Another year is coming to a close, and that means it’s a good time to look ahead into 2023 and decide how you’re going to change – or what positive aspects of your business you want to maintain and lean into in the year ahead.
Today we’re taking a look at one vital aspect of your business: your relationship with your competitors.
Why Is It Important?
Your competitor strategy isn’t something you can afford to ignore even in the best of times. You don’t necessarily have to be scheming to come out on top of every interaction, but you do need to give some thought of how you’re going to co-exist in a marketplace with multiple different brands in the same niche.
At the moment, businesses and customers are facing vastly increased costs for necessities and rising inflation, with no sign the government will act to calm the situation. This means it costs you more to keep your doors open and to store, sell and ship goods. Meanwhile your potential pool of customers has got to ruthlessly prioritise how they spend their shrinking real-terms income.
Our homes and shops might not be, but the competition just got heated.
What Are They Planning?
The first thing to do is gather some competitor insight: learn who your most significant competitors are, what their strengths are – and perhaps more importantly their weaknesses too – and take some educated guesses about what their plans might be for the year ahead.
Consultants can help you with this. Competitive intelligence consultants and market research specialists can help you create a picture of the market you’re operating in, clue you up on which competitors you need to worry about and let you pencil in windows for their big developments in the year, be it dates of sales or new product launches.
Finding Your Own Space
Even in as competitive a market and as difficult an economy as we’re entering into, the best way forward is not to go to war with your opposition, and try to undercut them or outspend their marketing. Even when you’re victorious, those victories are often pyrrhic in nature – the spoils of war can’t recoup the cost of waging it.
The more constructive thing to do is use all that data and insight to identify your space in the market: what do you uniquely that makes you stand out? Where are the gaps in the calendar for your big events that give them room to breathe?
This is the tactical thinking that will reshape your relationship with the competition in 2023.