Controversial statement coming up, #sorrynotsorry
Analysing your competition Doesn’t matter.
Yep, I said it. And I mean it too.
So all the way back in 2011, little old me graduated from business school with a degree in marketing. I was 22 at the time, and not prone to questioning authority. The powers that be within the old school business world taught us that the only way to get a “competetive advantage” was to undertake what I like to call cookie cutter branding and marketing methods, developed from textbooks, ad agencies and academics within the business sphere.
Was instagram at this time a powerful method to generate business? NOPE. Was online entrepreneurialism at that time flourishing? Well, it was beginning to, but not as we know it right now. Lots of #dudebro culture happening y’all. The sort that probably high five each other on the regular. And sadly, I have to day that this old school male dominated culture still exists in some of the art departments I have worked. Others have been refreshingly female, but anyway, I digress.
One of the old school methods that I was taught, and didn’t question until starting my own business, was that you needed to rigorously analyse your competition. Pinpoint their weaknesses. Know how you can beat them at their game. Starting to sound pretty #dudebro right?
The problem that I find with this method, is that it is hopelessly irrelevant to our needs today as businesses within a diverse digital world. Yes, there are more of us in this space. If you do a search on instagram or Pinterest for people providing what it is that you do, you will find plenty.
We can get caught into the trap of thinking that the only way to succeed, is to keep a close watch on our competitors, and find “cracks” within their offerings. This method is something that I have to wholeheartedly disagree with.
The best way to remain competetive, in a strong and sustainable way, is to focus not on our competition, but on our Clients and customers. And only by doing so, can we develop the foundations of a business that will stand the test of time. Why? Because by developing services, products and marketing strategies that are 100% focussed on our audience, we can create something that this audience will adore, trust and share with others. We can create a strong relationship with our audience base that shows just how much we value, and understand them, and they in turn will see this, and trust us.
How can you achieve this Client focused business model? With a few simple tips below:
Look inward at your current processes, services and products. Do these really serve the needs and pain points of your audience? How could you better serve them?
2. Get honest
If you are brutally honest with yourself, does everything that you do within your business serve a need or desire of your audience, or are there things that you are doing because you saw others doing it and it looked good from the outside?
3. Drop what doesn’t work
Just because someone else is offering something that is working great, does NOT mean that you need to. Stick to what is serving your audience, and don’t get Shiny Object Syndrome.
4. Remember you are UNIQUE
We all have unique skillsets, experiences and personalities. Always leverage these in a way that serves the people that you work for in a unique and memorable way!
5. LOVE on your audience
Show your audience how much you LOVE them! Write encouraging posts on insta. Send snail mail to clients with a beautiful card of appreciation or small gift. Cheer on their successes and have empathy for their struggles. You audience WILL see this and will love you for it.
Is it time for you to develop a unique, memorable and compelling brand identity?
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