Another day, another article!
This applies to current products as well as new ones, so will be of use to you as a refresher or a new guide.
Whether you’re a startup, SME or huge corporate, you all know you need to innovate to succeed.
What I see more of these days is a huge swell of companies that already have a successful business in their own right and are innovating some great product ideas, and most of them have been great at surveying the competition before they take the next step.
I thought it would be useful to put together a brief guide on how you should look at your competition, and what you do against that.
I can’t overstate how important this is. You can think your product is unique or has unique qualities. Have Googled it lately? It’s easy to either be complacent, excited or just plain ignorant of what else is out there.
This becomes more important if you want investment for your product. A great product you can show an investor is great but you’ll be quickly ushered out if you can’t prove you’ve done your research.
- What do your competitors do? What are the features and benefits of their products?
- How much do they earn from that product? How do they attract customers?
- How big is the market? Why am I different?
Doesn’t seem a big list does it? The more thorough you are with your research, the better for you.
You can look for the info on your favourite search engine, you can sign up for company newsletters of your competitors, you can try/buy a competitors product. Invaluable.
This is a massively useful exercise whether you’re an established player or a new kid on the block.
Next, you need to write that up into a summary and get a friend or colleague to sense check it that has an understanding of the market you’re moving into, or a partner/potential partner of the business.
Too many people are tempted to rush through this, but if you don’t know who your competitors are and what they do, how will you be different in a global and crowded marketplace?
It can be the best learning tool you can use at the start, and through the lifetime of your business to make sure you stay ahead. Just ask Yahoo what happens when you get complacent. Ouch.
Kris Jones is Head of Sales & Marketing at Innovify. If you’d like to talk to about how we can breathe life into your existing business model, or bring your new product to the masses, then get in touch at [email protected]
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