Perform a brand competitor analysis

1. Identify competitor brands by conducting market research, using customer feedback, and checking online communities. Who are your competitors? How can you outsmart them?

Find both direct and indirect competitors. Research competitors offering similar products. Note competitors providing substitute products. Why would your customers want to try competitor products?  Match prices to the product’s perceived value. Identify unique features in competitor products.  Analyze your target market. List customer preferences, spending patterns, and socioeconomic demographics.  Understand the extent of competition. For example, if you are a smartwatch brand, you are not in competition with other smartwatch brands only. You are competing with retailers, brick-and-mortar stores, and other brands.  Conduct competitive SEO analysis to find competitor eCommerce brands. Identify websites that rank higher than you on SERPs.

2. Learn about future competitors that can enter the market.

Consider current and future competitors. Markets can change by pushing away brands while revitalizing others. Learn about the future competition by: Identifying trends that can earn a competitive advantage. Note trends that competitors can capitalize on to gain an advantage. For example, if you don’t use social media platform to engage users in this era, you’re at a disadvantage. Watching out for disruptive technologies. AI, augmented reality and robotics are already disrupting businesses. Spot these technologies and develop an adaptive strategy.  Understanding the impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Know how to respond when M&A creates oligopolies that disrupt the market.

3. Analyze your competitors' strategic marketing tactics, market acquisition techniques, and customer attraction and retention methods to extract information that improves your verticals.

Ask yourself: Why are competitors outranking you in the market? What are their strengths & weaknesses? What are their marketing strategies? Research the market to find out what people say about competitor products. List what they like and dislike. Check competitors’ ad materials like brochures, social media posts, pamphlets, podcasts, and videos to identify their messaging style. Your messaging determines how you appeal to the target audience and can be a deal-breaker.

4. Leverage competitor analysis tools for real time analytic reports and easy comparisons. Analyzing many competitors is difficult without the use of software.

Choose tools suitable for your business. Some tools are generic while others are niche-specific. Understand what your tool can do and can’t do. Know its strengths and limitations, and optimize them for your operations.  Consider these:  Tools that integrate with other software in your business. Software that is easily understood by non techy staff. Real time analytics and greater visibility of the market. Support and maintenance costs. Consider your goals. For example, if you are aiming for an SEO tool that provides details about PPC, Semrush does better than Moz or Ahrefs. If you want a tool that performs well across multiple search engines, Ahrefs is better than the two. Moz has a cheaper entry plan than both Semrush and Ahrefs.

5. Compare competitors using your chosen tool and develop a competitive matrix that shows each brand’s feature offerings, strengths, weaknesses, and pricing models. Identify gaps and opportunities that benefit your company.

Use the matrix to learn which things can set you apart. In the matrix, consider:  Customer segments. Quality. Product features. Benefits. Pricing. Messaging. Customer sentiments. Use the feedback from the matrix to create a unique market position. For example, if low end products saturate the market, go for high end products.

6. Compare competitor value propositions to pinpoint where competitors fail and convert their failures into your success. Use findings to create a value proposition that differentiates your product.

Establish aspects that facilitate the creation of a unique value proposition. Consider: Points of Parity (POPs): Identify the important offers you provide to your prospects that competitors also provide.  Points of Difference (PODs): Identify the important offers you provide to your prospects that aren’t available with your competitors.  Points of Irrelevance (POIs): Specify offers you provide customers don’t care about.

7. Interview your competitors’ customers to gain insights into what they love about competitor products. What makes them happy? Are they considering alternative products? Use your network to reach competitors’ customers.

Employ snowball recruiting to let your networks introduce you to people they know. Ask your current customers to recommend to their peers for the interview.  Develop a criterion for analyzing feedback. Use a scale of 1 to 10 or a Yes or No system. Ask recipients why they chose a particular rating.  Use customer sentiments to act and respond to strategic moves. You can: Differentiate. Mimic. Under-cut. Circumvent common bottlenecks. Collaborate. Exclude through patent protections and exclusivity agreements.