Mastering the Thrill of Competition by Identifying, Analysing, and Outmanoeuvring

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Mastering the Thrill of Competition by Identifying, Analysing, and Outmaneuvering Them: Weekly Winning Strategies

Embrace the thrill of competition. It has to be a thrill; otherwise, rather than being a game of cat and mouse, it all becomes rather depressing. You can win them all, but you can win some. Or more than them. Before you can beat your competitors, there’s one thing you need to do first. You need to identify your competitors. Then, understand your market landscape and craft a winning strategy. The first step is to understand who your competitors are.

Direct Competitors

These are those who offer products or services like yours and are also in your target market. They are the most obvious and immediate threat. But even then, if you have not studied the market for a while, they may not be the most obvious ones. Not the companies with the biggest stand at the annual industry exhibition. So that’s those with Product similarity. Those are the companies that sell the same product type. And the market overlaps brands. Those who are targeting the same customer demographics as you.

Indirect Competitors

These are the companies that offer something different, but that can replace yours. They cater to the same needs but in a different way. These can be substitute products, meaning different solutions to the same problem. And those with alternative technologies: Innovations that could render your offering obsolete. I hear AI is this year’s hyped offer, with the usual snake oil salesmen selling some crap and putting AI on the end of it or offering the best AI course the world has ever seen. However, the trouble is that indirect competitors using AI smartly can come along. Smart enough to creep up on your hidden by the AI hype. So you always need your eye on things.

New Entrants

Startups or companies from other sectors are considering entering your market. They might still need to compete directly but are still gearing up. Watch out for emerging trends and gain new technologies or business models. To understand who your competitors are also look at adjacent markets with business expanding their reach into your domain. Read more: Competitive intelligence and the secret elements that often go unnoticed

Market Leaders

To understand who your competitors are, you need to also look at the dominant players in your industry set the benchmarks. Analysing them helps you understand the highest standards and the strategic moves that lead to market dominance. It can also show you how getting too big makes you complacent. Terrible customer service, lazy salespeople, poor messaging and average products. The stuff you can nibble at their ankles until their customer comes knocking. When looking for market leaders, look for Market Share. Who has the biggest slice of the market pie? Analyse their current and, more likely, past innovations and patents. Are you leading the way in new developments or resting on past successes?

Customer Preferences

Sometimes, your biggest competition is the choice customers make without realising it. This could be the Status Quo Bias—not a preference for adult-oriented rock but customers sticking with familiar brands. And, of course, DIY Solutions—customers thinking they can solve problems on their own. Read more: The Power of Competitive Product Intelligence in the Tech Industry to master your game

Conducting a Competitor Analysis

To get a comprehensive view of your competitive landscape:

  • Market analysis: Use surveys, focus groups, and industry reports.
  • SEO tools: Platforms like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and SimilarWeb.
  • SWOT analysis: Identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
  • Competitor analysis: Look at your competitors, talk to them, and find out who they know. Study them, ask, “so what?” and “what’s next.” Look at who they recruit and what they say to the market, customers, and candidates.

Understand who your competitors are

Competitor analysis isn’t a one-time task but an ongoing process. Keep updating your knowledge of competitors’ strategies and market moves. Keep getting customer feedback to ensure you stay ahead. Understanding who competitors isn’t about knowing who they are but learning from them. It’s about using their successes and failures to differentiate yourself. Keep tweaking until you find your unique value proposition in the market, then tweaking more to stay there. So now go one and take another look and understand who your competitors are.

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