Who are your brand’s top 5 direct and indirect competitors? Can you compare their strengths & weaknesses to yours? How do your products compare on price, quality, service, and total brand experience? What potential future competitors may emerge?
Take an objective, detailed assessment of the market’s leaders and challengers. Then, validate your unique selling proposition (USP) compared to competing brands.
Competitive analysis can inform/inspire you to develop or improve your brand’s offerings. You’ll not only learn how to compete, but you may identify applications and segments that competitors aren’t.
Developing your strategy
Identifying exactly what makes you unique should be the driving factor of your marketing strategy. Without doing your due diligence and researching your market and competing brands, other marketing efforts could be completely wasted. You can create/adjust your strategic investments and prepare for changes. You’ll better understand your current risks and establish critical factors for success in the future. This process could even open your eyes to potential issues you didn’t notice before.
“How should I start?”
To start informally and with little cost, search for your product category (and your city or “near me”). What competitors are displayed? Visit their websites and social media, list their product features/benefits, and compare them to yours. Then, ask your customers why they buy from you and ask non-customers why they don’t. One main factor could be as simple as your competitors ranking higher on Google than you. Every business in your market is constantly competing for relevant keywords. That could be one reason customers choose one over the other.
Read more on SEO and ranking on Google here
Be objective and self-honest about your findings. There is no benefit in lying to yourself. The more you can accept your uniqueness, the better off you’ll be. You can’t be the best at everything so prioritize what you’re best at. Overall, just make sure you always learn and improve.