How To Compete With My Competitors Using Competitive Intelligence Thinking
In this article, we offer our thoughts on how to compete with my competitors using Competitive Intelligence thinking. Knowing who your competitors are is vitally important. And knowing how to compete and beat them is critical. Why? Because given a chance, they would take all the decent business you have and leave you and your team in the gutter.
Do you really know who you are competing with?
You may think you know who your competitors are, but a more detailed research exercise may reveal who they really are. Do you know how many competitors are looking at your target customers? How are they approaching them, delivering their offering, and what are they selling? Devise great questions. Answering them will assist you in building your competitive strategy. And, in turn, eventually, strengthen your business.
Who are your competitors?
So, working out who your competitors are. Who are the leading players serving your market? Generally speaking, there are two types of competitors you will face. Those companies who sell similar products or services to yours. And those organisations that have something different to offer. But your customers could use them to solve similar problems to what you can solve. Define your competitors and list them as follows:
- Key competitors
- Next best competitors
- Newcomers and those companies who could enter the market but are haven’t done so yet.
You’ll begin to identify competitor strengths and weaknesses. Clearly, the more you know about them, the more you will be able to revise the list. Your most significant threat to you will become very clear.
Your key competitors
The key competitors to be concerned about have:
- A great business model
- Happy customers
- A good reputation
- The ability to make a profit (paper and real)
What do they do better than you?
With an open mind, look at:
- What are they doing better than you?
- What’s their sales and marketing strategies?
- What is so good (or bad) about their strategy?.
- What at what they are doing at a tactical level that you can make the most of?
- Also, what errors have they made?
- What can you do to avoid making the same mistakes?
- And what are you doing better than your competitors?
Competitive strategic analysis
Answer these and other questions; you will allow improving your competitive strategic analysis.
But what can we do with the competitive strategic analysis?
First of all, you need to understand the areas of a market you need to compete in. So the first question has to be the simple one. Do you want to compete in that area of the market? Then, moving forward, you need to determine if you will operate in the same market as your competitors. Or try to try and stand out from the crowd. The two primary ways to compete is by price or quality.
Compete on price
If you want to compete on price, you need to know how much it costs you and your competitor to provide the product or service. And then determine if your competitor will react to you by lowering their prices. And if they do, will you be able to survive it. If you can survive it, will it be worth it?
If you can’t compete on price, then you have to be more innovative. First of all, you need to differentiate yourself. Love your customers, look to the future and be great at marketing yourself.
Make your business and offering different from your competitor. Analyse why a customer chooses you over someone else? Is it just cost, or are they better than you at something they do? Did they introduce the product to the market in the first place? Is their offering a better quality compared to yours? Can you be quicker than them or provide better aftercare? How about your sales process? Can you make it easy to buy from you?
Look at your growth plans and understand where you want to be next year and the year after. Have a plan for how you are going to achieve what you want to do and understand things like:
- What are the next big things in your market,
- and what are your customers wanting to buy.
- Are any products getting less popular?
- Is there a need that no one else is providing that could really help smash the market?
Know and look after your customers
To do anything in your market, you need to know your customers/clients. Without this knowledge, you can forget about growth. What drives your customers to use you or your competitor? Is it all about paying the lowest for something? Or is it making sure they are on top of the latest technological advancements? Do they want the latest products or are they happy with what they have got? Are they satisfied with how you do business?
Do your processes ensure any flexibility or speed in the delivery? Do they expect discount or customer rewards, loyalty points and better credit terms? Only the highest possible customer service standards. Exceptional responsiveness to their needs is acceptable in today’s worlds.
Tell the world
Don’t hide your ability and capability under a bushel. On the contrary, it is very important to shout about yourself and what you do.
This can be done traditionally by advertising in the local press. By leaflet dropping and putting up posters in your window. Or handing out business cards at networking events.
A clear, professional and easy to understand website is essential. Just as important is the speed of your website. If your website is old, slow and tired, it’s going to make you look the same, especially against a savvy competitor. Just as importantly, a slow and poorly structured website will ensure you will not be found on Google. Promote what you do. Offer non-sales material on social media on a consistent and professional basis.
How to compete with my competitors using Competitive Intelligence thinking
In this article called how to compete with my competitors using Competitive Intelligence thinking, we offered our thoughts on working out who your competitors are. And how to make sure you know what they are good at and how they compete.