Find your difference!
As part of your brand awareness exercise, it’s critical to know where you sit in your potential market compared to your competitors.
Competitor analysis will help you understand what they offer and what they’re doing.
Why is this so important?
Because people remember difference. To be different and to stand out, you’re going to need to look, sound and feel different to everyone else on your competitor landscape. And you can only develop your competitive edge effectively if you know what the others are up to.
Where do you start with competitor analysis?
Simple! Write a list of your competitors.
You’ll need to do some research in order to find out about them, but you needn’t get hauled off by the long arm of the law for being a stalker.
Use these simple research techniques to get to the nitty gritty of your competitors;
- Online searches are a quick way to find out what they offer. Look to see if there are any current promotions, whether they have a health plan, and check their pricing on key services if these are published online. You can sometimes find customer reviews online, and view their social media pages if they have any.
- On-site observations of their customer service, their car parking facilities, the way the practice looks, how busy they are etc can give you a really good insight in to the way the practice operates.
- Talk to your people. Clients and staff probably have their ears to the ground and have picked up local information. They might know if expansion is due, or that people often come to you for spey’s because you’re cheaper etc. Basic conversations can give you plenty of information.
The questions you should consider answering include:
- Where are they based?
- What are they good at?
- What are they bad at?
- What do they promote?
- How do they compare to you? Are they more professional, smaller, have fewer/more facilities etc
- How do they compare price wise?
- Do they have a preventative healthcare scheme?
- If they have a scheme, how do your benefits compare to theirs?
- What do you know about their staff? Are they happy, have good staff retention, do you generally hear good things about them, or otherwise?
- What do they look like? Is their appearance and brand consistent?
- How do they do their marketing?
- Are they growing or shrinking back?
- Are they corporate? Or independent?
Starting to put it all together
If you’ve been working through the brand refresh process – establishing your uniqueness, working out who your clients are and how to talk to them, you know who your competitors are and where they’re positioning themselves – you can start to really establish your competitive difference.
- Are there any apparent competitive weaknesses that give you an opportunity to shine?
- Is your offering different?
- Is your offering competitive? This needn’t be about money, but service levels and added value too.
- Are you offering what your clients want whilst being true to your core aims?
- Is what you’re doing cost-effective and realistic
These are all the key starting points for your brand positioning and working out where you sit within the market. These points should also help you put together your marketing plan that’s firmly sited on your long-term aims.
If you need any help with this or any other aspect of your marketing planning, then get in touch either by calling 01202 028 125 or by filling in the form below…
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Quickly create vet practice buyer personas for all your customer types and get an idea how to refocus your marketing and strategy to attract them and keep them coming back for more.