One question that always comes to mind in business strategy meta-analysis is: what is the best strategy to win the customers’ competition among businesses in one’s industry?
Likewise, the preliminary theme of the most competitive analysis is the question: Who is your competitor? That’s because most companies view their competition as other brands, products, or services. Yet, these may not be true, and this, therefore, brings the need to go further in this strategic analysis.
Who vs What
The who-vs-what analysis shows that the question should not be who your competitor is, but what it is. The reason for this is that, what lead to the competition is not the too-many market participants, but the need to meet customers’ needs exceptionally. Therefore, your competitors are all challenges your existing and prospective consumers face in accessing, affording, using, and maintaining your company’s products and services. Moreover, excellently solving these challenges means winning the competition without thinking of other participants in the market.
There are four good questions to answer in learning about your customers’ challenges, and how to best meet them.
- Who are they, what do they want?
- What determines their specific demands for specific products and services?
- Where, when, and how do they want the needs met?
- What solutions do they currently have, and what improvements can be done to this?
The Winner’s Deciders
At the end of the day, it’s your customers who have the ultimate idea of what is good and bad about your services in comparison to other industry participants. It’s your customers who buy your products; and in all truth, it’s your customers who will keep you in business or out of business.
Jeff Bezos Quote
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO once said, “If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right.”
The best competitive strategy is to focus on meeting the customer’s needs better than any co-sellers. Therefore, start getting to know your customers, as intimately as possible, precisely, obsess over them and consider other businesses as mare market participants.
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