Competitor’s Portfolio of Offerings and Position

07/08/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Competitive positioning is about defining how you’ll “differentiate” your offering and create value for your market. It’s about carving out a spot in the competitive landscape, putting your stake in the ground, and winning mindshare in the marketplace being known for a certain “something.”

A good positioning strategy is influenced by:

  • Market profile: Size, competitors, stage of growth
  • Customer segments: Groups of prospects with similar wants & needs
  • Competitive analysis: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the landscape
  • Method for delivering value: How you deliver value to your market at the highest level

Competitive Positioning Key Concepts & Steps

  1. Before you begin

Your competitive positioning strategy is the foundation of your entire business. it’s the first thing you should pin down if you’re launching a new company or product. It’s also important when you’re expanding or looking for a new edge.

  1. Profile your market
  • Document the size of your market, and identify your major competitors and how they’re positioned.
  • Determine whether your market is in the introductory, growth, mature, or declining stage of its life. This “lifecycle stage” affects your entire marketing strategy.
  1. Segment your market
  • Understand the problems that your market faces. Talk with prospects and customers, or conduct market research if you have the time, budget and opportunity. Uncover their true wants and needs you’ll learn a great deal about what you can deliver to solve their problems and beat your competitors.
  • Group your prospects into “segments” or “personas” that have similar problems and can use your offering in similar ways. By grouping prospects into segments or personas, you can efficiently market to each group.
  1. Define how you deliver value

At the highest level, there are three core types of value that a company can deliver: operational efficiency (the lowest price), product leadership (the best product), or customer intimacy (the best solution & service). Determine which one you’re best equipped to deliver; your decision is your method for delivering value.

  1. Evaluate your competition
  • List your competitors. Include any that can solve your customers’ problems, even if the competitors’ solutions are much different from yours they’re still your competition.
  • Rate yourself and your direct competitors based on operational efficiency (price), product leadership and customer intimacy. It’s easy to think you’re the best, so be as impartial as you can be.
  1. Stake a position
  • Identify areas where your competition is vulnerable.
  • Determine whether you can focus on those vulnerable areas they’re major opportunities.
  • Make a decision on how to position your offering or company.
  1. Select the mindshare you want to own, and record your strategy

Review the components of your market and evaluate what you want to be known for in the future. Condense all your research and analysis into the “one thing” that you want to be known for, and design your long-term strategy to achieve it.

Seven steps of Competitor Analysis: Overview of Competitive Analysis

Competitor analysis is absolutely essential if you have to grow in a competitive market. It is becoming increasingly important because of the rise in competition in each and every sector. Whether electronics, automobiles, or FMCG, each sector today is facing immense competition affecting margins and sales.

Competitor analysis is absolutely essential if you have to grow in a competitive market. It is becoming increasingly important because of the rise in competition in each and every sector. Whether electronics, automobiles, or FMCG, each sector today is facing immense competition affecting margins and sales.

Thus there are some critical steps of competitor analysis to be followed by these organizations to outperform their competition. However, they will be able to stand out only when they KNOW their competition. This is where the step by step competition analysis comes in the picture.

  1. Identify current and future competitors in the market

The best way to identify current and future competitors is to analyze your target products. Supposing you are currently selling hair oil. You need to know how many branded and unbranded players are there in the market. You need to know if any new company is starting to sell Hair oil or if any current company might stop selling the same.

Furthermore, you also need to know how many of your customers prefer some other product over Hair oil. Thus by doing this you know your direct and indirect competition. This is the first step in competition analysis.

  1. Finding and Analysis of market share

Naturally, once you have identified the competition, the second step is to know their market share. You cannot know the strengths and weaknesses of your competition unless and until you know their presence. Thus if your product is selling in a wide region, you need to break down the region into territories and find out the share of wallets in each territory.

While doing this, you can also do a mini-market research to find the reason for the sale of your competition. Is it selling because it is easily available, quality is high or the price is low. This step will help you perform a SWOT.

  1. Performing SWOT for a competitor analysis

Once you know the share of the market and you have done your secondary and primary analysis, you need to actually work out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each of your competitors in turn.

This is important as this shows where you currently stand in your industry, who do you need to benchmark to move forward, and what strategies can be most effective to stay on top or to avoid a drop in rank. The SWOT is indirectly responsible for showing you the steps where you can capitalize and move ahead of your competition.

  1. Build competition portfolio for competitive analysis

Once you know the SWOT of your competitors, you can build a competitive portfolio. A competition portfolio will have each and every product of your competitors, their features, logistics, tangible features (product qualities), intangible features (product service), etc.

This portfolio needs to be treated like MIS and needs to be updated from time to time. The best source for building a competition portfolio is your sales force itself. They are continuously in touch with the market and therefore can immediately notify you of any changes happening in the market.

  1. Plan strategies

Now you have your complete competition portfolio in front of you. Thus you clearly know your line of action. If the competition is far superior, you have two ways to move forward. You can either try the same strategies as a top competitor and slowly move on top OR you can go creative/innovative and try to directly take on the market leader. Read more on Market challenger strategies.

At the same time, if the competition is average and you can reach the top through some effort, then do not procrastinate and put the best strategies forward to reach the top at the earliest. Remember If reaching the top takes much effort, then staying on top will take double the effort from the complete organization. You can also read, Market follower strategies.

  1. Execute strategies

Quite simple. Execute the strategies which you think are the best and make sure of executing them effectively. There is no meaning of going to such an effort to analyze competition and then fail at the implementation part. At the same time, it is very important to have a contingency plan and to anticipate your competitor’s reaction.

If your competitor reacts too strongly, but the contingency plan in place to avoid any long term affects to the brand / product. This might cause you to lose the advantage of surprise, but it definitely gives you more chances to form even better strategies (To be truthful, very few companies have actually gotten their strategies “spot on” the first time itself). Thus contingency plans while executing strategies are very important.

  1. Follow up and perform competitive analysis

Statistics are always useful for a firm and help the firm in practical decision making. Thus by following up you are making sure of quantitatively and qualitatively measuring the response to the executed strategy. Ideally, the same should be documented so that future generations of marketers may know the earlier strategies implemented and might be able to revive the same through different angles.

At the same time, you might actually execute a strategy that gets excellent response from customers. In these cases too, you need to stick with the same strategy for a longer time and in such cases, it is crucial to have the feedback from your customers so as to know at all times whether the strategies are working effectively. Thus follow up is essential for long term competitor analysis.

In the end, whatever strategies you make, your competitor is going to respond. This needs implementation and updation from time to time. There are very few industries in which there are only 3–4 players. In fact, major industries are characterized by as many as 10–20 different competitors (branded, unbranded, direct, indirect). Thus, it helps you in pinpointing your current standing in the market and the future direction.