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Have you researched your competition?

Research your competition

Business plans include a section on rating your competitors for good reason. Competition can make a business stronger and benefit customers. The key is not to fret over having the best in everything, but to value your customers so they will have a positive each time they deal with your company. Customer service must be the primary concern. You must actively engage your customers through social media and in person to adjust marketing strategies and perceptions.

Know your markets

Any business owner will want to know that there is actually a market for their product. Many people have great ideas for products that may not have a market. Not having a market is different from discovering an untapped market. Ten years ago, gluten-free food was a novelty and not a concern for the greater public. Now there is an abundance of gluten-free products, and the label is no longer a one-off on a menu or a status symbol; gluten-free options are a consideration for any company that markets consumables. A product that will never have a market is one without mass appeal or which isn’t affordable for its intended audience. For example a $100 face cream targeted at tweens. You can sell either to the general market or your niche, but the underlying consideration is whether your product can sell.

Standing out by reaching out

Are you a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond? You need to stand out whether you have a bigger or smaller market. This entails doing research to understand what you are trying to achieve. Entrepreneurs and business owners often think if they want to buy something, there must be a market for it, but that is not always the case. You must understand what your competition does to be successful in order to make it yours. If your product is new, test it with your target audience and listen to their thoughts and feedback to be sure you are addressing their needs.

Customer engagement is one way to stand out in a deluge of products. The Kardashians are successful from other reality shows because they actively engage viewers with their lifestyle and are constantly shilling their wares, wearing their makeup and clothing lines on all their media platforms. They differ from other reality celebrities because they do not find the attention intrusive and they seek out fans on social media.

Make tweaks using your competition

Sometimes a competitor will simply have a better marketing plan or an insider’s deal on outsourced materials. There will be things you can do to make adjustments to your product using your rival as a guide. If they target college students to great profit, start making inroads and become a presence on your local campus to gauge which pain points your product can solve. A rival can have superior suppliers, but most of the time they won’t have exclusive contracts. Start researching and move forward. Fair warning, however, you must not seek to be a carbon copy of another company. Your product must retain its singular qualities while seeking the competitive edge.

Takeaway

Your business and product are unique. Focus on the needs of your market for trends and viability. It is not enough to have a market; again, you must actively engage your customers through social media and in person to adjust marketing strategies and perceptions. Lastly, do not be afraid to make tweaks that do not discount the qualities of your product. Your competitor is also looking to you for inspiration and guidance. Be unique, but also be connected to succeed.

 

 

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