Use your competitors to propel your business forward 

Are you hungry to grow your business? Chances are that you might lack the clarity needed to compete with other players. This is why it is important that you know who your competitors are, what they are selling, and how they are doing it. It will help you create your own strategy and make your brand stand out. The fact is that every business has to compete within its market, and it pays to know against who.

When it comes to developing effective strategies that provide a competitive advantage, you first have to study each competitor. Only by analyzing competitors can you expect to stay in the game and succeed. Gaining insight into the competition would prepare you to market your products right. It would enable you to manage risks. No matter whether you are a new entrepreneur or have been running a small to medium-sized business for quite some time now, it is always a good idea to perform a competitor analysis.

What You Need To Know About The Competition?

There are a number of things that every smart business needs to keep an eye on. An understanding of the competitive landscape is essential for improving your business strategy. You must keep an eye on the following things about the competitors.

  • The brand and design.
  • The products or services offered.
  • The marketing practices adopted.
  • The approach to distribution and delivery.
  • If any additional service or support is offered.
  • The prices charged for each product or service.
  • The talent they hire and if they provide any training.
  • The techniques used for promoting customer loyalty.
  • The owners of the business and what their values are.
  • Review their annual report if they are a public company.
  • Whether they are tech-savvy or not and if they have a dedicated website.
  • Their overall media activities to learn more about their marketing and advertising campaign.

In addition to the above, you also have to look into how your competitors treat their customers and learn as much as possible about their customers such as the following.

  • Who are the customers?
  • Do they have any long-standing customers?
  • What attracts customers to your competitor?
  • Which products or services do different customers purchase from them?
  • What the competitor is planning to do for its customers?

It is important that you go beyond what is happening by investigating the business strategy of your competitors to learn the following.

  • What financial resources do they have?
  • Which type of customer are they targeting?
  • What new products or services are they developing?

Benefits of Competitor Analysis

1. Identification of Market Gaps

One of the main benefits of competitor analysis is that it helps you identify market gaps. When you study your competitors, you get to identify the areas in the market that they have not properly served or have left out so that you can target them. It is possible for your competitors to not target certain market segments or provide inferior products which fail to satisfy customers. In addition to this, there might even be a lack of customization options. Therefore, you must perform a competitor analysis to obtain this information.

When you conduct customer analysis, you even get to uncover the geographical reach of your competitors to find areas that have been underserved. This enables you to enter those markets to expand your reach. It is extremely important that you find out how well a business interacts with its customers, especially if you run a restaurant, retail store, or repair shop.

Understand the frustrations customers face through a competitor analysis. It will help you uncover new opportunities for the business. When you figure out what your competitors are doing wrong, you get to exploit those gaps to provide a better product or service to customers and boost loyalty.

2. Product Development

To succeed in the world of today, you need to develop the next big product that revolutionizes your industry. You must beat your competitors to stand out. This is where competitor analysis comes in handy. It allows you to learn more about how your competitor is trying to improve its products or services if it plans to develop something new. When you know which direction your competitors are taking, you get to keep up and ensure that you manage to retain your customer base.

When you have an idea about what your competitors are doing, you get to focus on following the same direction and outperforming in terms of functionality, quality, and price. Even though industrial espionage is against the law, you can learn more about what your competitor is doing through a number of legal channels. This would allow you to develop relevant products so that you remain competitive.

3. Market Trends

To keep your customers glued and attract new ones, you have to keep up with the trends. This is only possible when you perform competitor analysis on a regular basis. Otherwise, you would not know what is relevant and what is not. The fact is that everyone’s preferences are constantly changing. This is why you have to analyze your competitors to observe the latest trends and improve your offerings.

Besides, when you study your competition, you manage to find trends that you can counter them on. With the counter-culture movement becoming the norm, there is a lot that you can do to convert your competitor’s customers to establish a loyal customer base.

4. Marketing

Marketing is all about selling the benefit and value of a product or service rather than the actual product or service. By performing a competitor analysis, you get to learn more about the marketing strategies adopted by your competition so that you can better position your proposition.

When you find out what they have to offer, you can focus on improving your marketing strategy to include ideas that your competitors might have not even thought of. For instance, if your competitors tend to sell exclusivity, you can find out how your product or service can become more desirable in the market to boost sales.

5. Avoid Mistakes

A major benefit of competitor analysis is that it allows you to avoid mistakes that other companies have made. It requires you to study everything your competitors have done including the times when they failed. Mistakes provide valuable learning experiences. Instead of making mistakes yourself and losing business, you could simply learn from the mistakes of others.

As you study and monitor competitors, you will be able to identify the biggest mistakes that you must avoid. In fact, you would be able to forecast problems and make necessary arrangements to combat them early on. Thus, you would be able to become a staple in the market. There are some mistakes that your competitors might still be making and you can exploit them by learning more about them.

6. Uncover the Competitive Advantage of Your Competitors

To drive an effective brand strategy, you have to find out where your competitors shine. Learn more about the competitive advantage other companies have so that you can focus on standing out. It would also allow you to figure out what makes your brand stand out so that you can position your business as a leader.

Through competitor analysis, you would be able to identify your own competitive advantage and make sure that the target audience has a clear understanding of what you bring to the table. It will ensure that you know how to better target customers. The knowledge you obtain can be used for communicating your value to customers and adapting your brand so that you gain a bigger market share.

7. Understand the Business Strategy of Your Competitor

In addition to the above, competitor analysis allows you to learn more about the strategy of your competitors so that you can better cater to your audience. Only when you know your enemy would you be able to win each battle. Knowing the movements of your competition is critical to succeeding. You could identify weak spots and strengths to stay ahead. It is vital that you are informed about the strategy adopted by the competitor. Thus, you would be able to discover traits that help you attract customers. When you know what your competitors are up to, you get to make better improvements.

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