“Competition is in the genes of all living things. Trees compete for their share of sunlight. Fish compete in the ocean. Infants & small children compete for their parent’s attention. Competition is the spice of life & the soul of progress. How else can quality rise to the top?
Competition Topics: Reality, Start with Customer, Know Competition, Differentiate, It’s not Personal, Price, Value, Nurture, Promotions.
What do you do when the competition has lit a fire to your back burner and is looking to take your lunch money? Here are some pointers to keep you sane and probably help you win.
1. Competition is a “reality” of life. It is especially brutal in business. If competition is fierce for established businesses, it is even more-so for startups. Regardless of the market you operate in, there is a looming threat of an alternative (& disruptive) product that will be built by someone else.
2. Start with the Customer and work backwards. This is the most important layer you need to build your competitive strategy on. Whatever you do, never lose sight of the customer. Executing a good Customer Research process helps you to know who your customer is and what they want. Knowing what they want and how their desires are evolving will help you iterate your product and processes. It could also determine the kind of vision you should be pursuing.
3. Know what the Competition is doing & improve on it. The competition is not always busy spreading rumors about you. They have a product that is good enough to get a few customers to buy from them. Then beat them on that turf. Know their Product and aim to be significantly better. Although you need to focus on your customer and your best features, you need to understand how your competition is operating and aim to create a better version of their product & strategy in marketing, branding, customer acquisition strategy, business model etc. The goal is for your business is to be better than it was yesterday.
4. Differentiate yourself from your Competition. Let your Customers know what they are getting for their $$$. Greener, easier to use or retro, modern, faster, cheaper? You need to make a bold statement about what the customer will get from you that they can’t get from your competition. If you are getting into an existing market which has an Market Leader, your Unique Selling Proposition is usually that your solution addresses a “pain point” that Goliath is too big to see or too clumsy to address. So, differentiate. Provide better design & user experience, great customer service, incentive, etc. Whatever it takes to stand out.
5. Competition’s not Personal, it’s just Business. Sometimes competition will take direct jabs at you. Maybe even mention you by name if they are not one for subtleness. The last thing you want to do is get down dirty like them. If you wrestle a pig in the mud, you get dirty and the pig (competition) gets happy. It is low, unscrupulous and may present you in a bad light to your customers. An average customer doesn’t want to be identified with a low, unscrupulous and unimaginative brand. Simply turn attention to your product’s best features and blast them out to your Customers.
6. It’s not always about the $$$ Price. In most competitive landscapes, the scrimmage line is pricing. Average entrepreneurs based their total competitive strategy on selling their product at a cheaper price. The best ones compete on “value”, which may include price reduction. “You don’t have to reduce your price to win. Focus on providing high Value to your Customers”.
7. Offer Better Value. If you are convinced your present margin is the lowest you can go, then stick to it. One of the advantage of being small is that your customer base is probably small enough for you to make them feel special. (ie, boost your Customer Service game, and let your competition run to the bottom of the pricing ladder on their own). It is infinitely better to focus on improving your product and your position in the market than to cut down prices.
8. Establish Thought Leadership. This is your goal in Content Marketing. Present useful information to your TM, without necessarily over-selling yourself. People want to be educated, informed, entertained, inspired & supported. Anyone that demonstrates leadership in this aspect will win the trust of their audience. People are more likely to buy from brands & businesses that they trust. Build an audience in your TM, by sharing information that can help your users do their job, or live their lives better. It’s therefore natural for them to choose your product when they decide to buy. When users trust you, you are likely to to have a bigger slice of the market than the brand they doesn’t.
9. Nurture your local Target Market. Your business has a Target Market [TM], which is demographic and often geographic. Figuring out your TM is one of the things you get to do at the initial Customer Acquisition stage. To rout the competition, jump into this Market and strengthen your image/Brand. Partner with other companies who share similar Customers as you, but are complimentary and not competition. Perhaps there is an existing Market event, support it. It’s possible that Niche is not organized yet – Outstanding opportunity for you. You could sponsor Events to showcase your Product. The whole point is to establish yourself in the Market. This helps retention + sets off another customer acquisition flow.
10. Give away Free Stuff. People love free things. So, reasonable promotions, deals & bargains will get people looking in your direction. This doesn’t have to cost you an arm & a leg. It could be a % off your actual selling price. Perks on your SW as a Service (SaaS) or a free sample with every product. The most important part of your promotion is timing. Promotions around celebrations & holidays are better executed when they have been planned ahead. When promotions are consistent, it creates constant excitement for customers. It gives them something to look forward to.
Promotions achieve three (3) things.
1) They make customer feel valued, thereby making them stay with you longer.
2) They make your customers buy more – especially when you give multi-buy offers.
3) New customers are attracted to your offering. This is because they are convinced they will get “value” for their $$$. Find out great ways to explore Promotion for maximum effect.
Comments: Do you know any other ways to Beat the Competition?
from the Starta.co 10/17 from Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
For more Info, click on Competition.