Join Deirdre Breakenridge for an in-depth discussion in this video Evaluate customers' feelings, part of Marketing Foundations: Competitive Market Analysis.
- GAP tried to change their logo back in 2010. It was a huge flop. There was a firestorm of negative backlash from customers. There were some very strong, passionate reactions on social media. Once Facebook user wrote on GAP's Facebook page, "This is the worst idea GAP has ever had. I'll be sad to see this change take place". Understanding your customers' feelings about your product is a part of your competitive advantage. You see it all the time, you're thinking about buying a cell phone online, and an advertisement pops up.
The advertisement is a matrix that compares that cell phone with other options you can buy, showing you that this cell phone is the best choice. Don't wait for your competition to show your weaknesses in an advertisement. So what can you do to get ahead of your competition? To help you organize your research, I've created a matrix for you to fill out information around your competition and how their customers feel. Download exercise file 03_02 and do this yourself as a part of your competitive analysis.
Think of paper towels. A paper towel company can make a list of features and benefits on a spreadsheet. For example, your competitors are Bounty, Brawny, and Viva paper towels. Your research showed that customers think about a few things when deciding on which paper towel to buy. They think about choice of sheet size, absorbency, double-sheet thickness, and colorful designs. Now look at your exercise file.
You want to list a couple of features around the product. If one of your competitors has the feature listed, then place a check mark in the appropriate cell indicating this. Likewise, if they don't, leave the cell box blank. For example, Bounty and Brawny both have absorbency. So they have checks in their cells on the spreadsheet. Viva doesn't have a very absorbent paper towel, so no check for them. Not many people want a paper towel that's extremely expensive.
Your research also told you that the customer benefit from paper towels that are easy to use, cost effective, dependable, and fast-acting. Now for your benefits. Look at your exercise file again. Instead of check marks, you want to give each benefit a score between one and ten. For example, Bounty and Brawny both have very fast-acting paper towels, so they each get a score of ten. Once you've figured out all of your competitor's features and benefits, think about your own company and evaluate your features and benefits on the spreadsheet relative to the competition.
In rare cases, the features and benefits of your product are just as good as your competitors. Then the differentiating factors could be price or customer service. The more unique your product features and benefits are in the eyes of your customers, the stronger your competitive edge.
- What is a competitive analysis?
- The benefits of competitive analysis
- Building your competitive analysis through research
- Defining your top competitors
- Determining your own strengths and weaknesses
- Researching your customers' needs and wants
- Using an evaluation and analysis framework
- Summarizing major opportunities and issues