“Know thy enemy and know thy self and you will win a hundred battle”
Not exactly your enemy, but a competitor/rival is someone who constantly pushes you to go beyond your capacity by calling forth a feeling of competitiveness.
The desire of beating your competitor pushes you to heights that you never imagined were possible and you probably wouldn’t be where you are if you didn’t have a rival.
Take Bill Gates and Steve Jobs for example.
Because of their rivalry and the desire to beat each other, we have the technology today which would have taken 20 more years at least if there were no rivalry.
Thanks to so many companies out there, you won’t have a hard time finding the right competitor for you who will push you beyond your limits.
Thus, the need for competitor analysis arises.
Competitor analysis is basically knowing whom you are going to fight against before setting foot in the arena.
Knowing the weak spots of your rival which you can leverage.
An example can be the rivalry between Amazon and Flipkart in India.
Because Amazon is bad at providing amazing on-site experience and aesthetically good looking and usable design, Flipkart leveraged that and added those factors their website.
Windows security was a big loophole which Apple leveraged while making IOS.
I know people who still prefer Apple over windows when it comes to making online purchases and saving debit/credit card details.
Hence, the need for competitor analysis arises if you want to have a foothold in a highly competitive market.
The question is
How to do competitor analysis?
While there are many ways of doing competitor analysis depending on the type of business you have and if it is offline or online, there are some common things which every company from startup to big brands should do.
If I am starting an e-commerce startup and start competing with Amazon then that will just push me to depression because the competitor is way off my league at that point.
In fact, I won’t be able to provide as many products as Amazon so there will be no competition, in reality, and I will be crushed.
But if I start with a niche first and then enter the bigger ocean of opportunities, I will be able to save my startup from getting crushed.
This measurement includes knowing who is the right competitor for you to measure your success with. Amazon won’t be the right kind of competitor for my startup but a competitor in my niche and which hasn’t been in the market for ages, now that is a good starting point.
Setting realistic goals:-
Setting a goal that is out of the league or even a goal that requires a huge stretch to achieve them is plain old stupid.
You are designing it to fail.
As I mentioned in the example of the previous point, Aiming that high right off the bat is like asking Mohammad Ali for a fight when I am just learning how to fight. He will break my bones and there is a good chance that I won’t survive that match.
But what if I train for years before challenging the best?
The old proverb “Aim for the stars so that even if you don’t reach them you will still land on the moon” leads us to set unrealistic goals.
I recently had the fortunate experience of having a conversation with a startup owner who was aiming for the stars with the same intent of landing on the moon.
The problem with this mindset is that if you set your goals like this you will start getting frustrated and sour because you are never able to reach your goals and you always have to satisfy with something below your goal.
Setting goals that are achievable and I would even say easily achievable releases dopamine. Dopamine is feel-good hormone and that hormone is highly addictive. It’s a way that our brain rewards us.
It is so addictive that you will keep on working hard to get to the point of dopamine surge.
Point is to set realistic goals even while you are thinking of making someone your competitor. Beat one and move to the next one.
These 5 factors cover every type of business and can give 80% data which can be then analyzed to create a counter strategy and assessing which features you should add into your business so that customers will consider shifting to make a purchase from you instead.
- Product/Services your client offers
- Prices at which those services are being offered
- Marketing activities (Online and offline)
- Conversion flaws (where they lose customers)
- Customer Happiness (customer experience and everything around that)
After doing competitor analysis here is an article on the right selling points for your business.
Setting the right parameters to measure yourself with your competitor is the most important thing. Setting goals too high or too unrealistic can cause a serious injury to your business.
It is important to complete the goals you set as that can be very rewarding for your brain and will motivate you to keep moving forward as more reward will come with more goals you achieve.
Developers get a huge surge of dopamine when the code works because their goal stays at making the code to run properly.
Remember the 5 factors of analyzing competitor no matter what kind of business you are in. It will give you 80% of the insights.
In the end, remember that you are doing it for your customers.