Part 2 – Understanding your competitors – Boxing in the Dark

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Okay, part 2 in our boxing in the dark series. Last week we talked about our brand assessment – understanding ourselves before we get out into marketplace.

This week we want to understand who we’re fighting against, and that is the competitors. What does the marketplace look like? And how do we compete against them? How do we stack up in the mind of the consumer?

So, identify your top 10 competitors, either locally, on your street, internationally – however your main competitors are. Go and jump online – you might have some of their materials but probably go and do some desk research. Jump onto their website, do some screengrabs, assess how they look.  How do they position themselves in the marketplace compared to you? What price point are they sort of talking about? Do they look like that premium, exclusive? Do they look the middle of the rung or do they look budget? how does that compare to you?

Go and assess as many materials as you can, download their brochures, their annual reports, their sales materials, whatever it might be. Go and look at this signage, their uniforms, whatever you can get your hands on. Then lay it all up into a series of slides and assess it. Look at are they consistent? What are the key messages that they’re putting out in the marketplace? How are they positioned? How do they look? And think about it from a consumers point of view – try and be unencumbered by your own point of view in your own knowledge of the the industry. And if that’s difficult get somebody else to do it – get somebody else to give their opinion on what they think it is.

Now we can asses how all those players are positioned in the marketplace.
Ask yourself this question: is your position in the marketplace unique?
Is your position in the marketplace memorable?

If it’s not, if you’re amongst the clutter if you were to map it on a graph in a diagram – if five competitors are all we’re talking the same thing, at the same price point, to the same consumers, speaking the same language, the brands might be the same colors, then how is a consumer supposed to choose you over your competitors? At that stage it’s lucky dip!

So, if that’s the case then we now know we need to go and evolve our brand, so that we unique, so that would differentiate, so that we can be memorable and that’s how you’re going to get competitive advantage over those competitors.

Stay tuned for next week where we’re going to start looking at the staff in our four-part series around Boxing in the Dark. Tune in next week

© Tim Dove

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