In the business world, the competition is any obstacle your customers come across along their journeys to solving the high-level problems your business exists to solve.

When it comes to competitive analysis, the very first question that comes to your mind is who is your competition. That’s because most businesses view their rivals as another brand, product or service. But great leaders and online marketers go broader. Smart leaders figure out what their competition is.

It is also important for your business to understand what is your target market, who are your competitors, what other products are on the market and how other brands are doing. Pay careful attention to other brands and what they are doing restricts your marketing department’s ability to immerse itself in your marketplace.

Focusing on other products and brands often leads to the invention of the products with the intention to compete with or iterate on something that customers might not have in the first place.

A recent survey of more than 2,000 people suggests that, over 50% of the people surveyed said that they use digital products and content at least thrice a week in an attempt to achieve their goals. The companies that remove obstacles and help them along their journeys are the ones that get repeat visits, purchases, return customers and word-of-mouth recommendations.

When you start taking your competition as your customers’ obstacles, it’ll become quite easy for your brand to improve the quality of your product or service instead of focusing on another brand or product. Stop copying strategies and setting your business goals by thoughtlessly following other companies.

Try to minimize the time you devote to discuss about your competitors and their products. Discourage all the product design approach and strategies that focus on iterating on something already present or saturated by the marketplace. Devote your time and efforts in inventing something new – a product that can solve your customers’ problems.

Rethink Your Offerings

Most brands think they sell a product or a service in order to build a transactional relationship with their customers. However, a company needs to think about selling a transformation which is a journey from an obstacle to the new levels and likelihoods that will develop after the behavior alteration your products make happen.

A web design agency might sell a wise design approach, real estate businesses actually sell wise decision making and digital marketing companies sell wise solutions.

Rethink Your Target Customers

Your customers are not only the people who purchase your products or the group of people who follow you on Twitter and Facebook. Your customers are basically all the people who come across the obstacles your company exists to solve.  

Focus on Problems Your Customers Face

Carefully engage in customer research whether online and offline, to understand their real-life problems. Outline the customer’s journey from having the problem your customers encounter to completely solve that obstacle with your offerings. That may be the journey from no online presence to a professional website that offers seamless user experience.

The most important point that you should learn from your customer insights research is to develop an in-depth understanding of the decision trips, pitfalls, quit points that usually consumers run into their journeys. Carefully study the user data, surveys, research, online listening and even competitors’ data to discover all the roadblocks.

Brands can use these insights to do a careful competitive analysis.

  •         Carefully understand all the obstacles your target market come across
  •         Learn where and how people get stuck
  •         Learn how you can solve their problems
  •         Understand how consumers can overcome the issue

Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder of Amazon says, “If we can keep our rivals focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right”.

Smart online marketers and great business leaders believe if you can stay focused on eliminating the problems along your customers’ journeys, your brand will turn out much more successful.

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