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How to market research your competitors Part 2

Last week I discussed how meaningfully differentiating your business from that of your competitors was absolutely key to successful marketing.  

If you’d like to find out more about identifying your competitors and how to do the actual market research, please look at last week’s post.

This week we're looking at three main questions:

In which areas are they better than you?
In which areas are they the same as you?
In which areas are they worse than you?

In which areas are your competitors better than you?

You know what they say. “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.  So if you see any element that your competitor is doing better, you should use that knowledge as a springboard to to make some changes.  This might be about improving your customer service, adjusting your pricing levels or revamping your product or service.

It may also be about updating your marketing material or embracing new marketing methods.

By the way, It's essential to innovate rather than imitate or you are simply playing catch up

In which areas are your competitors the same as you?

If you're pretty unimpressed by most everything they’re doing and yet they’re actually doing something the same as you,  could this be an area that you should improve?!

In which areas are your competitors worse than you?

Make the most of their weaknesses.  This is not about directly criticising them, it’s about using what I call “weasel words”  i.e. “unlike other companies we…”

This helps to make potential customers think that you're the only one that does things “properly”

Now analyse yourself to find out where to differentiate.  Ask yourself:

Why do customers probably buy from us?
Why do customers buy from our competitors and not us?
Why do some potential customers not buy at all?
What do we need to do to be successful in the future?

No matter how long you have been in business you shouldn't be complacent. There's always likely to be new competitors whose aim is to lure your target market to their business instead of yours.

And If you do a regular review you’ll be seeing them in your rear view mirror instead of them seeing you in theirs!  

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