Resolution: Study my brand competition

July 27, 2018By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing, Resolutions


by Jen Johnston, CHHC, senior marketing services account manager, for the Resolutions blog series 

When was the last time you took a good, thorough look at competitors to your health, beauty, or wellness (HBW) brand? Perhaps you did a SWOT analysis when you first launched, however new competitors come into the market every year. Furthermore, old competitors often change their technology, form, packaging, or marketing strategy.

Studying your competitors can help you:

  • Discover white space for a line extension
  • Update your packaging
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Modify your formulation

To begin this process, first create a list of competitive brands by heading out to stores, viewing online retailers, and searching social media. Remember to view competitors from the eyes of consumers. You may know that a certain product is nothing like yours and therefore believe they are not truly a competitor, but the consumers may see things differently.

Next, you may choose to perform a full SWOT analysis or, depending on your goals, complete mini SWOT analyses that look at the following:

  • Packaging Design and Messaging – What does your main competitors’ packaging look like? What messages do they convey on shelf? What colors are missing from the category or subcategory when you review shelf sets? How can you differentiate?
  • Ingredients and Form – Are their new ingredients available for line extensions? Which brands are currently using them? Benefits of one ingredient over another? What new form of technology is available? Look to non-competitive products – any forms that would work for your brand?
  • Social Media Presence – What platforms are your competitors on? Look to non-competitive products – are there platforms they are using successfully that your competitors are not? What can you learn from them? What kind of content do they distribute on each platform? How often do they post? Can you decipher a strategy for each platform?
  • Marketing Strategy – How are your competitors communicating their brand message to consumers? What type of media do your product users consume?

At the end of the SWOT, you should have a better sense of where your competitors strengths and weaknesses lie, what threats they pose to your brand, and most importantly, what opportunities there are to uncover.