Recent studies showed that 89% of the participants recognize competitive intelligence as a strategic asset, a must-have. But why? What are the benefits of competitive intelligence? Can it help you improve your product? Increase your customer satisfaction? How can it benefit your strategy to know your competitors? In this article, you will discover the importance of competitor analysis.
No more guessing
It is wrong to build a business plan just on gut feeling, assumptions, “we have always done it like this” approach. Blind spots and wrong assumptions can take an awful turn on your business. By conducting a thorough competitive analysis, you will get accurate and factual data about your competitive positioning, a sound basis for building an action plan to stay ahead of your competitors and your market.
New business opportunities
Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses may instigate ideas for improving your product or service offering. Start from building a profound understanding of the business approach of your competitors, look at their offering, their pricing strategy, the customers they cater for, their network of partners, their values and brand promises. You will discover what they are doing good but as well the market opportunities they miss. Analyse how to overcome common pitfalls and use it to strengthen your competitive advantage.
Ideas can never run out when you commit to constant learning. This is one of the benefits of competitive intelligence. You will get to discover many untapped opportunities and it increases your focus on efficiently solving customers’ unmet needs.
Recent technological advances combine smart electronics with fashion and textile to develop wearables, smart fashion and e-textiles. More and more consumers use those smart wearables on a daily base. Smart clothing provides the capability to sense the interaction with the user or the environment, to collect data about the user or the environment through embedded sensors and conductive yarns. If you are in textile or fashion, you cannot ignore this relatively early stage but booming market segment. A not so common example of smart wearable devices is the mimu gloves.
Be a front runner
If you want to continuously improve your service and product offering, then you have to monitor the heartbeat of your market and conduct competitive analysis regularly. Early signals of emerging technologies, market trends, new entrants, strong partnerships will increase your strategic agility and indicate where action is required to secure performance.
Do what you do best, even better.
Knowing the main reasons why your loyal customers do business with you instead of your competition brings you to the essence of competitive intelligence. You should understand and tackle weaknesses but it is more important to focus on your strengths. Exploit your business’s competitive advantages and apply it efficiently to keep your existing customer satisfied and to win new customers.
The market of the smartwatches providers for example can be divided in 4 segments: leading consumer electronics brands, fashion and traditional watch brands, children’s watches, as well as special-purpose brands often startups that cater to niche audiences. The traditional brands have to make a strategic choice in order to stay relevant in a fast changing business environment. “Traditional watch brands such as Fossil and Casio will retain market share by offering more style and choice in their portfolio than the technology brands,” said Mr. Antin. “Fashion and traditional watch brands are likely to account for up to 20 percent of unit shipments by 2022.”[i]
See the bigger picture.
The market is usually excited about new features and latest trends; these attract new customers and prevent the loyal ones from leaving. By learning about other businesses, emerging technologies and by listening to the buzz in your market, you can discover new trends early on. Explore those new technologies and investigate if you can incorporate them into your products and services in order to provide a novel user experience.
If you are a designer or company in the wearable tech industry, competitive intelligence will reveal the technology choices and partners of your competitors as well as new entrants. For instance, did you know that utilising blockchain solutions gains popularity over the cloak and dagger approach to provide transparency about the parties involved in the complex supply chain within the textile and fashion industry? Many companies are increasingly feeling the pressure to change their usual methods. Consumers demand transparency and ask #WhoMadeMyClothes?
The benefits of gaining systematical competitive intelligence seem clear. You want to make the right strategic decisions in due time substantiated with (f)actual data. Find out what we can do for you.
Since 2016, WCD is on a mission to unlock collective intelligence within an organisation and across the boundaries of interconnected companies. WCD enables these organisations, business ecosystems, as well as the dynamic and co-evolving communities of diverse actors, to create and capture new value through increasingly sophisticated models of both collaboration and competition