Defining the Competition

Competitive Strategy involves positioning

a business to maximize the value of the

capabilities that distinguish it from its competitors.


A thorough study of your potential competitors is essential to the successful positioning of your property. Choosing your "competitive set," relevant competitors you must keep your eye on, you must first decide on the "Bases of competition." Bases of competition are known characteristics that customers use to choose among competitors. They include location, price, product/service offering, quality, and reputation. Membership health clubs and full service salons might be comparable or competitive in light of the nature and location of their facilities. The facilities will be reviewed according to characteristics that are similar to or competitive with your spa.  The analysis includes facilities believed to be most competitive/ comparable to the proposed spa based on the following criteria.

  • Facilities
  • Recreational amenities
  • Guest and member profile and mix
  • Location and proximity to site or similar sites
  • Programs and Rates


Define your competitors in terms of primary and secondary importance, just as you did with your target markets. For example, your primary competitors may be comparable properties (such as upscale day spas within a fifty-mile radius), while your secondary competitors could be any similar product competing for the same consumer dollars—such as fitness clubs, full-service beauty salons and community-based wellness centers.


List the bases of competition and key success factors for industry success--in descending order of importance. Next, define competitive characteristics in terms of:

  • Market segments
  • Products offered
  • Prices/rates
  • Advertising programs
  • Distribution Channels