Are you looking for the best competitive analysis books? Each of these books offers something special and all taken together will give you the education you need to analyze your competition quickly and easily.

Competitive analysis is an essential part of any small business marketing plan. But few companies pay much attention to finding competition until they start losing customers.

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors by Michael Porter

When thinking about competitive analysis, it’s best to start with a classic. And you can always count on Michael Porter to deliver. This book will give you a comprehensive overview of competitive analysis, how to think about it, and how to start collecting the right information about your competition.

Building Competitive Advantage: Give Customers a Reason to Choose You Over Your Competitors by Jaynie L. Smith and William G. Flanagan

It’s one of my all-time favorite competitive analysis books. Your competitive advantage is at the center of WHY your customers should choose YOU over any other alternative. In this book, Jaynie Smith explains exactly HOW you should use competitive analysis to differentiate your business.

Read full examining the creation of a competitive advantage.

No Contest: The Case Against Competition by Alphie Kohn

When this book was published in 1992, competitive analysis was a dog-eating dog business. After all, the competition is about as American as apple pie!

But what if head-to-head competition hurts your bottom line? Citing basic research which, since its first release 25 years ago, has remained bulletproof. No competition will make you think differently about how to compete. This book is fun to read because it is not only about competition in business, but also about how competition occurs in our personal lives.

Some of the key principles that you will find in this book are that human beings are built for cooperation. In fact, innovation and superior performance often results from cooperation rather than competition.

Co-opetition by Adam M. Brandenburger and Barry J. Nalebuff

Written almost 20 years after Kohn’s No competition, this competitive analysis book shifts the conversation to the business environment.

This book is about creating and capturing value. Author Barry Nalebuff suggests you do this by partnering with companies that sell products and services that are complementary to yours. Another way to look at this is to partner with companies that sell different products and services to the same audiences as yours.

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Unchallenged Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

The Blue Ocean strategy pushes companies to create new industries and stand out from the competition. This competitive analysis book actually contains models and processes that will help you create a new competitive space.

If you are looking for an easy way to start your competitive analysis based on Blue Ocean Strategy check out Blue Ocean Studio, an online collaborative tool that will guide you and your team through the Blue Ocean process.

Screenshot of Blue Ocean Strategy Studio

I would recommend reading Blue Ocean Strategy first. Because this is the first book in the Blue Ocean series, I think it will lay the foundation for the online tool as well as other books in the Blue Ocean series.

Change of the blue ocean is the latest book by the authors of Blue ocean strategy. The authors show you how to beat the competition, instill confidence in your team, and enjoy new growth. You will go step by step from a red sea full of competition to a blue sea of ​​unchallenged market space. Change of the blue ocean integrates the principles of human psychology with realistic business creation techniques and concrete advice.

Competition in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Rule the World by Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani

Artificial intelligence is disrupting. And it transforms how businesses operate. Large companies have the technical resources to meet this new demand. But small businesses risk being left behind.

This competitive analysis book is destined to become a classic. Competition in the Age of AI describes the implications of artificial intelligence for businesses. The authors focus primarily on large companies and brands, but there are many lessons here that a small business owner can appreciate.

Read a detailed review of Competition in the Age of AI

Uncopyable: How to Create an Unfair Advantage Over Your Competition by Steve Miller

When you focus on the competition, you are preparing to step into the hamster wheel of competitive analysis. If you want Blue Ocean Strategy you will want to read Uncopyable as well as. Being “non-copiable” means having a unique place in the minds of your customers as the only company capable of delivering a specific product or service in a particular way. The author uses brands such as Disney, American Girl, and other major organizations as a point of reference. But the strategies are just as easy to apply to small businesses.

Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer The Competition By Challenging Everything By Bryce G. Hoffman

This book will help you overcome the mental blind spots and cognitive biases we all experience when trying to solve complex problems. With the most innovative and disruptive companies, like Google and Toyota, already using some of these techniques The author also shows how many large-scale business bankruptcies could have easily been avoided had they used the concepts of this book.


When it comes to competitive analysis, you need to be creative. The books on this list offer everything from an academic background as well as original thinking that will help you understand what your customers want as well as what you can do to help your business stand out.


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