Looking at competitors in a whole new light...

We are taught that an important component of strategic and marketing planning is to look across at our competitors, understand what they offer and how and evaluate this in the context of how it will impact our business. Tools and analytical techniques, such as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), are commonplace in many strategic planning sessions.

All too often however these competitor reviews are not carried out within the right context. We frequently see companies that have developed new parts of their proposition, or perhaps changed the way they communicate, based solely on what their competitors are doing and how they are communicating. They see these elements of their competitors’ proposition as weaknesses in their own armory or threats to their business that they rush to plug.

To ensure we are assessing the competition in the right way, our first question is always - have you evaluated your competitors based on what your audiences want? Typically we find ourselves illustrating this using the diagram to the left - a really useful way of visualising the thought process.


Audience considerations

Only by adding the considerations of your audiences into the mix when looking across at your competitors can you definitively understand whether the things they have are right for you to have too. If not, you risk wasting a whole lot of time, energy and money developing things that have no place in your customers’ world.



Explore more of our work and find out how we’ve helped clients strategically improve their brand and communications.



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