Understanding your competitors and what they offer can help you create unique products, services, and marketing. In a world full of competition and rivalry, it will enable you to set your own high standards. By leveraging your competitors' weaknesses, you can improve your own business performance. It is also important to evaluate any threats posed by new entrants into your market and existing competitors. The greater picture remains in the forefront of your mind and helps motivate you to succeed.
Here is a guide on how to identify your competitors, research what they do, and act based on the results.
Who are your competitors?
Competitiveness is a given for every business. Even if you're the only supermarket in town, you'll have to compete with eateries, beauty salons, designers, and countless other businesses for your customers' money. Having access to the Internet to find goods and services and to buy goods has changed the competitive landscape. Neighbouring businesses are the least of your concern at this point, you might also find yourself competing with international businesses. You might find yourself a competitor that offers a substitute or similar product to your own, leaving yours as a second choice.
There is more to competition than just competing businesses stealing your profits.
You should not limit your research to already-existing or trend-following things. You should also be able to glace into the future to see upcoming competitions that are yet to be birted. Competitors can be identified by: advertising, press reports, exhibitions and trade fairs, questionnaires, searching on the Internet for similar products or services, information provided by customers, flyers and marketing literature that have been sent to you - quite common if you're on a bought-in marketing list, searching for existing patented products that are similar to yours
Understanding your competitors' strategies
Here are some things you should watch out for:
- Products & services
- Distribution and delivery
- Customer loyalty
- Media activities
- How they treat their customers
- What they're planning to do
- Learning about your competitors
- Listen to your customers and suppliers
Utilizing competitor information
Find out about your competitors' strengths and weaknesses. You can use this to identify market gaps that you can exploit. The report should also indicate whether your market is saturated with suppliers in particular segments, a factor that might lead you to focus your attention on less competitive segments.
Regardless of how insignificant it may appear to you, give all your competitors' information a fair shake.
Organize all the information into three categories:
- What you can learn from and improve upon
- What they do worse than you
- Similarities in what you do
Take a close look at these areas and determine if we're on the right track. Even if you have, your competitor may be planning an improvement.
Brand differentiation: the simple reality?
Ever wondered how you could stand out from your competitors? What makes your brand unique from others on the market?
There is an increasing need to differentiate brands at a time when nearly all industries are experiencing increased competition. This is, however, a crucial step. Business owners are looking for new and inventive ways to stand out from the sea of competitors vying for customers' attention.
When you embark on your quest to define and apply the right tactics to help your brand stand out, you will need to conduct some competitor research. As a result, you can determine where your competitors are lacking. Using the above approach, you can also define ways of distinguishing products and brands.
You must ask yourself this crucial question before you start your research: How can you improve upon what others are doing wrong? Research competitors to identify those gaps with this critical question in mind.
Differentiating yourself while maintaining relevance:
- Provide customers with a real solution
- Provide an exceptional customer experience
- Nurture and grow brand advocates
- Customer service and support
- Expertise in your area
- Pay attention to social listening and monitoring
With so much competition, differentiating your brand and knowing your competition is crucial to your business' survival. The importance of it has never been greater.
In a crowded marketplace, consumers can easily switch brands if you do not stand out from the competition. Brand differentiation is about offering what your competitors don't. As a result, you become more visible, and consumers will be drawn to you.
In the end, most of the tips above revolve around providing a world-class customer experience. Customer loyalty and long-term business growth are the results of a high level of customer satisfaction.
Which strategies are you using to differentiate your brand from your competition? We'd love to know! Leave a comment below!
- Understand your competitors. Info Entrepreneurs (2020). Retrieved from Info Entrepreneurs
- The who, what, why and how of digital marketing. Lexi Alexandra (2019). Retrieved from Hubspot
- How to identify your competitors in six steps. Spotlight Conductor (2018). Retrieved from Conductor