Remember the line from the ending of “Back to the Future,” when Doc Brown hops out of the DeLorean (with its surprising 2015 updates), and begins digging through Marty’s trash can? “I NEED FUEL!” he exclaims as he prepares to drop a banana peel and a half-used can of soda into Mr. Fusion. This obscure line from a familiar classic from the ‘80’s perfectly highlights an important principle – no matter how fancy your car is, no matter how many bells and whistles it has, or how much time and energy you’ve spent tuning it, it still needs fuel to operate effectively. “What’s your point, Brandon?” Glad you asked. In the business world, it’s all too common to find companies who spend tremendous resources designing and building their own solution – and maybe even developing a Price to Win assessment – without investing any resources in understanding what their competitors will offer, or even what their customer really wants. Neglecting competitive intelligence in this way is a lot like failing to put fuel in the car. And as a result, they lose – or worse, they win and get stuck down the road when their solution stalls. Effective competitive analysis based on sound information and consistent processes ensures that your car is fueled up and ready to drive when you turn the key. It also gives you a cushion when the inevitable roadblocks occur. It helps you arrive on time, and on budget, relaxed and ready. Of course, not all fuel is equal. You may be able to use the unknown liquid in the rusty can that someone dropped in your back yard – but wouldn’t you rather use dependable, reliable gas you trust? Isn’t your car – your job – worth it?