Competition is a driving force in nature, fiercest when winning is necessary for survival—from lions fighting for territory to peacocks flashing their feathers. In business, the battle is fought and won with strategic marketing plans designed to attract customers to their company over their competitors.
In today’s increasingly competitive markets, understanding your customers is only the beginning. Whether you’re competing with budding startups or colossal mega-corporations, you need to regularly compare products, services, pricing and promotional efforts. This is how you identify similarities and differences, tap into opportunities; and most importantly, win.
Competitor analysis is an incredibly useful strategic tool but often, due to time constraints, companies only scan their competitors at a glance. Businesses need to conduct competitive analysis on a regular basis to identify current and potential competitors. And the strongest analysis is built on a two-pronged approach: first from an industry perspective, to gather insights on the structure and nuances of your industry as a whole, and investigate what industry-specific products are being offered. Second, from a marketing perspective, in order to gather focused insights on consumers’ needs and to see how they can be satisfied.
Once you’ve identified your primary competitors, the next step is to create competitor profiles of each, to help assess and analyse their objectives, strategies, strengths and weaknesses. Your discoveries can then be used to inform your decision-making, innovating, and overall business strategy going forward. The key is to regularly repeat the process; failing to do so could lead to missed opportunities, or worse: your competitors overtaking you.
Cut-throat as it may be, we have competition to thank for product upgrades, higher quality service offerings and innovation across the board. It’s a jungle out there, but with the proper competitor analysis, your business can be king.