In this tutorial, we will cover a tool called “Feature Table” that will help you compare your product to that of you competitors’.
A feature table is a comparison chart that is used to objectively analyze the competitiveness of our products vis-a-vis those offered by our competitors. Most feature tables employ the following format:
How does one go about making a feature table?
A set of steps that you may follow to create a feature table are:
- Start by listing out your direct competitors horizontally, or along the x-axis;
- Fill in the features and factors or dimensions vertically, or along the y-axis. These features should be prioritised on the basis of your understanding of the customer and their needs. While there may be disagreement between your team members about this ordering, you have to ensure that each and every important feature and factor makes it onto the axis; examples of such features and factors are:
- Ability to do something
- Go through each of the features and check to see if the competitor has these features. Fill in the corresponding cells with brief and uniform responses in order to ensure that anyone can merely glance at the table and get an overview of the competitive landscape.
The same steps may be repeated for your direct, potential, and substitute competitors. This is a quick and easy way to make sure that you’re better than each of them with respect to the needs of your target customer. If this isn’t the case, you have a problem and you need to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.
Here’s an example of a feature table comparing the functionality of various iOS note-taking applications.
To conclude, a feature table is a tool that enables one to, at a glance, get an overview of the competitive landscape. It should be noted that feature tables are compiled from the perspective of a given company; since each company will prioritize different features and factors, their basis for the evaluation of their competition will be different. This overview can be used to put the competition into perspective and better inform your decisions regarding the features that need to be worked on and the ones that can be deprioritized.