What is 3C analysis? Explaining the necessity of marketing and points to keep in mind

3C analysis is a framework that analyzes “Customer (market/customer)”, “Competitor (competitor)” and “Company (company)” and visualizes the environment surrounding the company.

By using 3C analysis, you can objectively understand your own strengths and weaknesses in the market, customer needs, etc., and identify the factors that lead to business success.

It is used as a standard analysis method in marketing, but many people do not understand the content, the necessity of performing 3C analysis, and the method of implementation.

In this article, we will explain the outline of 3C analysis, the difference from SWOT analysis, which is often confused, and the points to be kept in mind, and then introduce specific successful cases.

3C analysis

Table of Contents

What is 3C analysis?

3C analysis is a framework that analyzes from the three perspectives of “Customer (market/customer),” “Competitor (competitor),” and “Company (in-house),” and is divided as follows .

  • Market/Customer: What kind of market/customer do you have? What are the customer’s values ​​and needs?
  • Competition: Who are your competitors? What are your competitors’ shares and measures?
  • Company: What is your company’s reputation in the market? What are your resources?

By analyzing these three categories, you can visualize the environment surrounding your company and discover the business areas in which your company should compete.

Necessity of 3C analysis in marketing

Necessity of 3C analysis in marketing 1

In marketing, it is first necessary to conduct an “environmental analysis” to grasp the situation in the world. By analyzing the environment, it becomes possible to identify customer needs and competitive positions, and to formulate effective strategies.

Among the many environmental analysis methods, the standard framework is 3C analysis. By using 3C analysis, it is possible to optimize your company’s strategy by analyzing it from an objective perspective and identifying business success factors.

Please refer to the following diagram for the specific concept of 3C analysis.

Areas where the company, markets, and customers overlap are markets where the company can demonstrate its strengths. On the other hand, it can be seen that the area where the competition overlaps with the market/customers is where the competition demonstrates its strengths, and the company has little chance of winning. Similarly, the overlap between competitors, markets/customers, and your company can be said to be a highly competitive red ocean.

You should aim for areas where your company and the market/customers overlap, where there are no competitors. By using 3C analysis, each can be visualized, which is useful for discovering “market opportunities” where customers and companies overlap.

In addition, 3C analysis has the characteristic of being able to analyze the environment surrounding the company from an objective point of view. It is a subjective way of thinking that only considers the company’s own situation to decide on a sales policy such as “Last year, sales of product A were strong, so let’s focus on product A this term as well.”

The situation in the world is changing at a dizzying speed, and unless you always analyze it from an objective perspective, it will lead to wrong strategy planning. By analyzing the company, competitors, and the market, it is possible to formulate a well-balanced strategy.

Difference between 3C analysis and SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is a framework that is often used in environmental analysis as well as 3C analysis. SWOT analysis is a method of objectively analyzing a company’s strengths and weaknesses, external opportunities and threats, and formulating marketing strategies. While 3C analysis and SWOT analysis are methods of environmental analysis, there is a big difference in purpose and subject, so the scenes where they are applied are also different. The specific differences are as follows.

the purpose

The purpose of 3C analysis is to clarify the company’s strengths, while the purpose of SWOT analysis is to understand the company’s strengths and weaknesses and prepare to take the optimal strategy for the situation. I have.


The main subject of 3C analysis is the customer. On the other hand, the “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” that are the subject of SWOT analysis are all related to your company, and your company is the main subject.

Considering the difference between the two, for example, when entering a new market, after clarifying the strengths of the company through 3C analysis and confirming the possibility of entry, SWOT analysis identifies the surrounding environment, including issues and risks, and what kind of Decide what to strategize.

You can read more about SWOT analysis in the article below. If you are interested, please take a look.

How to proceed with 3C analysis

How to proceed with 3C analysis 1

The 3C analysis is a simple framework, so it is profound, and if the analysis is not performed in the proper procedure, the expected effects cannot be expected.

In the 3C analysis, analyze in the order of market/customer → competition → company. If you do the analysis from your own company, it will be a subjective analysis based on your company’s standards, and you will not be able to obtain objective results.

Especially in recent years, marketing measures to improve the customer experience have become important. In order to have a customer perspective, first conduct a market and customer analysis, grasp customer needs, and identify the unique value of your company that matches them.

Below, we explain how to proceed with the 3C analysis.

1.Customer (market/customer)

In customer/market analysis, we understand not only customer demographics (gender, age, occupation, etc.), but also customer values ​​and needs.

Customer/market analysis takes two approaches:

macro analysis

In macro analysis, we analyze the external environment, such as economic trends and social changes, that affects management even though we cannot control it. In macro analysis, it is common to use PEST analysis, which analyzes from the four perspectives of “Politics”, “Economy”, “Society”, and “Technology”.

Micro analysis

Micro analysis analyzes the impact of industry structure and trends on your company. It is common to use the 5 forces analysis (new entrants, industry rivalries, substitutes, buyers, sellers) in micro analysis.

Based on the results of macro-analysis and micro-analysis, we predict customer behavior, needs, and the impact of the environment on customers.

2. Competitor

Competitive analysis understands how your competitors are responding to changing market and customer needs. We organize and analyze competitors’ sales, position in the industry, influence, measures, etc., and identify the factors that lead to success or failure.

By comparing your company with your competitors, you will be able to work on excellent marketing measures in your competitors and discover your strengths to differentiate yourself. Consider actively incorporating factors for success.


Based on the results of each analysis of customers, markets and competition, we conduct an in-house analysis and identify the key success factors for the business. A SWOT analysis is often used to analyze the company’s environment. We conduct cross-analysis that multiplies the company’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the market, and assemble the company’s management strategy.

In order to grasp the company’s strengths and market superiority, “VRIO analysis” is conducted from the four perspectives of economic value (Value), rarity (Rarity), difficulty of imitation (Inimitability), and organization (Organization). is also valid.

Typical format for 3C analysis

3C analysis is performed using the above template. For a more detailed analysis, let’s identify the following points:
Customer (market/customer)

  • Market size
  • Market type
  • customer characteristics and factors
  • Market transition
  • customer values ​​and needs
  • potential customer aspirations


  • Competing industries and fields
  • share of competition
  • competitive advantage
  • competitive weakness
  • competitive measures
  • Products and services offered by competitors
  • Areas with customer needs but no competition


  • Self-assessment in the market
  • Company management philosophy
  • Company history
  • Measures currently being taken by the company
  • own resources
  • company’s strengths
  • What differentiates your company

Points to keep in mind in 3C analysis

Here are some points to keep in mind when doing 3C analysis.

narrow down and collect information

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, it is quite possible that competition and market trends will change while you spend time analyzing the 3Cs. Let’s sift through the information for quick 3C analysis.

For example, in order to quickly collect highly reliable data, we collect the voices of customers who contact us frequently through questionnaire surveys, and we narrow down the target of competitive analysis to companies with the top market share in the industry and similar business models to our company. Ingenuity.

rule out wishful thinking

The strength of 3C analysis is that it can be analyzed from an unbiased and objective point of view. However, when the subjectivity of the analyst is introduced, objectivity is lost and erroneous results are produced. In particular, in-house analysis is likely to contain wishful thinking, so caution is required.

In order to eliminate wishful thinking, it is effective not only to try to analyze from an objective point of view, but also to conduct analysis by multiple people, check the results, and review at a later date.

Be aware of each C

In the 3C analysis, customers/markets, competitors and company are analyzed in separate steps, but in the end it is necessary to obtain consistent results. In order to get a balanced result, let’s analyze each element while keeping in mind the other two C’s.

B2B companies also conduct 3C analysis on the customer side (implementing 6C analysis)

In the case of B2B companies, the understanding of the environment surrounding customers is insufficient only by analyzing their own company. Therefore, in addition to your company’s 3C analysis, let’s also conduct a 3C analysis on the customer side. This is called “6C analysis”.

For example, when an office furniture manufacturer and seller analyzes the environment in order to develop better products, it is the first time to deepen the understanding of customers by analyzing the environment surrounding business partners, such as the impact of work style reforms and office design.

2 examples of 3C analysis

Now, let me introduce an actual example so that you can have a concrete image of how 3C analysis can be used.




Market/Customer ● Wide range from students to seniors

● I want to enjoy coffee in a calm space

● I want to drink delicious coffee.

Competitor ● Chain stores such as Doutor and Tully’s (common people, low prices)
Company ● Luxury

● Sophisticated stores

● Quality coffee and service

As a result of analyzing the market, customers, and competition, the coffee chain Starbucks has determined that high-end coffee, which competitors have not touched, is a factor for business success.

In addition to sticking to the quality of coffee, the company focused on creating added value such as attentive customer service and a comfortable and sophisticated space not found in general chain stores, and succeeded in differentiating from competitors and branding. .




Market/Customer ● Apparel EC market size is expanding

● Different needs depending on age and gender

● Average age is low

Competitor ● EC sites specializing in specific genres such as SHOPLIST and Yume Tenbou

● Specializing in women’s apparel brands

Company ● Abundant number of brands available to meet various needs

● There are services that competitors do not have, such as “cash on delivery” and “replacement discount”

● The average age of members is 33, which is slightly higher than the market

ZOZOTOWN’s competitors have a lower average age of customers and specialize in women’s apparel brands. On the other hand, ZOZOTOWN has succeeded in expanding its user base by handling a wide range of apparel brands. In addition, the introduction of unrivaled services such as “pay on delivery” and “replacement discounts” has encouraged an influx of young people.

It is essential to take the customer’s point of view in 3C analysis

3C analysis is an important framework for environmental analysis in marketing. By properly analyzing the 3Cs of Customer (market/customer), Competitor (competitor), and Company (in-house), you can objectively grasp your company’s position in the market and organize the foundation of your strategy.

An important point in 3C analysis is to take an objective customer’s point of view after eliminating subjectivity. Identify customer needs through analysis and think about the unique value of your company that can solve those issues. That value becomes a unique strength of the company and a factor of choice for customers.

In order to stand in the customer’s point of view, it is effective to collect real customer voices. We recommend centralizing customer information with a CRM to manage customer interaction history and activity. Please use the results of highly accurate 3C analysis for better management strategies.

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