Don’t stand still

August 20, 2015By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

by Dave Wendland

Victor Kiam, former business executive best known for his purchase of Remington Products, once said “In business, the competition will bite you if you keep running. If you stand still, they will swallow you.”

Most branded manufacturers are well aware of their competitors – and healthy competition makes companies better. Consumers are constantly seeking products with more features and capabilities, products that cost less but can do more, and products that solve their needs and wants better than any other product can. Simply put, when companies compete, consumers get what they want.

The common elements that most organizations examine across commpetitorscompetitors are traditional marketing factors such as product differentiation, placement strategy, retail pricing, and promotional plans. I would argue that there are four additional factors that should be evaluated to ensure a more successful competitive position:

  • Social media marketing – Is this part of your competitor’s messaging strategy? How effectively are they convincing consumers and others about their brand? What edge do you have in this area?
  • Influencers/Advocates (pharmacists and healthcare professionals) – How is your competition arming advocates to recommend their brand? How could you reach this group differently and ensure your product wins their favor?
  • Packaging and claims – Which brand stands out on shelf (consumers only take six seconds to find a product for purchase)? Are the words that distinguish your brand from your competitors the first things that consumers see?
  • Retail penetration strategy – How developed is the retail network (brick-and-mortar and online) for the competitive brand? Is it better developed than yours? How did they achieve this? What will it take to increase your brand’s market penetration?

Conducting competitive analyses is not a one-time effort. Rather this should be an ongoing process that continues to evaluate your brand against its competitors. It will identify areas of strength to build on and reveal areas of weakness requiring refinement.

At the end of the day it is up to you to position your brand ahead of the competition without ever standing still for fear that you will succumb to your competitor.


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