What will they do next?
When we are looking at levels of customer service for our clients we like to ask respondents what competitors are like as well as the company themselves. Many companies just look at their own strengths without taking into account those of their competitors.
It is fairly straightforward to measure what competitors are doing currently. But it is never easy to put yourself into the minds of your competitors to see what they are going to do next. It is often easier for a third party to do this.
Our structured approach takes in data from all possible sources, press releases, annual report & accounts, job adverts, website, past employees and profiles of senior management to build a picture to show where a company is heading.
In most cases companies work to the same basic principles when they are, for example entering a new market. For example, we know that GE always aimed to be number one or two in any market it was entering because that was Jack Welchs policy. So it was no surprise when they invested in the European lamp market, with factories in Spain & Hungary, to achieve that. It is the people who go from company to company, but they usually repeat what worked before.
No one operates in a vacuum. You need to know what your competitors are doing that is better than you and where you are better than they. This way, for a modest investment, you can optimise the opportunities and minimise the threats in the marketplace.
Case Study - Competitor Analysis
A leading UK engineering company in the construction sector, decided to be an innovator, not an imitator. They wanted to know exactly what their major competitors were doing so they could compete with them more effectively, by doing things differently. They chose three large competitors who operated using diverse styles. We used desk research to look at them in depth to see how they organised themselves, how they worked, their business strategy, their use of IT etc. From this, we constructed a hypothesis of their future strategies to the market, which we then tested using field research. The results are now being used to improve competitive responses in future bid situations and develop new approaches to clients.
Two years later a second review was needed because a large overseas player was moving aggressively into the market. We constructed a hypotheses of their likely strategy which we then tested using field research. The results were then compared with those of 2 years before to gauge their rate of development and strategic cohesion.
The results meant our client could think more long term about how their vision and strategy would conflict with the competition and, at a tactical level, how they could improve and differentiate their profile and core competencies, to win more work and perform efficiently.
What our clients have said when using us for Competitor Analysis:
- "Understands our market, quick to grasp problems"
- "Good industry sector knowledge"
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