Why knowing your competitors (and their customers) can help your business to stand out.
Standing out from your competition goes way beyond making your business the very best it can be. It involves knowing who you should be aiming for as potential customers. This starts with knowing who your competitors’ customers are.
Knowing who you’re up against is important
To keep up with (and hopefully get ahead) of your competitors, you need to look at whether other businesses are offering the same – or similar – products or services as you.
If there are lots of similar businesses to yours, it’s worth checking them out as they’re what’s known as direct competitors. By doing some research on what your competition is up to (also known as competitor analysis), you can get to know their strengths and weaknesses. Then you’ll know what space there is for your business to start offering something your competitors haven’t thought of - and you’ll learn how to stand out and reach new customers.
Start by making a competitor list, then researching them online (through websites or social media channels) and noting what you think they do well – and not so well. If they have a physical presence, shop or location, then visit to see who their customers tend to be, and how they run their business.
Once you’ve done your research, the next best thing you can do is find out what kinds of customers your competition seeks out. These are customers that you might want for your own business but might not have thought about engaging with.
Here’s how to get started:
Identify why people are interested in your competition
What’s the problem that your competitors solve for their customers? Why do you think people spend with them? It could be time-saving. It could also be that they offer a great price. Work out why people go to them – and think about how you could do things differently to make them come to you.
Look at review sites
Reviews tell you everything, so take a look at what people have been saying on official review sites like Trustpilot or Awario. If your competitor has an app, you could also head to an app store (e.g. Google Play or Apple) and take a look at the reviews there. Most businesses also have reviews on Google if you search their name.
Use online tools that compare businesses
There are plenty of options out there. Similar Web can can help you understand how your competition is connecting with customers. Or SemRush will compare your website against theirs, helping you to spot areas for improvement.
Our final bit of advice? It’s a good idea to look at what other businesses are doing but don’t get caught up in trying to copy them. While it’s handy to know how they’re connecting with customers, these tips are all about exploring the types of people that might be interested in your business too, and helping to inspire your next steps.
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