Don’t Forget That Shopping Competition Is Important
October 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Back in my early professional days, I worked for a very large national retail company. As I was learning the systems of the company, my boss, the store manager looked over at me one day and said, “Let’s go comp-ing.” The puzzled look in my face forced the explanation. “Competition shopping,” he replied. After gathering some paper and pen to write things down, he said something to me that has forever stuck. “The competition is always doing something right, or they would not be is business. We just need to know what it is.”
Ever since then, I have used that as a mantra when talking with marketing and sales people about competition. They are always doing at least one thing right.
Also, when thinking about competition, you also need to look at what you are doing right, and wrong. What is your true competitive advantage? You need to have more than just one. Imagine your competitive advantage as legs of a chair. Having only one or two will not give you a lot of stability. Three starts to do so. However, the more legs, the stronger the foundation of that chair.
You need to research your competition from your customer’s perspective. By looking at the competition, and objectively evaluating those areas in relation to what you have to offer, you can see where your business is better and where the competition is better. But then, you can understand that disadvantage and work to rectify it or mitigate it as much as possible.
What are the ways you shop your competition and how do you compare yourself to your top competitors?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your customers, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.