Conducting market research can easily be swept under the carpet and forgotten about, which often occurs in many businesses. Understanding your competitors and the current industry opportunities will give you an advantage in adapting to changes effectively and efficiently, with little damage to your business.

Take McDonald’s and Burger King, who produces the better hamburger? Who’s is cheaper? Better quality? Burger King released their ‘Whopper’ hamburgers so what did McDonald’s do? Introduced the Big Mac. Both constantly do their research into their customers’ needs and what the other is doing to meet these. For instance, the market has started changing in that consumers are looking for healthier options, so both have introduced salads, juices, fruit ‘n yoghurt parfait, apple slices etc. to provide a variety of options for their consumers!

Before anything, we emphasise the importance of doing a full analysis of your competitors, so you are aware of their strengths, weaknesses, USPs (unique selling points), brand and messaging, as part of your strategy. Looking at their website, social media platforms, reviews, content etc. will help you to understand their position in the market, and therefore where you stand against them.

From this, you can analyse differences between you and your competitors. For instance, if your USPs are too similar then you will not stand out and customers won’t perceive your brand as anything exceptional. If they are charging higher prices, why is that? Are they producing higher quality products or services? What gives them that edge and can you, therefore, match this or be better? Customers look for something different that will provide them with the quality they wish for.

Jumping straight into business with an offering is no good without research. You will fail to fully understand what it is your customers need or what they might currently be using, and so will just add to the heaps of noise amongst the crowded business world. Your competitors help you to be more competitive, unique and continuously improve to be an industry leader.

Without market research, it is easy to become complacent as you feel as though business is going well until a competitor produces something new and valuable which you had no idea about. Making your business aware of the frequent changes in the market is essential to keep yourself ahead of the game and maintain customers, adjusting your offering to their needs.

Are there any current opportunities within your industry? If so, have you begun looking into this before your competitors beat you to it? As an example, technology is ever-evolving so keeping all your processes up to date and efficient in line with this can have a huge impact on your customers’ buying behaviour. This could be as simple as investing in tools and training for your workforce to improve their service, to implementing an entirely new data management system that will centralise all of your customer data to understand their needs better. The most important thing you should remember is to never stand still.

If this is something you feel you could benefit from doing, please give us a call on 01256 806333 or email info@www.fruitfulmarketing.co.uk and we can happily advise further.

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