Does your business have an “evil twin” competing with you? Maybe there’s a similar restaurant across the street, or another body shop one mile away – you find yourself constantly vying for customer attention, wasting valuable resources and energy. Learn how to crush the competition.
But instead of focusing on beating the competition, focus on surpassing them! Innovative businesses can set themselves apart by creating a new, innovative product/service to attract more customers.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Generate an Idea
- Observe customers in your market (be a “secret shopper” in your own establishment or your competitior’s) and take notes.
- Make a list of 5-10 customer needs that aren’t being met.
- Divide the list into categories: Needs that are clear but difficult to address (the customer thinks your stickers aren’t sticky enough), and needs that are known but incorrectly identified as being too expensive or having a small demand (one-ply v. two-ply).
- Pick something off your list that is a winning concept – one that identifies a need and shows an easy way to address it.
2. Evaluate Your Idea
- Is there a market for it? Be sure this idea is strong enough to influence customers.
- Can you compete with it and win? If it fits in with your company’s existing strategy, it can be a winner.
- Can you lead the market? Analyze your competitors’ strategies – be sure they’re not offering the same thing. Then watch your timing! Offer your new product/service at a prime launch day.
3. Make Barriers
Other companies can copy your idea, but there are four ways you can be sure they never imitate your brand.
- Investment: make it economically impossible for others to compete with you.
- Benefits: attract customers with persuasive incentives.
- Relationships: focus on your customers’ needs by addressing their personalities, common interests, or passions.
- Link Up: establish a connection between your brand and the category it sits in (Curves = women’s fitness; TCBY = frozen yogurt)
4. Define & Manage Yourself
- Your bright idea might not be the first of its kind, but it can be the best! Position your brand as the most authentic.
- Monitor changes in the market and in customer interest. You might have to re-evaluate your strategy.
- Be dynamic! Market changes mean idea changes – don’t get stuck pounding your head against a wall, be ready to switch things up!
If you’d like to look at brand competition in-depth, check out this great book!