Any organization that seeks to remain relevant must not only know the audience that they seek to reach, but they must also know the other options that are availible to that audience.
Nothing annoys a marketing consultant like asking a client to describe their Target Audience and they respond by saying “Everyone.” Generalizations like this in marketing is the worse form of strategy. It is virtually impossible to effectively market your business or product without specifics. You have to know exactly who you want to reach, in order to establish a real strategy. Equally as important as knowing your customers is also knowing your competitors.
Companies like Apple and Samsung invest in extensive research about their competitors. Your customers have options. Knowing what the competition does well and the things that they don't do well will give you the information needed to gain strategic advantage. You need to know why a person should choose your brand or product over another.
Consumers have a variety of options to choose from, when selecting goods or services. You must be able to communicate to them why choosing your offerings is the better decision.
To get you started on a path to knowing your competitors, I have complied a list of things that you need to know.
What are Their Strengths?
Knowing your competitors strengths will help you to compare their brand to your. How does your brand stack up to their strengths?
What are Their Weaknesses? Having an awareness of the competitions weaknesses will allow you an opportunity to communicate how your brand may be stronger than their brand in this area. Is your brand stronger in your competition's weak-points?
What is Their Pricing? Pricing is a large factor for consumers when faced with the task of choosing one brand over another. Often times, consumers will choose the less expensive option. How does your pricing compare to the competition?
How Strong is Their Online Presence?
Having a strong online presence is almost as good as having a strong product. With more people doing online shopping for everything that they need, most research regarding new products or services is done online. If your online brand does not stack up to the competition, a consumer may choose the brand that appears more established.
Sizing up your competition is important to establish a trusted brand. Take the time to do your research on a minimum of three competitors. This groundwork will give you a leg up and set you on a path for success.