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spying on your competitors

HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS WITH THIS ONE: ONE OF THE KEY ELEMENTS OF A GOOD UVP (YEP, STILL ALSO KNOWN AS A BRAND PROMISE) IS THAT IT'S UNIQUE; OFFERING SOMETHING NOBODY ELSE IS OFFERING.

You don't say, Andrea? Yes! Yes, I do say.

We need to know exactly what our competitors and peers are offering so that we can offer something that's more attractive or valuable for our audience.

Here are a few ways to study their products, services and strategies so that you can create something that really stands out.

RESEARCH THEIR PRODUCTS

Buy them and use them yourself. In particular, look at how they meet (or don't meet) the needs of your audience. Stay up-to-date on each new product line or service your top competitors and peers introduce.

Understand how your market feels about their offerings by setting up alerts to help catch any mentions of them.

STUDY THEIR MARKETING

Gather your competitors' and peers' marketing materials to study them. Look at which benefits they are emphasizing to their buyers and fans. Make sure you pay attention to the specific language and communication methods they use. Is it more casual or more formal? Do they focus more on visuals or audio materials?

Take a look at the online and offline platforms your competitors use for marketing since that's where your customers likely are too. What marketing methods are they using? You're going to try to do something different with your message, so you need to have a very clear understanding of what your competitors are already saying. The last thing you want to be is a copycat.

And don't forget to look at the keywords your competitors are targeting since that will show you exactly which search terms you might have to compete for—or which ones you want to avoid.

UNDERSTAND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS

Find out what your customers think about them. Look at websites that have user generated reviews. Search for their name on related forums.

You can often turn up information by simply searching your competitors' or peers' names along with related terms like "pricing" or "customer service." This is a good way to learn when customers are dissatisfied so that you can discover areas where you may excel.

Even if you offer similar products or services in a similar way, customer service is one area in which it's easy to excel over the competition. When researching your competitors pay attention to how they treat their customers and how their customers feel about it. 

GIVE 'EM A REPORT CARD

After you've gathered all of your information and checked out your competitors everywhere possible, add up all the data. Create a "report card" that shows where they excel and where they fall short.

Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses and compare against each one of theirs. The areas where you excel without trying offer the best starting point for creating your UVP. 

TODAY'S KEY LESSON: listen to what their buyers and fans are saying

This type of competitive research used to be time consuming and expensive, but now it's incredibly fast and easy because most of it can be done through the internet.

We can find our competition everywhere online and follow everything they do. We no longer need to pay money to conduct surveys or focus groups. With social media and online forums, we can simply find our competitors and be a fly on the wall where they already exist—we can sit back and observe. Their audience will tell us everything we need to know.

HOMEWORK: evaluate your competitors' products + services

Use the worksheet below to answer the following questions:

  • What's special about the competitions products and services?
  • Why do people like them? Why don't they?
  • How do they market their products or services to their customers?
  • How do they interact with their buyers and fans?
  • What kind of customer service do they provide?
  • How strong is your competition?

TWEETABLES >>

"Study your competitors. They can tell you a lot about what to do right, and wrong, in your own business." @andreasaidit is dropping great nuggets of knowledge in her course on how to make your brand pop. Check it out here >> 

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"You may think your product is unique, but does your market? Test and listen!" Check out this great course on how to make your brand pop from @andreasaidit for more gems like this one.

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"You don't have to do things better than your competition. You just have to do it your way." @andreasaidit is really making me challenge my assumptions with her course on how to make my brand pop. Don't miss out!

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Resources >>
Module 3 Worksheet

Download to fill it in digitally!

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