Fresh Facets

Guide #3 Competition and market analysis

Welcome back to our step-by-step series about branding. We’re now at number 3. In this latest edition, we’ll tell you all the basics you need to know about competitor analysis and market research.
As always, we’ll give you just the essence of the information, so you can gain a quick understanding of your branding strategy.
 
First, let’s dig deeper into research.
Research, of course, is where Google comes into play. If you use Google efficiently, you can find almost any information you need. If a Google search doesn’t suffice, you can also try some of the following sources:
  • Market-related communities and forums.
    For example, if you sell HDR cameras, you can check out tech communities to learn the likes and dislikes of your customers.
  • Niche magazines.
    Go to the local magazine store to research the fine details in your market.
  • Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
    Visit social media sites to find out what moves your customers in their everyday lives.
  • Phone calls.
    Make a direct connection with your existing clients by giving them a call.
  • E-mails to your competitors.
    Send your competitor a quick e-mail. You can ask about almost anything that might interest you or affect your branding strategy. You will be surprised by the response rate!
After you complete your research, the real work begins with evaluating the information.
 
Let’s take a look at the specific data we want to find out. First, we’ll consider the competitor analysis.
Identify your potential competitors. Then, take a look at their strategies in such areas as branding, marketing or expansion.
Find out about their weaknesses and strengths. Compare them to your own. Consider price, customer support and the product itself.
This process will provide you with an excellent opportunity to think about your selling proposition. Determine your unique marketing proposal — the brand message — that will help you stand out in the market.
Why would your customer choose you over the competition? Is it your quality? Your price? Your service?
 
Now, let’s move on to market analysis.
The best way to get information about your specific market is to talk to your customers. Ask them about their struggles and how your products can help them.

You have already figured out some of this information in step 2 as well. Now, you can deepen your understanding and get in touch with your customer base. You’ll learn about the perception of your image and upcoming market trends.

Finally, think about your target audience’s demographic and age group. After you’re done with this important step, check out business.gov. Here you can get information about your market’s size and growth.
Try to segment your market into several pieces. This makes it easier for you to compare data, and it will give you a deep and complete understanding of your market.

Review all of your findings as you work on your branding strategy.

To get the best results out of your research, consider hiring a marketing expert.
 
If you do your analysis homework from time to time, you´ll always have the advantage in your market. You won´t miss any important changes that might affect your business.
In our next issue, we’ll look at our specialties: design, tag lines, messages and styles.

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