We answer the questions you need to know. Like, What are the 11 questions to help you do a Competitive Strategy? Competitor analysis helps your business planning, product development, and marketing offering. An impartial analysis of who’s out there and what they do well will help find a piece of the market you can own.
And to find out who your competitors are. Which niche they serve, and where they are strong. The analysis of this information will also offer you a better idea of where you fit in the market. And how you can make the most of that position.
Nice to know
Many other businesses are interested in your customers. So it’s essential to understand what these competitors are offering. And how they usually deliver it. It’s not just a “nice to know” situation. Answering these and other questions will help you create a compelling competitive strategy.
You may or may not worry about your competitors. They may all be successful with customers that love what they do. Their brand is prestigious, and they are making a lot of money. They are doing well in a similar market to you. And maybe you would love to find all their secrets out and break open their CRM systems? But, this unethical direct approach will be most likely to be illegal.
Yet, Competitor Analysis is almost as good, if not better. And definitely legal and ethical. You can take their best ideas. Then you can run with them or improve on them by taking the time to look at what they are doing better than you. Understand which marketing strategies and sales tactics are not working for them. So you don’t repeat their mistakes. And understand what strategies are working that you can develop for yourself?
Have they failed?
They may have tried to develop a new product or market and failed. That’s better for you that they failed and wasted their money. You don’t need to do the same. Understand what mistakes they’ve made, so you can avoid them. What are you better at than them? If you know where you excel, then this where you should focus your marketing message.
You don’t need to have a separate competitive strategy plan. But you should really. Because if you just make it part of your overall business plan, then it’s forgotten about until next year. A competitive strategy is an ever-changing beast. The plan needs to reacts to changes, and competitor moves. The ultimate goal is to anticipate changes to your competitive environment.
Who are your competitors?
There are two main types of competitors in your environment.
- Those companies who sell similar products or services as you
- Companies who offer different products or services but compete for the same customers
Start with the big picture questions:
- Who are the key players in your market sector?
- What is the market share of each of these competitors?
11 questions to help you do a Competitive Strategy
Now go deeper with questioning and analysis. Keep asking how you can differentiate yourself from them:
- What’s the market opinion of these competitors?
- Whom do they target? Are they a cheap brand or exclusive? Modern youth or traditional?
- How does their offering look and feel? And how does it work?
- What experience do they offer their customers?
- Are they good at delivery?
- What is their pricing strategy?
- How is easy is it for a customer to order from them?
- What is the state of their customer reviews?
- How good is their distribution and retail network
- How big is their brand awareness? Do they have established track records, and are they trusted?
- Do they have good relationships with buyers, distributor, editors and agents?
Identify competitor strengths and weaknesses
When answering these questions, you will develop a greater understanding of your competitors. You will soon realise which competitors are going to challenge you. Where they will challenge you in terms of geography and their products or services, they offer customers. Create a list of the strengths and weaknesses of these competitors.
What are your advantages?
By understanding competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you will understand what differentiates you. You will know where you fit in the market and what you need to do to keep up and outperform others in the sector.
So when conducting competitor analysis, it’s essential to also look at yourself. Isolate the things others can’t compete with you on. Like the patent that means you are the only one who can produce your product. Are there any competitors looking to bypass this advantage? If you were them, what would you do to remove this blockage? Do you create your products different from others? Do you offer away of working and creating that others don’t know about? How secure and advantageous is it? Does the market know about it?
Can you deliver products or services cheaper than anyone else? If not, why not? Does this differentiate you? Do you have a supply deal giving you exclusivity on the sale of specific products? Able to deliver products or services cheaper than others?
You need to know where advantages like these are. So you can tell your market via your marketing message.
Look to the future when conducting your competitor analysis. If you’re in a hot industry or start doing well, you might find many new competitors enter the market.
So finally, ask yourself these questions. How difficult would it be for a new competitor to enter your market with a similar offering? And take customers off you? How easy would it be for an existing company to tweak a service or products? And take away your competitive advantage? The harder it is for competitors to do what you’re doing, the more secure you can feel.
We endeavoured to answer the following question. What are the 11 questions to help you do a Competitive Strategy We hope we have given you food for thought.