Really, It DOESN’T Matter…
Do you know who your biggest competitor is?
Do you know who is stealing your prospects’ attention and keeping them from buying your products or services? You might be surprised to learn that your biggest competitor isn’t the larger business down the street or around the corner. It’s not the big box store or the mom-and-pop shop, and it’s not anyone on the internet. If you guessed any of these, they are certainly your competitors…but by no means your biggest one.
So who IS your biggest competitor?
It’s your prospective customer’s indifference.
That’s right, indifference. They don’t see you as special or different or better in any way than anywhere else they can buy your product or service. So they buy elsewhere. Or they might buy from you once in a while out of convenience, but you’re not outperforming your competitors there, either.
In order to overcome the indifference in your buying public, you need to identify what it is that they’re indifferent about. Why do they see you the way they do, and more importantly what do they see in your competitors that is costing you some or all of the business you should be getting from them.?
To identify strengths in your own company, you must first understand your competitors’ strengths – and weaknesses. What is their positioning in the marketplace relative to yours? Identify the key features of your competitors’ product or service and contrast that with what you offer. Take the perspective of your customer, because it’s not so important how you see the differences but how your customers see them. What might be making your prospective buyers choose them over you, or vice-versa? Cost, reputation, image, brand identity? These are well known factors in the decision making process, but what are some others that are coming into play as your potential customers decide?
Effective competitor analysis provides you with powerful insights for your overall competitive strategy. You can’t succeed if you approach the marketplace with blinders on. You need to know who your competitors are, what they’re doing, how you can effectively respond to their actions and how they will likely respond to yours.
For example, competitors in the auto repair business might depend on reputation and quality of work, while clothing stores tend to compete on fashion trends and generation-specific looks. Buying decisions for automobiles may depend on style, reputation, safety and the associated status for owners of that brand or model. In most industries, customers tend to favor price and quality as part of their overall perception of value. If this is the case in your business, you certainly need to have outstanding customer service in place in order to attract and retain those buyers. Identify these and other value propositions for your products or services and analyze how you measure up for each.
Armed with that information, you can be a lot more tactical in your approach. In areas where you have an advantage, you should be leveraging and exploiting any additional opportunity that makes sense. In areas where you find yourself trailing your competition, you need to figure out why, develop and execute a plan to improve and train your organization to close that gap.
No matter what your product or service, you should compare your solution to your competitor’s in terms of serving the buyer’s needs, and see how you measure up. From there you can develop a strategy to overcome where you’re falling short, and increase your advantage everywhere else.
For more information or to discuss your particular needs in this area with an
expert business coach, please contact me to schedule a complimentary initial
telephone consultation where we’ll provide a customized
12-point growth plan for your business.
Breakout Consulting, LLC
Dearborn, MI ∙ San Diego, CA