To thoroughly understand your major competitors, you will need to take a really good look at the products or services they offer, their market share, their position in the market (for example, are they a low price operator such as Asda or a quality and higher price operator such as Waitrose?) and their strategies.
Who are your competitors and what do they do?
A good, solid competitor analysis involves:
- Identifying current and future competitors, and the intensity of competition
- Identifying ‘forces’ that influence the intensity of competition
- Determining their objectives and strategies
- Identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and
- Establishing how they are likely to respond to actions that the organisation may take
First of all, establish exactly who your main competitors are. Then, gather all the information you possibly can through their website, available information on their background and people, press releases and press reports. This will tell you, at least something, about the finances, objectives, products and target markets. Ideally you will also be able to read their mission statement and values document.
When you have as much information as you can track down, look for where the gaps exist. How can you address these gaps? And how will you monitor changes in customers and competitors down the line?
This may sound like days and days of work, but usually the gaps will be quite obvious, or you will immediately be able to see what you offer that they don’t.
If necessary, actively ask yourself the question – what do we have that they don’t?
Why is this so important? Well, in order to grow your business effectively in a competitive market, you must have a clear focus on your competitive advantage. This advantage only comes from understanding and then clearly communicating to the market place what you have that others don’t.