At one point or another, we all face some sort of competition. Whether it being at school, sports, work, romance or in an entrepreneurial endeavour. In most of those aspects, the competition remains the same, stable and hardly metamorphose. But what characterises entrepreneurial endeavors, is the rapidity by which the competition changes. Just take into consideration that Amazon changes its prices 1.3 million times a day to make sure they have the lowest prices on the market for their product and service offering. We are at war ladies and gents.
Image courtesy of Pixaby.com - Scout Verkennen
You don't have to be as resourceful as Amazon to know what the competition does, how they do it, and to whom they do it.
Here is some advice about how to do it.
Let’s consider the following;
Know your customer: Make sure you target the same customers. There is a big difference between a Campari and a Cognac. I'm not talking about the alcohol concentration but how they are being consumed. The former is consumed before a meal and the latter after the meal.
Be unique: Make sure you differentiate yourself enough for your present and future customer to set you high at the top of their consideration level before they aim at making a purchase. Be different, do what others don’t and beat them at what they do best. It's all about your position in the mind of customers. The more valuable you are in their minds, the bigger the chance for you to get the deal done.
Have a lion’s heart: Don't be afraid to leverage the power you have. Do what they don’t, go where they didn’t, provide offerings they failed to provide.
Know your competition: Simply do your homework. Think about horizontal and vertical competition. Procter and Gamble believed they were competing because they used the same primary material to produce different products; Wax = soap and candles.
Be a Ninja: Take advantage of what they say and how they say it, but especially of what they don't say. What they say wrongly, rephrase and reformulate to make it sound like music in the ears of your customers.
Think about it, you are a customer as well, when you head to the grocery store, and purchase your favourite beverage or snack. What is the unconscious thought behind your purchase? I want it because it satisfies a need or desire. It can be that you are thirsty and you satisfy such need by purchasing soda, coke or simply water. Employ such a mindset when offering your products and services and you will see the magic happening.
How can you do that?
Here are just a few tips and insight on how to be better at their game
Who are they?
Know their why and you will be able to predict their when ,where, who and how. Why do they do what they do?
Spy on them online
Use Google alerts to gain insight to their online presence and operations.
Add yourself to their mailing list. Study their offer patterns, special discount, how often emails are sent and at what time. All those variables are essential.
Check their keywords with MozBar, and compare them to yours, look and learn.
How sociable are they? What do they say? And what do they not saying and doing?. Follow them on their social pages. Topsy is a great tool worth using.
Browse their site, check for comments and feedback, most sold products, out of stock items etc. Use google pagespeed insights.
What about in store?
The best way to know what they are doing and what makes their products and services great or mediocre is by experiencing it yourself. Go in or send someone (touch, smell, feel and experience).
Analyse Product display, behavior of customers in store, and of course the behaviour of your competition itself toward customers.
Do they create an experience on every visit? That is the question you should ask yourself.
What you can do is not to simply display the product or service, let it have a story. The characteristics can be seen with the naked eyes, but their benefits need to be experienced. That is what you have to do, make your customers experience your product and service. Let them realise the benefit it provides.
When they have a war chest you can’t compare with, that is your biggest advantage, they are relaxed and don't expect you coming. That is when you need to be asymmetrical, take advantage of every single weakness and exploit them, one by one, just like a sniper in the woods. We are at war ladies and gentlemen. The reward? The customer