Layered Competitor Insight: Why Peeling Competitors like an onion offers an unconventional approach to insight

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Layered Competitor Insight: Why Peeling Competitors like an onion offers an unconventional approach to insight

“When researching a competitor, begin from the outside of their area of influence and work inward. Peeling the onion skins away, talking to more people closer to them.”

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In this cutthroat business world, every edge counts. The age-old adage “know your enemy” has never been more relevant. Competitor analysis is the cornerstone of strategic decision-making. It’s a dance of wits where the prize is market supremacy. But what if we told you that the traditional approach, akin to a frontal assault, is only half the battle? What if we unveiled a strategy that is as unorthodox as it is effective? Try changing your journey from the outside. Peel away the layers, one by one, until we expose the heart of the competition. This article asks why peeling competitors like an onion offers an unconventional approach to insight.

Picture a competitor as an onion. Where their secrets, closely guarded strategies, and prized assets are at its core. Layers encase this core, protecting it from prying eyes and relentless foes. Traditional competitive analysis often involves diving headfirst into these layers. Seeking readily available information to anyone willing to look. But the power lies in a counterintuitive approach of starting from the outside and working inwards. After all, most start from the middle is only going to make a mess, and it will end in tears 🙂

The Power of the “Outside-In” Method

Stealth and Surprise

When you approach a competitor from the outside, you catch them off guard. They’re too busy fortifying their defences against the usual frontal attacks. Too busy to notice you sneaking around their periphery. This element of surprise is your first weapon. And then there’s How to Use Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)

Unearthing Hidden Alliances

You and your Competitors don’t operate in a vacuum. They have partners, suppliers, and collaborators. Starting from the outside means you are looking at it from another angle. You’re more likely to uncover hidden alliances that reveal a competitor’s vulnerabilities. And, of course, their treasured competitive advantage.

Accessing Unconventional Sources

The heart of competitor intelligence often beats in unconventional sources. The overlooked, the underestimated, and the underestimated. Tap into these lines of information by venturing outside traditional competitor research.

Conquering the Outer Ring

As you work your way inwards, each layer of the “onion” represents a step closer to understanding them. The outer ring gives you their market reputation, customer satisfaction, and industry influence. Armed with this knowledge, you’re better prepared for the next layer.

Human Intelligence

The closer you reach the core, the more you rely on human intelligence. Build relationships with people connected to your competitor. That’s current or former employees, suppliers, or industry insiders can provide invaluable insights.

Drivers Tell us it’s More Than Just Good Questions

Peeling Away the Layers

Imagine competitive intelligence as peeling away the layers of an onion. Start from the outside, where information is abundant and easily accessible. What is their public image? What are customers saying? How do they present themselves in the market? As you move inwards, the layers become thinner and the information more specialised. Dig deeper to uncover details about their pricing strategy. Their supply chain vulnerabilities or future expansion plans. At the core, you’ll find their most closely guarded secrets. Their proprietary technology, strategic partnerships, and long-term vision. Remember, though, competitive intelligence is not about stealing their protected secrets. That’s industrial espionage. That’s illegal and a waste of time. What’s the point of looking for something you can’t do anything with?

Competitor Pricing Strategies and secrets unveiled for competitive advantage

Talking to More People

Your most potent weapon is conversation. Talk to more people, especially those who are closer to your competitor. This includes suppliers, distributors, partners, and even their employees. These individuals are often privy to critical information that can complete the puzzle. Approach analysis from the outside, talk to sources and go beyond the superficial. You see what they present to the world and the intricacies hidden beneath the surface. Here’s another article that may interest you: What competitive intelligence professionals take from the unconventional Dominic Cummings

Exploring the multifaceted layers of your competitors’ operations and strategies can yield profound insights. The concept of layered competitor insight involves peeling back these layers, much like an onion, to uncover nuanced details that might otherwise be overlooked. This approach offers a comprehensive view of competitors, from their core values and strategies to the outermost expressions of their brand and customer interactions

Layered Competitor Insight: Why Peeling Competitors like an onion offers an unconventional approach to insight

In the world of competitive intelligence, conventional thinking often leads to conventional results. To gain the edge and uncover the hidden facets of your competitors, dare to be unconventional. Begin from the outside, where the layers are thickest, and work your way inwards. As you peel away each layer, talking to people closer to them, you unveil their secrets and weaknesses. They don’t want you to know the secrets you can use. This is the path less travelled, but it’s the path that can lead you to victory in the battle for market supremacy. Embrace the edge, and watch your competitors unravel before your eyes.

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