Knowing your competitors, their strategies and tactics is vital to succeeding in business. Competitor insights enable you to understand how your competitors are performing, identify their strengths and weaknesses and ultimately, build a brand strategy that creates competitive advantage.
So how can you make the most out of your competitor data and insights to outmanoeuvre the competition? In this post, we’ll show you four ways to do just that.
What are competitor insights?
Competitive insight does exactly what it says on the tin – provides information about your key competitors. Usually surfaced off the back of a competitor analysis, examples of competitor insights range from pricing to products, brand positioning to brand perception, customer service to employee experience.
While we are all too familiar with the importance of consumer insights, there is often less focus placed on competitor insights. However, knowing who your competitors are and what they’re doing is crucial for your own success.
No matter what kind of business you are in, competitor data is an invaluable resource for organisations looking to increase their market share. The better your understanding of your competitors’ latest moves, the more you can use this information to support your own strategy and gain an edge over them.
Four ways to use competitor insights effectively
If you’re not leveraging competitor data as part of your own business strategy, you’re missing a trick. Here are the top four ways to make the most out of your competitor insights:
1. Inform product development and innovation
Product competitor analysis can help identify exactly what target consumers want, while taking into consideration the success of various products or services that are already on the market. Your organisation can then develop products, services or even experiences that meet customer needs.
To find insights on competitor’s products or services, product reviews and social media are great starting points. These rich sources of text data will tell you exactly what customers like and dislike about competitor products and help to uncover white space within a market.
With innovative tools like Relative Insight, it’s easy to compare competitor reviews and brand mentions, surfacing insights that can inform product development. Using competitor insights in this way brings the consumer in to the heart of the innovation process; ensuring that what is created is actually driven by audience needs.
Case study (product reviews) – The race of the activewear brands: How to triumph over your competitors
2. Define brand position
Differentiating a brand from competitors is therefore taking what makes a brand unique and emphasising that in communications. The more a brand can be perceived as “different”, the more it will stand out from competitors.
Competitor insights can be particularly helpful for highlighting how customers perceive your brand, helping you to identify areas where you are strongest and weakest, as well as offering opportunities for brand differentiation.
For instance, imagine you are vegan skincare brand. If you were to compare how customers speak about your brand in comparison to competitors, you might find that they are actually more likely to talk about your products being great for hormonal skin as opposed to vegan or cruelty free. This competitor insight could be used to influence digital strategy, strengthen brand position and refine your mission statement. Marketeers could create specific communications around hormonal skin and own this segment of the market.
3. Differentiate tone of voice
It’s very common for close competitors to have similar product offerings. Take Coke and Pepsi. Essentially, both companies sell the same core products. However, the branding and tone of voice they adopt creates distance between the two soft drinks giants.
A brand’s voice is defined by how it communicates with its audience, whether that’s through a TV advert or a tweet. Comparing competitor social media channels and brand communications can reveal how your closest opponents are connecting with their audience. For example, one brand could be using humour while another takes a more serious tone.
Brands can use these competitor insights to their advantage and craft a distinctive brand voice that captures the attention of target consumers. Tailoring how you communicate with audiences and creating a stand out tone of voice can result in increased sales, happier customers and overall brand success.
Case study (brand tone of voice) – Coke vs Pepsi: How do rival brands develop a unique tone of voice?
4. Improve customer experience
Using competitor insights to improve customer experience is one of the best ways to get ahead of your competition. You see, it’s not always about having the best product on the market – it’s about delivering a great overall service that leaves customers singing your praises. If a company doesn’t meet customer’s expectations, they’ll choose a competitor who does.
When it comes to understanding the customer experience of rival brands, customer service reviews can provide you with a plethora of juicy insights. By comparing your own customer service reviews against your competitors, you can find out where competitors are providing a great experience, where your brand is falling short and how you can adapt your own brand’s customer service based on this feedback.
Learn what your competitors are doing right and implement this in your CX strategy – whether that be changing the language that your customer care team use or adopting social media as an additional support channel.
Using Relative Insight to find competitor insights
Relative Insight exposes the differences in language between two data sets, unlocking vital competitor insights from various data sources. The platform takes two or more sets of text data and compares them, pinpointing the words, phrases, topics, grammar and emotions that are more prevalent in one data set over another.
Whether you compare brand communications, customer reviews or social media mentions, the platform will uncover meaningful, actionable insights from your competitor data.
But remember, it’s what you do with these insights that counts.