Content of this unit
Understanding the Competitors
This video consists of a 5-step tutorial that will help you to complete an effective competitor analysis:

As Eureka-ideas for a product or service which is not yet covered by any possible alternatives on the market do not exist (or if they do it is easier to win the lottery), you will have competitors who are providing an offering which covers the same need as for which you designed your product or service, for example if you are selling ecological apples, not only are other ecological apple producers your competitors, but also any other ecological fruit producer (as they cover the same need for ecological fruit) or any apple producer (covers the need for apples), or even any fruit producer for that matter (offers fruit to cover the need of healthy food).

Apart from needing to find out who exactly are your competitors, you also need to have a clear idea on how they are competing, it is through lower prices, better service, and so on.

Here are some concrete tips to get this type of information:

1) Pay attention to local newspapers and news, advertisements and commercials from your competitors can give you a lot of information about their target customers and how they are positioning and promoting their products.

2) If your competitor has a physical store location, paying a visit every now and then is a great way of keeping yourself updated about their products and services.

3) Analyse the websites and social media of your competitors, not only to see what they are offering, but checking out the number of likes, followers or even comments from their clients can give you valuable information.

4) Network and participate in local business meetings, where you can ask your fellow business colleagues in an informal way about what they know about your competitors.

5) Some of your relationships, being them personal or professionals might be your competitors’ clients, ask them about their experience, and get valuable insight into their thinking and opinions on your competitors.

6) If possible, become yourself a customer of your competition, it is a great way to keep up to date but also to find out the experience your competitor´s customer is having and plan your own product or service accordingly. Sign up for newsletters, or email campaigns is also a good option.

In the same manner as for customer analysis, a full-fledged and conventual competitor analysis is still needed but also here and thanks to technology and internet you have affordable ways to get the information you need, so apart from the abovementioned options you can also: analyse sector reports, analysing the websites and social media of your competitors and industry, or  visit trade fairs, trade shows and exhibitions.