Competitive Research

Written by Yvette Dubel
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Getting a strategic advantage requires that you know your competition. That is where competitive research becomes necessary. It will provide you with the data and analysis of your competition's sales. Where are they getting their traffic? What changes have they made?

All kinds of organizations are enhanced by competitive research. It is this kind of investigation that is required to discover unusual techniques your competitor may be employing successfully. The resulting intelligence is invaluable when developing models and prototypes for your business.

Flexibility can be an important feature and is especially valuable when considering your unique needs. The needs for your business will involve conducting name generation, identifying and selecting intelligence sources, cultivating a target list of organizations, contacting trade organizations, and compiling and formatting collected information.

Getting Inside the Competition

Coming out ahead of your competition means you must have the answer to some key questions. Where do they fall in terms of hub merchandise or core customer and primary appeal? Are they delivering in the following primary areas?

A closer look at your competition will provide raw data that is required for a meaningful analysis. You will understand how they are utilizing their physical facilities, including layout. You will understand their product pricing, merchandising techniques, and promotion. Most importantly, you will know how these components are driving competitor sales and profits.

With this kind of basic information, a more accurate assessment can be made of your competition as a potential threat. Competitive research will help you develop a plan to mitigate those possible threats. Additionally, the final analysis will show you where you can differentiate yourself from your competition. How can your business profit from what your competition has done right? Effective competitive research gives you a profitable bird's eye view of your marketplace.

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