I'm wondering what are the best sources for building competitor lists?
I have always been familiar with Hoovers, Zoom, doing one of Irina's "competitors * anycompanyname" search.
Also, I was just introduced to a Fortune Magazine app. Has anyone used this? Wondering what other good resources there are.
I've found these lists hard to come by. industry magazines often publish lists, but not always easy to find.
This is one of those problems that seems simple on the surface but, in the end, doesn't wind up being that way.
When you build a competitor list, do you want direct competitors? Indirect competitors? A list of companies within a specific vertical market? Companies that don't necessarily compete but hire the same talent and instill/value the same skills? Because these are different things, and WYLFIWYF. Sometimes it also matters what part of a company you are looking at.
The big list houses are always going to have the most / best data - this is their core product and full time job, to gather, analyze, and report data about companies and competitors. It can be pricey. Of course, a lot of what they do is based on information available elsewhere, and you can go to the same sources as they do and gather the information yourself, just not so easily.
LinkedIn can provide some useful data about where companies hire from, and where companies lose people to (look at company pages, employee insights section, it's not always there but when it is, it's useful).
For quick and dirty work:
1) Google's related operator is occasionally useful.
2) Also, with Google search suggestions turned on, sometimes I do things like "companyname vs ", or even "companyproductname vs" and see what other people have searched for, generally it is competing companies/products - people are searching for comparisons between them (or jobseekers are trying to find which is best to apply to).
3) Look for "Top N" lists, which tend to be shallow but free about related companies (be careful - top 10 companies to work for is not useful for competitors, but top 10 aerospace companies might be).
4) Identify SIC / NAICS for your starting company, and do lookups for other companies overlapping the same. Implu (http://www.implu.com/industries) is good, but only public companies. There are several free (and generally awful, but hey, this is about getting info quick) SIC/NAICS company directories (try "companies by sic" or something). Manta has some info, though I find manta to be a bit awful to use and often has old / unchecked info. Implu has public company info (not sure it lists companies.
I'm curious to see what others say, as well.
Dave - I had completely forgotten about Implu . Great resource!
Tech companies - http://www.crunchbase.com/
Agelist for startups - https://angel.co/
Local competitors - http://www.bbb.org/
I've also used Jigsaw / Data has some industry data available
They also allow you to create company lists using this tool
Advanced option for list tool
You can try Google Finance (www.google.com/finance). If the company is on there then the site will pull info from Hoovers, Revere, Reuters, etc. and put a "Related companies" list together for you to use. Doesn't work with every company though.
You can also use the site FindTheCompany (http://companies.findthecompany.com/). Search until you find your company or a top competitor, then click on their profile and click the COMPETITORS link located under the "user ratings" at the top of the profile. Then you can scroll down to a list of competitors.
I hope that's helpful.