What is Linchpin Analysis Within Competitor Analysis?

Linchpin Analysis’s idea is making the key assumptions and knowledge within your findings clear by making you change or drop your basic assumptions about competitors. And in turn, rethink your analysis. 

Linchpin Analysis encourages you to consider all possible explanations and options for your competitor’s actions. Makes you go beyond the first glance most likely explanation which we all fall into occasionally.

Linchpin Analysis is a structuring technique which helps minimises mistakes. It also offers clarity during a period of confusion. When predicting the future and making a decision, you rarely have the full facts backed up with evidence. Linchpin Analysis assists you by considering what your competitors are going to do next. 


Analysts’ conclusions rest upon a set of beliefs – What’s known, assumed and can be unchallenged. We must be aware and prepared to counter such dangerous complacency by removing or reversing any key assumptions.

Many assumptions are made when looking at what your competitor is going to do next. And they tend to be based on:

  • Your existing beliefs about them
  • geography
  • culture
  • industrial trends
  • your past experience of their products/services 
  • How the market you operate in works
  • Incorrect data and information

Not true? Step back, select a competitor and list all the key uncertainties and assumptions you have about them. 

Try and find the evidence to back up these assumptions and uncertainties. Understand the key variables that are likely to drive why you think this about your competitor.

Take one of these evidenced assumptions and delete or reverse it. This is the linchpin. Look at the evidence of the remaining assumptions and create a new set of judgements and Hypothesis.

Place the deleted /revised assumptions back into your model.   

This is article described what is Linchpin Analysis within Competitor Analysis It explained it was a structuring technique that minimises mistakes. It also offers clarity during a period of confusion.

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