So, you don’t have any competitors?

What about that guy who took your client out for lunch last week?

A critical part of our brand development process is to conduct a competitor review.  This involves everything we can get our hands on about six direct competitors as identified by you.  We look at their website, blog posts, news feeds, social media pages, digital advertising and have been known to do some secret shopping when we can.

Our aim is to gain an understanding of what they feel they own in their marketplace, product and service advantages that are wholly unique to them. This is often difficult to do especially in a cluttered category but far from impossible. It allows us to accurately assess and create a brand look, tone and feel that is differentiating as well as content that speaks authentically to your culture, values and strengths as an organization.

However, at times we are told that you don’t have any competitors. Not that you are aware of or possibly not yet. This is most often the case with start-ups bringing something new and disruptive to market.  We hear this from established companies too. No product or service out there is quite like yours. Good. But do existing and prospective customers see it the same way you do?

As a part of our customer interviews, we discover something else.  Someone is always competing for a share of budget, and at times, winning.  Rarely do we see one supplier receive 100% of budget, budget that could be going to you.  Why?  Customer fear of putting all of their eggs in one basket, a belief that the other guy has an edge in one area of service or product offer or is it that the other guy is standing there creating a dynamic bond with your customer?

Unfortunately, we hear this often during our interviews with your optimal customers.  The competition is investing in boots on the ground and making inroads with your customers.  You just don’t know about it.

But how will you know unless you ask?  Don’t wait to see a slow or sudden decline in spend. Find out who they’re hearing from, meeting with, being hosted by – find out who is standing there.  In today’s economy, there is no room for being passive when it comes to managing the attitudes and behaviours of your customers. We promise you that in our experience, your customers tell us the unvarnished truth

Questions related to competitor engagement are among the most critical we ask your customers.  The outcomes are designed to inform you with accuracy and allow you to act and act quickly – to invest in polished boots on the ground and protecting your client relationships.