How important are your competitors?


All businesses, whether large or small, should always be aware of their competitors.

But this doesn’t mean you should be frightened of them, or even ignore them. Competitor awareness should become part of your marketing strategies, to analyse what they are selling, what processes they have in place – even down to what suppliers they are using and their distribution methods.

Of course it wouldn’t be wise to exactly copy your competitors or you might have a law suit on your hands. It is your company’s differences that make dealing with competitors exciting, worthwhile, innovative and forward-looking.

So it boils down to each of your USPs (unique selling points). What is it that makes you different? Are your differences more productive and profitable, provide a better service for your customers, more efficient and therefore cost-worthy? Do you occupy a better share in the market and have better visibility where your customers ‘hang out’?

As well as examining your customer services and processes, what added value can you provide? It is usually the little things (for you) that make a big difference (for your customers) that can tip the balance. It has been likened that promotional freebies can stimulate a similar desirable experience as to sex, and we all know how much sex sells!

So going back to basics, incorporate competitor awareness and analysis into your earliest objectives and strategy making, and be mindful of your marketing message and how it compares and contrasts with your competitors.  Examine any gaps in the market, and with your knowledge of your competitors’ activities, either steal a march and get in there first, or understand their methodology and adapt your business to capture the customers they might miss, or work alongside to effectively and efficiently use the same target market within each of your capabilities.

It is that last concept of competitor awareness that can possibly help your business to grow. Sometime in the future there may be a possibility of a merger, but until then encouraging good relations with your competitors could benefit in ideas and considerations that could be good for all concerned – whereas waging war could be detrimental, expensive and even unprofitable.


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