While having a drink with one of my friends we began talking about his new business venture. He was preparing a proposal for a potential client and wanted my input on what exactly to include. Then he mentions while doing his updated market research he discovered a new competitor. This is why it is wise to do consistent market research on new trends, potential customers, and unforeseen competitors, but that’s a post for another time.
Today we will be talking about the very same advice offered to my friend, which will not only help you gain the advantage over competitors, but also how to win customers over the competition.
1. Take your competitors strengths
Examine what your competitors are doing now that makes them superior to your business, or that wins them customers. Adopt it, improve on it through your own creativity, uniqueness, and innovativeness, and implement for your business. This way you’re using their strengths to become stronger than they are, and constantly outdoing them. After you have done that be sure to highlight these new found strengths in all marketing efforts.
2. Exploit their weaknesses
Identify your competitors’ weaknesses. Find out what makes these their weakness and then find ways to take their negative weaknesses and turn it into your positive strengths. This way you’re become strong in areas they are weak, and are doing things they can’t do, which surpasses them. Here’s the final trick: it’s not so much to identify their weakness and use it to your advantage, but you must highlight these weaknesses to your customers and their customers, and show how your business succeeds where the competition falls short. Basically you are giving the market a reason to choose you and not your competitors by highlighting their weaknesses and making them look inferior in comparison to your business.
3. Do what they aren’t doing
There are a lot of businesses who are stuck in their old ways of doing things, they figure if it’s been working all these years why change? Here’s where you can gain the advantage. Today’s marketplace(customer behaviour, competitors, tech) is changing so rapidly having the “If it aint broke don’t fix it” mindset is a sure formula for inevitable business failure. Therefore, look at what your competitors aren’t doing or refuse to do that you can use to improve your business. A great way to uncover unconventional, new ideas is to examine things that other businesses in other industries are doing that works for them that aren’t being done in your industry and use it to your advantage. Sometimes the best ideas come from the places you least expected. Be sure that it can fit within your business model and aligned with your business objectives without disrupting what is already in place.
There you have it, using these methods of competitive analysis is sure to give you the competitive advantage.
Also, ensure that this is done for ALL competitors, even the little, seemingly insignificant guys. You’d be surprise how a little guy can turn into a multinational, multibillion dollar brand…just ask Walmart.