The key to becoming a successful company is to stand out from the crowd.
As a business owner, it is often hard to create a point of difference without researching and taking time to carefully analyse, not only your target market but also who you are competing against as a business.
For customers to actually notice you, and be willing to buy from you, it is important to position your company that makes you different from your competitors. It is about convincing an audience how you are different from the rest and why they should buy from you.
Figure out your point of difference by first investigating your competitors.
Researching these questions, will not only give you a stronger understanding of what your competitors are doing, but will also provide a basis to make your products, services and marketing stand out.
WHO ARE THEY?
Find out who are competitors are and why you think they are competitors. Keep in mind there are indirect competitors and direct competitors, so you may want to create a table in excel if this helps.
WHERE ARE THEY LOCATED?
Finding out where your competitors are located is extremely important because the proximity of your competitors determines the level of competition.
Additionally, knowing where the majority of your competitors are located will give you a better understanding of where your target audience is, as well as how far they are willing to travel for the same products and services.
WHAT ARE THEY OFFERING?
Although your competitors may be offering the same products and services as you, the way they execute them may be slightly different. For example, are they animal cruelty-free? Are their products derived from recycled materials only? Do they advertise their products as carefully handmade? Minor details like these can be enough to set themselves apart from other businesses offering the same product or service.
WHAT ARE THEIR PRICES?
Knowing the prices of your competitors' products as well as current and previous sales, is more than wanting to price match or beat theirs, however, it’s also about gathering an insight on how much your target audience is willing to pay for a certain product or service and ensuring your pricing lines up with this.
WHO ARE THEIR CUSTOMERS?
What customers are they attracting? Sit outside of the shop if you must and observe who goes in and out, and especially note the ones that walk out with a purchase! Doing this will give you a better understanding of what kind of customers you can target.
WHAT ARE THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
The most efficient way of noting down strengths and weaknesses of a competitor is by performing it as a SWOT analysis. From this you able to gather more than just a few key points on their strengths and weaknesses, but also what threatens them and what their opportunities may be.
With all that said, asking yourself these simple questions and taking time to really analyse each component can really help to set you apart from other leading competitors, and becoming not just another company, but a brand that consumers will love.
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