Whilst we do not want to be fixated on knowing what our competitors are doing all the time, knowledge of what our competitors do would help us in a long way. Having that competitor advantage could be a contributor to what makes your business different.   

It is not only about pricing!   

  • Do you know what else your competitors are up to? 
  • Do you know the kind of customer service they give and their offers? 
  • Do you know how their product or service is offered, other products, or services they may provide? 
  • What about their weaknesses, strengths, or any gaps? 

Consider the game chess.  How can you win if you don’t know or understand what your opponent’s moves are?  If you are moving around blindly, do you think you will ever get to checkmate? 

Business is a giant chessboard, and we should be analysing the other players.

REASONS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPETITION 

Understand the competitive advantage you can have to drive brand strategy

Determining what makes your brand, product, or service different from the rest is one of the main benefits of a competitor’s analysis.  This is critical to increasing your sales and developing customer loyalty.  Having knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, discovering your unique value proposition, will allow you to realize what it is that you bring to the table. 

Equipped with this knowledge, conveying your true value to your customers, adjusting your brand and communications strategy appropriately can win back market share and set you apart from the rest.

Understand your competitors’ business strategy 

Having knowledge of your competitors’ activities, their weakness, strengths, and marketing strategies, offers, prices, various products, or services they may have, and importantly what they do well and what they don’t, the kind of customer service they provide, can all assist you in staying ahead of the game. 

Businesses must know who their competitors are, what they are doing, what they are trying to do, to help them find out characteristics and strategies they can use to their advantage. 

Discovering what your competition is up to before going ahead and putting something in place for yourself is a true benefit of a competitor analysis.

Discover opportunities and gaps in the market

Realising customers frustrations and exposing new opportunities is what a competitor analysis can do for you. 

You will be able to see what your competitors are not doing, or missing the mark, and can take advantage of these gaps, thus helping you to provide customers with a better solution.

As an example, one of my clients, after getting a competitor analysis done, discovered that they had a gap in their services.  By including it in, they increased their sales by 20%.

New businesses or those looking to scale up may identify a niche which will help them avoid being in an overcrowded market. 

Learn from your competitors

Learn from your competitions’ failures and wins.

This does not mean stalking them on Facebook or any other social media platform. 

However, there are numerous methods of discovering this information. 

Ensure you look at their products or services, their marketing, what they do for customer satisfaction and retention, what skills the people who work for them have, the types of prospects they target.  

In other words, you want to know anything about their business that you believe will help you improve yours and set you apart from them. 

Find out what works for them and what doesn’t.  If you know what did not work for them, you can develop your own strategy based on what works.  This does not mean copying from them directly though!   

When you understand your competition, it will give you an idea on what to predict to assist you in creating a business strategy of your own.

Differentiate from them
Understanding your competition does not mean copying them.
Instead, discover what makes you different.  Determine your business vision and mission. Create core values. What do you stand for and what does your business believe in? Do you have a story?
Continuous improvement
Maintain continuous improvement.  What was done a while ago may not necessarily still work.  Consider change when they stop working.  Look around and see what’s new and working. 

Understanding and knowing your competition is vital.  If they are doing better than you, then you need to determine why as you could possibly be missing something or doing something not quite right in your business. 

However, bear in mind that your competition is not the standard for success.  

Your vision, mission, your core values should be the drivers for you and your business. Remember, although analysing the other players on the board is necessary, ultimately, bringing your own strategies and values to the table will make your success.