What is one of the favourite parts of my job? When a client comes in with a new product, or an idea for one, and wants our help to develop the brand and take it to market. Some product ideas are really great, and others are not. A few weeks ago, a gentleman with a really great product idea visited me, and I really think his product is going to be a winner.
During our discussion, he told me that there were only two other companies in North America selling this type of product, so the opportunity was certainly there. He wasn’t sure how much to charge for his product, how to package it, how to ship it, etc. The other two companies that currently sell this product seem to be doing a good job marketing the product, so I told him the best way to learn about the competition is to be their customer. That is the best way to find out how competitors do business.
He left our office and placed an order from both potential competitors. What did he learn? Just about everything he needed to know to get started with his new venture.
Getting information on competitors is becoming easier and easier. You can follow them on social media, you can buy from them online, and by the way, many companies put way too much information on their websites. Or you can do it the old fashioned way. Walk in and buy something in person or have someone do it for you. You might as well do this, because the smart ones are no doubt doing it to you.
Gather as much information you can on your competitors. Don’t look at it as spying; it’s really just market research.