In my last article, I talked about why judging your success by what your competitors have done is stupid. But does that mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to what your competitors are doing?
Not at all — that’s a good way to go out of business. It only means that you shouldn’t decide how well you did based on what your competitors did — your measurements of success should be internal, based on things you care about achieving. Competitor analysis is a terrible way to judge success… but a great way to help you decide what to do.
What you can learn from studying your competition
- What your customers like
- What your customers don’t like
- How much (approximately) your customers are willing to pay
- New products/services you can offer to your customers
- What combination of products/services your customers are most likely interested in
- What promotional methods are most likely to be effective
- Industry trends
- Industry standards
Look at what your competitors are doing, so that you can decide what you need to do in response– whether that’s copy it, offer an opposing product, or ignore it — just don’t use them as a standard of success.
Resources for Further Reading
The Problem With Competitive Metrics