Branding is an art as much as it is a science. A lot of times you will have ideas which will seem great to you but they won’ work out in reality. The best way to learn about branding is to see what your competitors are doing. The people who are going after the same demographic as you need to appeal to the same demographic as you. Here are 10 things you can learn from your competitors.
1) What works
You should be happy at a competitor’s success because it gives you a great idea about what actually works when it comes to branding for your product category and target market.
2) What doesn’t work
We all have a bit of schadenfreude when a competitor fails but you should take that as a lesson too. Why make mistakes when your competitor is making them for you to learn from?
3) Where you should take your branding
Depending on what works or doesn’t for the competitor, you get to learn where you need to head with your brand. You can make it more upscale or you can make it more approachable.
4) How much you need to invest
It is always hard to determine how much you should be investing in your marketing and branding efforts. Looking at competitors will give you a good ballpark figure of what you need to be doing to attract customers and what will be overkill.
5) Where you can find your customers
For branding it is very important to know exactly where your customers are most likely to be present. Look at your most successful competitors and see where they are showing their branding and what they are sponsoring. This will give you a great idea about how you can reach your customers.
6) How often you need to change your branding
Pepsi often does design changes when Coke does and it is true the other way around too. If the competitors are out with a fresh look you will need a fresh look as well otherwise you will start looking old and boring.
7) What customer segments are not being catered to
Sure, you can pick the same target as your competitor and fight them for a share of the market but there is another approach you can take. Instead look at who the competitors are not catering to and carve your own niche market.
8) Mistakes to be avoided
Look at the history of your competitors. You will see branding moves that were short lived and were changed quickly. These are the mistakes which the competitor had to fix at a high cost. Take note of these mistakes so you don’t end up making them too.
9) What price range you should be targeting
Price range is an important part of branding. How expensive and luxurious do you want your brand to be seen as
? Look at your competitors and see if they are pushing their products as the cheap alternative or if they are going for a premium look.
10) What makes you unique
The most important thing that your competitors can teach you is how unique you are. Branding means giving your brand a personality. Is your brand different enough from the competition to stand out? If it isn’t, you need to make it more unique.