Everyone knows the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” That is a dramatic statement, but it is fitting for this topic. To stay competitive in the marketplace, your brand must know who it is competing with. Whether your business markets to other businesses (B2B), consumers (B2C) or to government agencies (B2G), this topic applies.
The Competitive Landscape
Looking into your competitors will answer plenty of questions – how many employees do they have and how long have they been in business? What kind of services do they offer and what are their capabilities? What is their mission? What is the personality of their brand? What unique value are they adding to the marketplace and offering to their target audience? Where are they… and where are they not?
Answers Lead to Your Success
Knowing what space your competitors occupy in the marketplace is essential. That information will help you find your place if you are just starting out or it will help you adjust or even rebrand if your business has been around for some time. Every brand needs to know what their target audience wants and needs and what problems the brand can help them solve. How you go about that is your unique selling proposition (USP).
You wouldn’t want to imitate the USP of another brand. It detracts from the uniqueness of both brands, not just theirs. It is the very essence that all your messaging stems from, so you would not want to be saying the same thing as a competitor in all or most of the messaging your brand puts out into the world. Find your space and own it.
Competition Is a Good Thing
There is such a thing as healthy competition. Competition drives innovation. New ideas. Groundbreaking technology. Helping people. It can be the force that drives your brand to be better or to reevaluate. Either way, you will find your place in the market and succeed so long as you have a USP to stand out from your competition. It takes a thorough evaluation of the competitive landscape to find that unique thing that makes your brand your brand.
Confidence in Your Brand
Once you figure out who you are as a brand, it’s time to be confident in your presence in the marketplace. The landscape is always changing and keeping up with everything and everyone will give you whiplash. Be innovative and authentic. That’s the real secret to standing out – being consistent and authentic amidst an outcropping of new brands or legacy brands that are rebranding.
Do the things that other brands wish they had thought of first – make them chase you, not the other way around. Be steadfast in the storm that is the competitive landscape and be a brand that your customers trust and connect with.