Lurking Competitors

At the start of a project, one of the first questions we ask a client is, “who are your competitors?”  More often than not, the response is, “well, we really don’t have any.”  Let me be clear with my response: everyone has competitors!

Companies need to take their blinders off, expand their field of vision, and truly understand what other companies are competing for the same segment of customers.

Seeking to understand current market perceptions and conducting a thorough competitive analysis is at the heart of our brand audit.  Understanding what the competition is saying is essential to differentiating yourself in a crowded marketplace.  Many times, you might not see your competition with a limit view of the industry.  It’s important to expand you viewpoint as you look to differentiate.

Customers always have choices, and when you are too close to the brand, sometimes it’s easy to discount competitors.  Take the camera market as an example.  Ten years ago, Canon likely didn’t consider Apple or Nokia as competitors.  However, with the amazing technology in smartphones, who needs a camera anymore?

Having a realistic and expansive view of your competition is crucial to differentiation.  If you say, “we don’t have any competition,” let that be an indicator you have blinders on.  It’s better to take the blinders off now before it’s too late!