitor.
Overview: Competitive Benchmarking
Benchmarking results with a close competitor in order to evaluate performance and develop strategies.
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