Why is it so hard to find your disruptors and indirect competitors?
This article asks why is it so hard to find your disruptors and indirect competitors? Indirect competitors can be defined as companies that are not direct competitors. Simple as that, eh? But they could still potentially cause harm to your business. It’s difficult to isolate these disruptors and indirect competitors as they are often:
- In different markets
- Market their product to other customers
- Market their offering in a different way
Tracking disruptors and indirect competitors can identify changes in your industry. But there’s no easy answer for isolating indirect competitors or market disruptors. But, if you are not looking or just relying on data, you have even less chance of seeing any signals of future changes.
Disruptive technologies change an industry without being directly competitive with any existing provider. This type of technology is often called a disruptive innovator. Disruptive innovators have new technology or idea making them better at doing something than anyone else. And they use this advantage to drive down prices and start winning market share.
Before looking for signals in the market, you need to drill down and focus. Otherwise, you’ll be looking everywhere. Or use Big Data platforms to help you feel like you are doing something.
Questions to ask
Yet, clearly, it’s more simple than it sounds. The first place to look is what you are doing and whom you want to do it for. Start by answering these questions:
- What problems are you trying to solve?
- Whom are you trying to solve the problem?
- Why do they have a problem in the first place?
- What outcome are you delivering with your product or service?
The more you have answers to these questions, the better you will be able to see indirect competitors. Or that significant disruption coming down the tracks.
Sometimes we can put our blinkers on, looking at getting to the winning line and nothing else. Tech companies think it’s all about their technology. And if things are not working, then revise the technology. The tech is clearly important. But just as essential is the realisation that they are providing a service. A managed service to their customers and the tech is the tool to do it.
Ensure you’re focused on the outcomes you provide and look for linked disruptors. Not only from the basis of technology but also from the business model standpoint.
So you may be a “pay as you go” fintech platform provider, and there are many competitors. There are plenty of competitors that do something similar. And there are the traditional banks and credit card companies. And the monstrous Paypal’s of this world. Then Visa acquires one of your competitors. So you try and build tech to compete with your competitors and the new Visa monster problem. Don’t forget you are providing a service to your customers.
Customers are about to be approached by other organisations offering completely different solutions. With new tech with cool-sounding Robotic Process Automation, low code or no code name. They are actually giving your customers more flexibility and ease of use. All the while, you are worried about what Visa will do to your market.
So whatever you do, don’t focus on who you perceive as your competitors. And stop benchmarking yourself to them. Benchmarking is helpful, but it is also hazardous. Spending your time benchmarking or battlecarding to compare yourself to your usual competitors. All you tend to do is try and match what they are doing, and all you are doing is playing catch up. You need to get ahead of them by looking ahead. To examine where the disruption might be coming from.
Why is it hard to isolate disruptors and indirect competitors?
This article asked why is it so hard to find your disruptors and indirect competitors? In conclusion, it is hard to isolate disruptors and indirect competitors because they can be challenging to track and identify. However, it is important to be aware of their potential impact on your business. There are many everyday disruptors or indirect competitors. So it is crucial to be vigilant in tracking them.