Product

How to Identify Key Trends, Strengths, and Weaknesses of a Company

Tom Gardiner

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June 13, 2022


Welcome back to our four-part marketing & competitive landscape analysis and due dilligence how-to series. In part one, we walked through how to instantly identify the players in the market. In part two, we showed you how to efficiently find market share and growth potential numbers. Now for our third part, our task is to identify key trends and identify strengths and weaknesses at the industry and individual company levels.

Say you’re trying to discover trends across an industry or specific company. Worst-case scenario? You suffer through days of painfully searching publicly available information, manually keeping tabs on the trends and sheer volume of information. Even if you were to glean any insights, it is likely they are biased and missing critical information, as your manual search process lacks access to premium content traditionally found behind paywalls and would be limited by a reliance on using CTRL-F to sift through content. Only slightly better would be access to a single broker or industry report. However, this still results in a very narrow viewpoint on the topic, and you still have to rely on publicly available content to build an overall picture and validate any findings.

Fortunately, with AlphaSense, you have access to AI tools that mine thousands of premium and highly relevant content sets, surfacing quality and reliable insights – that would otherwise be difficult to find or worse, be impossible to find due to lack of access to the underlying content.

Let’s walk through how you can save time and energy finding key trends, and identifying strengths and weaknesses using AlphaSense.

Instantly See Top Trends for a Space

In order to see the top trending topics for a space or industry, I leverage the Trending Topics module in AlphaSense. For this I have two options: create a watchlist of target companies to my dashboard or view the trending topics across an entire industry.

As mentioned in the first two parts of this series, we are focusing on the electric vehicle space. Based on this, I have created a watchlist (i.e. group of companies), using The Lion Electric Company, and its competitors. Now, I simply head to my dashboard, and instantly the Trending Topics module is populated. I now have a list of the top 100 trends for that group of companies in no time.

[Watchlist: ARVL, HYLN, NKLA, PTRA, LEV, WKHS, XL, XOS]

With the Trending Topics module, when I see a topic I want to dive deeper into, I simply click it and I see a keyword search across this group of companies. I notice that material cost is the second trending topic in this industry and this piques my interest to find out more. When I click through I find that each of the document previews tells the same story: these companies are concerned about the increased raw material costs and lower margins moving forward.

What would have been an impossibly cumbersome task, is now very clear to me and I now have a view of what is trending overall.

Identify Key Topics at the Company Level

In this part of the analysis I want to dig into and assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual companies (eventually comparing that to the overall trends). As mentioned above, we are going to take a deeper look at The Lion Electric Company (LEV).

My first step is to head to the company profile page and leverage the Company Topics module to see the trending topics for LEV. In this case, I focus on Positive and Negative trends and click on the Company Topic filter options.

From a positive trend perspective, I can quickly see that production, delivery, and orders are driving significant positive trends for the company.

On the negative side, I notice that cost, suppliers, gross margin, and inflation are driving negative trends (similar to the overall trend perspective).

However, I need to go in even deeper into the details to get a sense of how LEV might fare with some of these headwinds. By clicking on a trend tile, I launch Snippet Explorer and can instantly see the history of mentions around the topic of cost.

What jumps out right away about LEV is that they have two key advantages as it relates to cost: 1) they have a plan to reduce the cost of their vehicles, specifically to combat the shortage in batteries and 2) they have an experienced executive in procurement and supply chain management, as well as this being a key strategic pillar.

Now I can easily explore these sub-topics even further and do the same for all the companies I’m interested in. In a fraction of the time it would have taken, AlphaSense has led me to the critical information needed.

Validate My Findings

With access to AlphaSense, my company has premium access to Wall Street Insights and expert calls via Stream. Both of these content sets provide expert insights to help validate and build out my information set.

In this case, I’m validating my thoughts around LEV. I perform a simple outlook keyword search for LEV, filtering specifically for broker research and expert calls. As one of LEV’s key product offerings is electric school buses (discovered in part 2), I immediately pick up on a comment in an expert call, mentioning that as grant money becomes available, they expect a clearer idea for demand from more detailed fleet conversion plans. This is what we would classify as a key piece of information. I bookmark this document and listen to the audio interview on my commute home.

Lastly, I want to validate my thoughts around LEV and their strategic supply chain management planning. I perform a search for a supply chain plan for LEV, again focused on broker research and expert calls. Quickly I am able to see that there is belief that LEV is well positioned to overcome supply chain issues.

By leveraging broker research and expert calls, I am able to confidently validate my understanding of the companies and market. This ensures I am in a confident position to make comparisons and assess who has the best outlook overall.

Check out this video on how to conduct a more comprehensive landscape analysis in less time. Want to get on the platform and see for yourself? Unlock a free trial of AlphaSense here.

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Tom Gardiner

Tom is a product marketing director who works with the search, summarization, and monitoring product teams at AlphaSense. Tom has spent 10 years in B2B marketing, in all company sizes from global to early-stage startups.


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