There are two schools of thought when it comes to competitor analysis: those who believe that you shouldn’t worry about what others are doing and just concentrate on your own business and get on with it and those who firmly believe that keeping tabs on what your competitors are doing is part and parcel of what they do day to day.
Here at Real Insights we firmly believe that in this increasingly complex, highly fragmented world that competitor analysis plays a vital role in strategic planning and thinking for businesses today, be they in start-up or expansion mode.
In essence, competitor analysis, also known as competitive intelligence helps businesses to understand competitive advantages.
All too often we have clients come to us wondering why market share or participation levels are down only to subsequently find out that their customers have jumped shipped or churned to competitors because they didn’t keep their eye on the ball or were oblivious to what their customers were being exposed to and being enticed with by others.
You must understand exactly what your customers are being offered from other market players in order to consolidate your current position within the marketplace and / or validate the opportunity that exists for you.
Typically when we undertake a competitor analysis exercise for a client we ask the following questions:
- What direct competitors exist in your market? Do they offer your product/service, or something similar?
- What indirect competitors exist, i.e. those offering elements of your product or service, and who could expand their offering to compete with you? How long have they been established in this market and is their brand and client list enough to threaten you?
- What peripheral competitors exist, e.g. in a different market, but with a similar product? Could they migrate easily to your market, by simply re-branding their offering?
We would then:
- Audit competitors online and offline activity i.e. what is their online presence like? Where are they active online and offline and how do they communicate with their customers etc.
- Mystery shop competitors to understand what it’s like to be a customer of theirs, how do they interact with customers, what is their service actually like, what promotional or marketing material do they provide, what’s follow-up service like etc.
- Provide in-depth profiles, with detailed matrices of product features and pricing.
- Drill into the company annual report, trade press interviews, their sales material and the backgrounds of their key executives to reveal the level of threat they pose.
If we can help your business with competitor analysis or validating your new business idea or help with business development in general please get in touch, we’d only be too happy to help!