Course Number: 1699
Length: 2 Days
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The Black Hat Workshop

A black hat review process is a methodology which offers a format for identifying and analyzing the expected top competition of a given organization.

At its simplest, a black hat review is a facilitated discussion between individuals with knowledge of targeted competitors. Normally, those participating are grouped into small teams, which emulate these competitors, developing the strategies, differentiators and discriminators each is likely to propose.

Black Hat Training Workshop

For a black hat review to be effective, several key elements must occur:

  • Knowledgeable participants must be involved in the process. These can be team members or even paid external consultants.
  • Accurate data must be gathered. This must be information about the competitor above what participants bring to the black hat analysis.
  • Skilled facilitators must be present. An experienced facilitator in this matter encourages discussion that leads to results.

There are many techniques for acquiring and assessing competitive intelligence. One of the more common initial methods of evaluation is called SWOT, which stands for:

  • Strengths –The characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others.
  • Weaknesses – The characteristics of the business that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others.
  • Opportunities — Elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage.
  • Threats — Elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project.

SWOT analysis is intended to specify the objectives of the business venture or project and identify the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving those objectives.

Users of a SWOT analysis often ask and answer questions to generate meaningful information for each category to make the tool useful and identify their competitive advantage.

But in actuality, the technique you use is less important than your diligence at implementing it. However, like risk assessment and quality assurance, if you don’t implement a formal methodology, you won’t consistently get good results.

The strategies and action items that are identified at the close of the black hat review process should go a long way in helping companies move forward, which includes making necessary changes and/or additions in some areas in order to stay competitive with an eye on becoming an all-around leader in your particular industry.

At the conclusion of the black hat review, it’s a good idea to conduct a White hat analysis as well. This is where you follow the same criteria used to evaluate your competitors – only this time you do it for your own company.

Generally, the most difficult part of this project is having the distance to be objective about your own strengths and weaknesses.  But once completed, you then map the competition’s process with your own and see where everyone’s weaknesses and strengths lie.

The Black Hat Workshop Course by Tonex

The black hat workshop replicates a potential competitor of your business or organization and helps you take all required steps and actions to determine the possible ways the competitor might beat your bids or proposals and then will help you to neutralize those strategies to stay ahead of your competitors.

During the black hat workshop, Tonex instructors help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses when faced with serious competition. The black hat workshop assists you to make smarter business decisions based on the situation of your competitors and the marketplace.

Through the black hat workshop, we help you define your industry, determine your potential competitors, determine your customers, rank the key success segments, and rate each competitor on each of the key segments. Once these data are obtained, we will simulate potential competitors and a business opportunity situation and will help you come up with smart and effective strategies to beat your competitors.

The black hat workshop helps you to filter the everyday flood of data in order to choose what is essential to make effective market knowledge. Then, at this workshop, through a case study, we will teach you how to use the filtered data to develop and execute a successful marketplace strategy.


The black hat workshop is a 2-day training course designed for:

  • Mid-level and senior executives
  • Product and planning managers
  • Marketing personnel
  • All individuals who are or will be involved in business intelligence
  • Competitive intelligent analysts
  • Market researchers
  • Business development managers
  • Pricing analysts

Learning Objectives

Upon the completion of the black hat workshop, the attendees are able to:

  • Define the scope and the nature of their business
  • Determine their competitors
  • Determine their customers and whoever benefits from their business
  • Rank the key success factors
  • Rate each of their competitors on each key element of success
  • Analyze their current marketplace strategies
  • Identify their strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify their potential marketplace in the future
  • Evaluate their value chains, assets, capabilities and infrastructure
  • Use their assessment to make smarter and quicker development and execution
  • Identify and track important competitors’ indicators
  • Apply the above indicators to know and anticipate their current and future competitors’ strategies, intentions, assumptions and actions
  • Understand the dynamics of customers, channels, suppliers and marketplace through the competitor’s assessment
  • Make smarter, more effective, and more profitable decisions based on the market assessment information
  • Identify critical issues
  • Perform strategic and scenario assessments
  • Describe “intelligent” organizations
  • Choose the most informative sources
  • Build new channels of information
  • Implement intelligence in policy formation
  • Beat their potential competitors

Course Outline

An Overview of Competitor Analysis

  • Definition of competitor analysis
  • Develop the competitor profile
  • Competitor analysis framework

Constructing A Competitor Array

  • Defining the scope and nature of the industry
  • Determining the potential competitors
  • Determining all the potential customers
  • Determining customers’ expectations
  • Determining the key elements of success in your industry
  • Ranking those elements as a ratio to one
  • Ranking each competitor on each element
  • Building the “competitor matrix”

Developing A Profile for Each Competitor

  • Background information
    • Infrastructure
    • History
    • Ownership
  • Financial data
    • Financial ratios, liquidity, cash flow
    • Profit growth and method of growth
    • P/E ratios, dividend policy, profitability
  • Products and Services
    • Products/services offered, product line, products/services portfolios
    • Potential future products/services, the possibility of success for the new products/services, R&D situation
    • Brands, brands loyalty, brand portfolio
    • Patents and licenses
    • QC conformance
    • Reverse engineering
  • Sales And Marketing
    • Segments, market shares, growth rates, and customer’s loyalty
    • Online/at-store promotional tactics, advertising strategies, sales force success rate
    • Direct and Indirect distribution networks, exclusive contracts, alliance, geographical advantages
  • Facilities
    • Capacity, efficiency, capital investment
    • Location and shipping logistics
  • Personnel
    • Number of staff, key employees, skill sets
    • Management style
    • Compensations and benefits
  • Strategies
    • Objectives, mission statement, growth plans

Competitor Analysis Framework

  • Competitor’s objectives
  • Competitor’s assumptions
  • Competitor’s strategies
  • Competitor’s capabilities

Analytical Methods

  • Determining the competitive and the market situation
  • Competitors profiling and portfolios
  • Financial analysis
  • Timeline and SWOT assessments

Best Practices

  • Time is crucial
  • Universal sweep
  • Stay neutral
  • Follow and flow with the information
  • Challenge the traditional thought process
  • Be ethical
  • Partner with risk management
  • Human intelligence
  • Infrastructure before software

Case Studies

  • Competitor analysis
  • Competitor profiling
  • Choose your approach and strategies
  • Perform those strategies
  • Results and conclusions


The Black Hat Workshop

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