Why It’s Crucial To Study The Competition

Study The CompetitionYou’re eager to get your target audience to purchase your new product and have it become a success… but so is the competition. They want your business. They want your product or service to fail. They will offer whatever they can to take customers away from you. There is a never-ending struggle between businesses to dominate the market and get the sale. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of your competitors.

Study the competition

Who is your competition? The answer to this question affects everything that you do when marketing your new product. Your competition tells you where you should offer it, how you should price it and what your growth rate can be. This doesn’t mean to copy them, but rather understand where they are going in relationship to you. Be proactive, not reactive.

  • Make a list of your competitors. But don’t just think about your direct competition. Think about those from other industries too. For example a freelance web designer could list other designers. They could also list large ad agencies, small ad agencies, in-house designers, even websites that sell fill-in the blank templates.
  • Classify and put them into groups based upon commonality (“large ad agencies,” “in-house designers,” etc.). Select the top players in each group to keep track of,this will give you a general idea of trends in the industry.
  • Also keep track of your direct competitors, the group that you would most likely fit into if they were classifying you. Pay attention to everyone in your group. A small change in one of these companies can have a big impact on your bottom line.

 

What Motivates People

Ask yourself: why do people buy the competition’s product or use their services? What do customers think they’re getting when they buy from them? What are their strengths? What features do they offer that I don’t? What is their unique value proposition? The answers to these questions will help you to further refine not only your product, but the way that you’ll market to your target audience.

Turning A Blind Eye

It can be easy to simply dismiss the competition. You can tell yourself all you want that any customer that would prefer their product to yours isn’t one you’d want to have. Thinking this way only hurts you. Don’t think of the them as the bad guy, if you do, you set yourself up to think that everything they do is wrong and everything you do is right, and you’ll never make the right moves 100% of the time.

You never want to appear that you’re trashing other businesses. This could turn customers away from you. It’s critical that you learn how to out do others in the market and expose their flaws, without making yourself look bad. As difficult as it may be, one of the best strategies to have is to admire your competition when they’ve had their successes. You can’t afford to be dismissive of them. Study and learn from them, examine what they’re doing well and try to find a way to improve on that. Learn why their products attract the consumers they do.

Neutralizing Their Advantages

As you breakdown what makes your competition’s products tick, look for ways that let you offset any advantages they might have in the eyes of your customers. Ask yourself the following:

  1. What are their weaknesses and how can they be exploited?
  2. In what ways are their products superior to yours?
  3. In what ways is your new product superior to theirs?
  4. Is there a way that you can use this information to your advantage?

 

The more you study how others have been able to successfully sell to your customers, the more opportunities you’ll have to gain a larger share of the market. By focusing your product’s strengths against their weaknesses, you improve your odds for success.

Making an Analysis

The more you know about other products and services and how they relate to your own, the better you’ll be at determining why a potential customer would buy from them and not you. Analyzing the competition is a vital component to the success of your business. Without it, your product launch will suffer.

Try to get a hold of as much of the competition’s marketing materials as you can. Go to their websites. Visit stores that sell their products. Talk to sales people and ask questions. The founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton, would routinely visit competing stores throughout his entire career. He knew that learning all he could from his competition would continue to help him to succeed.

Conclusion

In the end, analyzing how your new product stacks up against the competition is a good way to determine its strengths and weaknesses. It gives you the opportunity to further dissect any potential areas for improvement that you might find, and address those issues prior to launch.





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Posted in Branding, Market Research, Marketing, Product Launch Marketing

 


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