Supercharge Your Business By Spying on Your Rivals

“Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” Nancy Pearcey

 Staying ahead in the world of business is challenging for companies of any size, and to continually be at the top of your game requires constant improvement. If you want your business to stay one step ahead of the competition in your industry, you not only need to keep up with the development of your rivals but also create a unique point of difference. 

Even if your competitor has a better product or offers something similar but at a lower price point, you can still do something better than they can. Every competing company has weak points and you should focus on identifying and capitalising on them in your own business. This might mean producing something only you can, or aiming to offer the same service but with much better customer experience. . Think about what you want to be known for in the marketplace and focus on improving your service or product in that way.

Through market analysis, you can become an innovator in your industry and produce an irresistible product or service that oozes with creativity and charm. There are lots of different strategies you can follow to position yourself to be at the top of your game, but in this article, we will focus on the basic elements required in creating a roadmap to outperform the competition.

Define Your Goals and Analyse the Competition

Before you do anything, you need to have a clear answer to the question, “who are you, and who are your competitors?”. Defining the answer to this question in detail will help you to analyse and understand your current situation, and that of your competitors. One of the easiest ways to gauge success and public opinion is by taking a look at online review sites or apps to read feedback provided by your customers and those of your rivals. 

Regularly listening in and monitoring what people say about you and your rivals is a key consideration if you want to ensure that you stay ahead of the competition. When you keep a constant eye on what they’re doing and how people are reacting, you can use this knowledge to adapt and improve your own efforts. Fail to do so, and you’ll eventually fall behind. 

Your Customers Can Help You

your customers are the most powerful advocate for your brand, and can sell it to others without you having to lift a finger. The sincerest reviews of a product/service come from the consumer, and. online review sites or apps are beacons that indicate to potential customers whether what you do is great (and that they should be a part of it) … or not. Encourage your customers to leave a review for you on these types of websites platforms. You may want to motivate them with to do so with the promise of a small discount or gift upon their next visit, but hopefully, they will enjoy your offering so much that no incentive will be needed. 

As soon as you start to see a consistent run of the kind of glowing feedback, the type you only dreamt of before launching a business, make sure that everyone knows about it. Publicise your five-star rating in marketing material, on receipts, on social media, etc. Promote those positive reviews to give consumers another reason to choose you over the competition.

Taking time to read honest customer reviews is also a good way to help you identify and improve elements of your business that may otherwise have continued to slip.  This kind of real-time feedback is invaluable for businesses of all kinds, and the ability to reply to customers – to thank them, empathise with their situation and promise to put things right, etc. – is an invaluable tool. Not just because it can help reinforce a customer’s positive opinion of you (or reverse a negative one), but also because everyone else that reads your replies will see that you are a business that cares about its customer’s and is always striving to improve. And relaying that kind of emotionally mature, personable approach in a public forum is yet another element that can start to bring new faces through your door.

Optimise Your Social Media Strategy

As online review sites, social networks are an ideal place to spy on your competitors to see what they’re doing well, and what you could improve upon to impress customers at your own business. Consider things like which social networks they are active on, how often they post (and at what time of day), what they post, and how engaged their audience is. Do posts go largely ignored or are they adorned with plenty of comments, shares, and likes? As well as official brand pages, searches of a rival’s brand name on a social network like Twitter will provide an indication of whether they ’re a business that gets people talking, and whether the sentiment is positive, neutral, or negative.

Unlike in the early days of social media, stiff competition and restrictive news feed algorithms dictate that if most brands want to ensure their content receives consistent exposure, paid to advertise is a must. When you decide to try advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. you need to create your very first target audience. Especially for start-up businesses, this can be very challenging. In this case, you can always use competitors as an example. Facebook Ads, for example, will allow you to target those people specifically. Think about similar products and industries to yours. Who is their potential audience?

In order to stay ahead in the game versus your competition , your social media feed needs to  be filled with interesting and engaging content. What this consists of totally depends on your brand and what your fans desire. But for starters, it isn’t a constant barrage of self-promotional material. Instead, posts that educate, inspire, make people laugh or elicit a strong emotional response in another way, is a good baseline strategy. Of course, competitions, giveaways, and encouraging loyal fans – brand ambassadors – to get involved in other ways is always a good strategy. Ask them to snap photos, record videos, etc. and feature that in your feed. If you’re stuck for ideas, checking other brands’ pages can give you plenty of inspiration. As mentioned earlier, see what works well for them, then adapt and improve it for your own strategy. 

Away from content for a moment, one-upping a rival brand on social media could simply mean that you are more available to customers than they are; meaning that you encourage fans to get in touch with any queries via your social channel, and you ensure that they get a prompt and sincere response. 

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