Learn how to analyze your competitors
Learn how to analyze your competitors

Competitor research is crucial to the success of your brand. Not only will it help you understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, but position your business in a way that is equal parts competitive as it is intelligent. This way, you can ensure that your business is continuously innovating and staying ahead of the curve.

 

Types of Competitors

The first step in researching your brand’s competitors is compiling a list of all of them. However, before doing this, it’s important to understand the three different types of competitors that may oppose your business.

Examples of direct competitors include Maybelline, Covergirl, and Revlon.

Examples of secondary competitors of Revlon include Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay. While all three brands sell the same category of products, they are all positioned very differently. The price points are higher and hence are targeted toward higher-end buyers.

Examples of tertiary competitors include Revlon, Pantene, and Herbel Essences. Revlon sells hair dye, while Pantene and Herbal Essences sell hair care products.

 

Generating a List

Some excellent ways to start finding competitors is through:

Not sure what to search? Some excellent ways to search for your topic at hand is by using phrases such as

 

Find your target audience

When analyzing your business’s competitors, one of the first things to look at is their target audience. But why is their target audience relevant to your business? Their audience will help you decide whether they are a direct or indirect competitor for your business. While determining your competitor’s target audience is crucial, it is not always written in plain sight. Oftentimes, you’ll have to determine who their audience is based on their photos, marketing materials, and copy.

When attempting to determine your competitors’ target audiences, ask yourself these questions:

 

Analyze your competitors’ strengths

The most successful companies have a certain quality they’re most known for-something specific that makes consumers think of them. The first step in analyzing your competitors’ strengths is identifying that said memorable quality that they have. Here are some different aspects worth considering:

The more you can dig in and discover your competitors’ strengths, the better you’ll be able to understand how you can differentiate yourself in your market.

 

Analyze your competitors’ weaknesses

After you’ve done a thorough assessment of their strengths, you’ll want to dive in and explore their weaknesses as well. Here are some things to consider:

During this step, it’s important to ask yourself why a potential customer wouldn’t want to buy from a certain company. Are their prices too high or too low? Are they known for low-quality products? Is the buying experience difficult? Or maybe there’s something off-putting about their marketing or their brand. The more you can explore their weaknesses, the better, because you’ll see where you can shine where other brands fail.

 

Analyze your competitors’ social media presence

When analyzing your competitors’ social media presence, it’s important to focus on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Where do they have a strong presence? What are they doing that is working? What isn’t working? Are there any platforms they’re missing? How often do they post? How engaged are they with their customers? Write down as many insights as you can, focusing especially on their relationships with their customers.

Another place to get great insights on social media is product reviews. It’s important to pay close attention to what customers are saying, including their likes and dislikes. Customer reviews have the potential to provide immense information that will help you understand which needs aren’t being met in your market. Look on Amazon, their own online stores, Ulta, and Sephora to find reviews.

 

Analyze Pricing

Companies such as Amazon change their prices from day to day, so it’s important to consistently analyze the pricing of your competitors’ products. For your direct competitors, note down 3-5 products that are similar to yours, and then go on their website, as well as Google, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, if applicable, and note their prices. If they’re running a promotion or sale, note that as well.

With so many distribution channels available, make sure to identify 3-5 products similar to yours, and then view their pricing on:

Taking note of these prices will help you better understand the monetary value customers place on your product. Therefore, you’ll be able to better price your product relative to other businesses.

 

Look at your competitors holistically

After analyzing the individual qualities of competitors, try looking at the competition as a whole. Look for gaps in the competition, and think about your own positioning. How does it compare to those of your competitors? Is your brand unique in comparison to the other competitors? Once you’ve collected information on at least 5 direct, 3 secondary, and 2 tertiary competitors, take time to analyze your data. Last but not least, try not to be discouraged by your competitor research. Instead, use it as valuable data you can use to improve your own business and to create a profitable niche.

 

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