As Google Suggests is based often on “What other people are searching for, including trending searches”. One quick hack would to key in <Your Brand> vs … (sans the caveat of personalized results however there are ways to work around that)

The above gives some hints about how users are doing comparison shopping online or comparing your brand against other brands.

If we were to do this in a repeated manner – ie, copy down all the suggestion comparison and then repeat the google suggest from the returned results ad Infinium – what we get back is a good list of interrelated terms.

For example if you were analyzing Carlsberg beer:

Above you could see that Heineken is the closest most considered competitor followed by Budwiser and Amstel, at least in terms of Searches

We could also see subproducts such as Carlsberg Elephant being compared against its competing equivalent such as Kingfisher strong, Budweiser magnum and Tuborg strong

In term of Paid SEM traffic, you could structure your campagins / ad groups to respond and address each the clusters identified.

Similarly, if we looked at car brand and Toyota:

We could see the closest compared brands like the likes of Honda, Mazada and Subaru.

This technique could be applied to almost any brand with good accuracy – and can yield good insights for the PPC practitioners.