3 Simple Tips for a Killer Competitive Analysis
How do you find out where your business or brand stands compared to everyone else?
With what we call a Competitive Analysis. Don’t worry – it’s not as daunting or boring as it sounds. It’s vital to any marketing plan and provides important insight for you and your business.
We’ll go through the steps to create your own competitive analysis.
1. Condense your business into a few key phrases.
You will use these to direct your search. A good starting point for this is to summarize your businesses services as concisely as you can. For example, “business consultant”’ if you are an coach businesses on how to improve their practices or ‘alternative wellness’ if you offer holistic wellbeing practices like yoga or reiki. To refine your results even further, consider searching for competitors in your area: ‘nutritionists in Austin’, ‘physical therapists Portland’.
This will help keep results geographically closer so that you can see exactly who your local competition is. It also helps immensely to complete a SWOT Analysis, like the graphic to the left. This helpful tool allows you to lay out your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You can’t know your competition until you know yourself!
2. Take note of what stands out about each result you find.
How does their website look? Is their branding consistent? What are their unique offerings? That is, what is it that makes them stand out from other competitors? Chances are that not every result you find will differentiate themselves from others. Your goal is to identify the brands that do catch your attention, and pinpoint exactly what it is that they’re doing well.
Here comes the harder part of this step: You may love their logo, or their website, or the color palette that they’re using. Maybe their programs are brilliant and innovative, or they’re boasting a particularly remarkable library of free content. Remember that your job is not to copy what they are doing!
Your job is to take note of what they’re doing well, and see if you can draw any of your own ideas from it. For example, say you’re a local gym trying to attract more clients through social media. Maybe you come across a brand that has created their own recurring weekly topic for social media, along with an accompanying hashtag referencing their logo. While you may not want to copy their specifically branded ‘Wise Owl Wednesdays’ tag, you might consider enacting something similar, such as a “Wednesday Wisdom” (which is a widely used tag) plus your own unique term, like “Sunday Strategy” for reviewing workout plans and encouraging your clients to do the same. Maybe your competition also has complimentary resources on their site, something which you have overlooked in the past. Following the gym example, you could provide free downloadable templates for meal planning or workout circuits.
If an element of a competitors brand stands out to you, chances are that it stands out to others as well, particularly potential clients. By identifying unique or interesting means of traffic generation to your competitors, you can further refine your own marketing strategy, taking a cue from what has worked for other people.
3. Looking for things that nobody else is offering.
Do you have a particularly innovative solution to common problem areas that competitors just don’t seem to address? Call attention to it! Do you have a strategy for dealing with a pain point that allows a customer to approach it from a new angle? Put it front and center!
Your job isn’t just to take a page out of your competitor’s book – it’s to create something that they’re going to want to emulate in return. When you see where the competition blurs together, you pinpoint the areas of weakness in the market, and identify just where your brand’s strengths lie. Think about your brand and your services. How do they solve a problem that no one else seems to? What unique perspective do you offer that your competitors can’t? You may offer a more holistic approach to an otherwise corporate and sterile industry, or perhaps you bring a creative flair in a field stifled by rigidity and stagnation.
A solid, comprehensive analysis is just one ingredient for a strong brand strategy. At Choice, we do all this and more. Click here to see some of the services we provide within our strategic marketing plans.