When finding out who your competitors are, it’s a good idea to think like a customer and go on their journey. How would they find a company offering what you would do?
- Who are these companies?
- Where are they based?
- How big are they?
- Do they offer the same as you?
These could be your competitors, but perhaps you need to dig deeper.
- What type of company would be a competitor of yours?.
- Who are your local direct competitors in your locality?
- Is there anyone offering what you do nationally or internationally?
- Do you consider someone providing the same product as you but into a different market sector a competitor?
- Either way, what can you learn from them?
Another way to find your competitors is to speak to your current customers. And ask them the same questions, as well as these:
- Whom do they consider being a competitor to you?
- If your customers have bought from them in the past, then why did they do so?
Build the picture
There are other questions you can answer to get an even better picture of who your competitors could be
- Who advertising online via social media, press, TV and radio.
- Who is looking to gain an advantage over you with their keyword listings?
- And at trade shows, which companies can you find that sell what you do?
Now you can ask these questions yourself but to if you want unbiased view, it could be a good idea to ask a third party(us) to conduct the interviews for you. Here is an idea. When you lose or gain a customer, why not get that 3rd party to speak to them to assess why they move to or from you. Obviously. You can ask more details questions to get better analysis and understanding. A strategic way of doing this is via win/loss analysis.
Now you have a basic list of competitors you can gain more basic insight into them by:
- Finding and reading their annual reports
- See what’s in the press
- Find their marketing material
Now determine if they are a threat to you.
- Do they convert your customers? Have you seen they are attracting them?
- Do they target higher or lower value clientele?
- Are they in a niche market or generalist?
- How capable are they to you
- How financially strong are they compared to you
- What other strengths do they possess?
Key one eye on them
And remember just because a company is not competing with you today does not mean they will not compete with you tomorrow. You cant keep an eye on everyone, and you have to make priorities.
Currently, we define the competitor landscape as:
Your key competitors
The next big thing. Those who have the potential to become key competitors.
Potential competitors who have the resources to smash a hole in the market — For instance, Google developing a product or Apple buying a key competitor.
Hopefully, we have suggested a couple of starting points to so you can answer how do I find out who my competitors are?
About Octopus Intelligence
Octopus is a global Intelligence service company. Answering the questions to help you grow.
We help brands and investors like yourself reimagine how you can beat your competitors, make more money, be disruptive, and enter new markets. Enabling you to grow faster with more certainty with Competitive Intelligence, Due Diligence and good old common sense. We live in an increasingly uncertain, competitive and ever-shifting world. What you need is active real-world strategy. Where deep expertise combines with Competitive Intelligence based actions. To answer the what and the how, for the now and the next.