After you have identified and protected your brand, the next step to beating the big brands is to research your competitors.
One of the best ways a business can learn is from researching its competitors. Why make mistakes when you can look at your competitor’s mistakes and learn from them? Some may call it stalking, but we like to call it studying. Study the ins and outs of your competitors to learn what they are doing better than you, or learn what they are doing wrong so you don’t repeat it.
Focus on these four points: Who are they? What are they doing? How are they doing it? How do you compete? You can gather intel about your competitors from these sources: competitor’s website, advertising, social media, online directories, newsletters, customer feedback, vendor reps, secret shopping, brochures and collateral.
It’s also important to gather information by asking around. You can’t always find all the information from public online articles or company websites. Sometimes you need to get more direct and ask friends in the business what they have heard about your competitors.
Sometimes when analyzing your competitors it can be easy to become obsessed, but stop obsessing and take what you learned from your competitors and compete. After you do a little digging, its time to kick it into gear and compete. You learned about those other brands who shall not be named, now focus on yourself and make a name for your business.
Lastly, you will want to repeat this stalking, I mean studying, process periodically because businesses are ever changing. Five years from now your competitors might be pulling ahead in the industry because they improved their system. If you don’t repeat this research on competitors continually, you won’t know the latest ways to advance and you will be left in the dust.
Come back tomorrow to read about the fourth step, leaving your digital footprint!