Developing the market edge for success
Is your market research leading you to new business opportunities?
Do you have a deep understanding of the competitive advantages of your offerings?
Do you appreciate the difference between marketing and sales and their inter-relationships?
Competitive intelligence is a tool that allows a business to monitor the strategies competitors are utilizing in marketing and product development. The focus is on analysing publicly available information.
During the 1980s, the forest industry in British Columbia went into deep recession. This was caused by increased global competition and tariffs on forest imports by the United States amongst other factors. A fundamental economic shift occurred that impacted negatively on single-industry forest communities like Chemainus on Vancouver Island resulting in high unemployment.
Chemainus responded by developing a tourism industry with local entrepreneurs driving the change. Its’ main street was revitalized with a series of outdoor mural paintings. A shopping mall was constructed. This gave the local community a competitive economic advantage.
Individual businesses too can tap into new opportunities by researching the market and responding in ways that give competitive advantage. Understanding what consumers really want results in high business growth.
Intelligence findings by a technology based company showed that the high cost of downtown city parking had shifted attitudes of a significant segment of the population away from ownership to sharing of cars to get around the city. This led to a business where customers with electronic identity cards could swipe to unlock and use cars provided at strategic locations in the city. Competitive intelligence is a tool for analysing the market and the competition to create advantages and fresh opportunities for your business.
It is important for businesses to identify opportunities by understanding local factors that impact business growth.
Make a Positive Difference in Business
By learning about the strengths and weaknesses of the offerings by competitors you can work to improve satisfaction for customers. Get involved in industry organizations and understand the forces shaping research and development. There is always room for something different that leads to more positive experiences for consumers.
Utilize Electronic Communication Networks
We can learn a lot about the competition and consumer attitudes by simply researching electronic online postings by both the competition and consumers. Transparency is the best way to build consumer trust. This has resulted in many businesses providing online information about their market research findings and progress made in product development. Additionally you can create your own communication channel that reaches out to your target market more effectively.
Make Things Affordable For Customers
An interesting furniture start-up went into business offering modular furniture with parts that could be move around to change the shape of the furniture. The quality standards and manufacturing realities shaped their pricing strategies. This led them into a market where they now sell to large corporations. Competitive intelligence helped them make the decision to manufacture in North America instead of in Asia.
Promote Continual High Growth
It can be said, if you are not growing you may be dying. Competitive Intelligence encourages you to gather publicly available information about the market and the competition. This can be converted into intelligence that leads to knowledgeable decisions that help you to manage and grow the business.
With the right intelligence your business can be pro-active and competitive.
International Business Consultant
Reboot your business plan for sustained high growth.