If you were asked to list your competitors, you probably could rattle off your top three at least. But if you were asked to describe their company culture and brand sentiment, would it be more challenging?
Moving beyond identifying who your competition is allows you to learn from their mistakes, recognise opportunities and strategically position your business in the gaps your competitors don’t fill.
Understand your competition
Who are they?
Define your competitive landscape more broadly than direct competition. Look at businesses who provide substitute products or services that fulfil the same customer needs as you do.
Who are their customers?
What products or services do their customers buy from them? Are they recent or long-standing customers? Research the demographics they service and why they may serve certain demographics compared to others.
What is their company culture?
Getting a handle on your competitor’s culture and personality can help you understand their strengths and weaknesses. You may even incorporate what you learn about their culture into your way of doing things.
What products or services do they offer?
Knowledge of your competitors’ entire product and service offering is a critical part of a competitor analysis. Keep track of prices, sales and any additional discounts or promotions they are (or aren’t) offering their customers: and fill those gaps or generate ideas and inspiration for substitutes.
What do people say about them?
We all know reputation is everything. Knowing your competitor’s reputation is just as important. Keep note of what you hear about your competition in online and offline communication.
Where are they?
Where are they advertising? How often are they advertising? Are they only online? Are they on social media? What social media platforms are they on? Are you on those social platforms?
Are they social?
The good thing about social media is that it is a 24/7 resource for customers all over the world. Analyse your competitors’ social profiles, when they post and what products and services they focus on. Search who follows them and follow them. This will increase your brand awareness amongst your competitors’ audience.
Watch for trends
Pay close attention to what is trending in your industry now to get a handle on where they might be headed. This will force you to be innovative and stay ahead of the game.
Like, Follow, Subscribe
Be across all your competitors’ marketing channels. Follow their social media, subscribe to their newsletter and print catalogues. By doing so, you are able to experience first hand what your competitor’s customers are receiving.
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