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Your Competition

Analyze the market and accurate all information about your competition. The clearer you are at outset about the competition you'll face, the better your business will be and the greater your chances of success will be. Doing your own research is good way to start.

Try to answer to these questions:

1. How big, how old, how strong they are?
2. What percentage of the market do they have?
3. What makes their product or service different from others?
4. Do they concentrate on quality or volume?
5. Are their prices perceived as low, medium or high?
 6. Do they offer discounts? What kinds? How often?
7. Is their product or service known by name?
8. What kind of promotion do they use? Free samples? Giveaways?
9. How do they distribute their service or product?
10. Where are they located and is location important to their success?
11. Are they targeting specific customers?
12. What's good or bad about their product or service?

RECOMMENDED LITERATURE

Pricing for Profitability: Activity-Based Pricing for Competitive Advantage - When pricing a product, you have to get it right. Overpricing will lead to lost sales that would have been profitable at a lower price, while underpricing leads to sales that bring revenue without profit. Activity-based pricing is a new paradigm for improving profitability by reducing the occurrence of pricing mistakes and placing less emphasis on increasing revenue and more on improving profits. Pricing for Profitability will help any company set prices that are both attractive to buyers and profitable for the company.

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors - More than a million managers in both large and small companies, investment analysts, consultants, students, and scholars throughout the world have internalized Porter's ideas and applied them to assess industries, understand competitors,, and choose competitive positions. The ideas in the book address the underlying fundamentals of competition in a way that is independent of the specifics of the ways companies go about competing. Competitive Strategy has filled a void in management thinking. It provides an enduring foundation and grounding point on which all subsequent work can be built. By bringing a disciplined structure to the question of how firms achieve superior profitability, Porter's rich frameworks and deep insights comprise a sophisticated view of competition unsurpassed in the last quarter-century.

How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market - Building on research from disciplines as diverse as neurology, sociology, literary analysis, and cognitive science, Zaltman offers rich insights into what happens within the complex system of mind, brain, body, and society as consumers contemplate their needs and evaluate products. Zaltman illustrates how leading companies are "mining the unconscious" - with remarkable results, and introduces innovative tools & techniques that help marketers:
* Develop research questions that speak to the unconscious brain.
* Evoke valuable meaning through a customer's metaphors and instill those images in brand communications.
* Measure consumer reactions to marketing stimuli and alter advertising or positioning strategies accordingly.
* Build "consensus maps" that reflect a market segment's universal thinking-and reengineer them to boost customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales.
* Understand how their own minds work-and how they can think in creative new ways. The mind of the market is waiting to be explored. Make sure your competitors don't get there first.

Tested Advertising Methods - A legend in advertising for more than 60 years, John Caples still serves as a guide to generations of creative marketing people. Now his classic work on how to create successful advertising has been updated by respected advertising consultant Fred Hahn. It retains all the clarity, candid analysis, time-tested experience and invaluable award-winning ideas from the original, while bringing it right up-to-the-minute on the many new changes in the field.

 
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