I often have customers complain to me that they have too much competition. In all honesty, everyone does. But you can actually learn from your competition to make your products and services better, and that could put your business on top.
Your Competition Checklist
Take a look at your competitors (just the successful ones) and compare to see where you falter and they succeed and vice versa. Then make the necessary changes.
√ Features – Are your products identical in every way? If not, you need to emphasize the benefits your products have that their doesn’t, and remember features are not always benefits if they are of no use to the customer. If you don’t have any benefits that your competition doesn’t, then you better add some. And the best way to do that is to ask your current customers for a wish list.
√ Services – What services do you offer that your competitors don’t? Again, these advantages you need to emphasize in your product copy to help your potential customer decide. Do you offer free shipping, discounts on multiple purchases, customization, etc.? Again, if you don’t have any advantages in terms of service, you need to get some. You’ve got to match the top players tit for tat.
√ Target Market – I am going to be writing about this more tomorrow, but more than likely you are targeting the same market, otherwise they are not really your competition. But does your competition have additional markets that they are selling to that you are not?
√ Price – Believe it or not, price is not always a deal breaker. You want to be in the same ball park, but a few dollars isn’t going to make a difference so don’t price yourself below your competition. What you want to do is show the value that comes with your price, and that is why you have to detail what you offer in #1 and #2 above.
√ Reputation – Have you won business awards, gotten amazing reviews, been in business a long time – all of these factors can give you an advantage over your competition in the mind of the consumer.
√ Branding – Do you look professional? Do you have a company logo, a positioning statement, professional-looking photos, well-written, grammatically correct product copy, contact information, etc. You’ve got to look legitimate, especially if your competition does, and it is worth it to make the investment to do so.
√ Promotion – Are you finding your competition everywhere? Are they on Facebook, Twitter, running ads on Google, hosting a blog, appearing in editorial… this list goes on. Take note of what they are doing and try to be everywhere they are (and aren’t).
Competition doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you choose to learn from it. It’s what fosters innovation.
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