There is always uncertainty in the business landscape. Apart from disruptive economic conditions, companies will also need to watch out for new players in the field. Technology is making it easier for people to build their own startups, thereby creating a fast-paced environment in which veteran brands are hard-pressed to keep up and stand out.
Regardless of the number of years you have been in business, there’s nothing to prepare you for young entrepreneurs who have fresh ideas and a desire to gain ground. Still, you wouldn’t want to lose your share of the market without giving a fight. If anything, the increased competition provides the best opportunities for transforming your business and maintaining relevance in your market.
It’s just a matter of knowing the right tools and methods that can help you compete and stay current as the times keep changing. Here is a short guide to help you to rise your business competitiveness above others.
1. Keep track of evolving trends
The world of business is always in a state of flux. Trends come and go, and it’s important to know the tools and methods that work right now. The first thing you will have to do is to identify which marketing and technological trends are worth exploring.
At this point, it’s best that you listen to industry news and monitor the social media feeds of important influencers in your market. You can also read blogs, listen to podcasts, or check out the top hashtags in your industry.
It’s not difficult to determine the trends that matter. You just need to spend time and listen to the conversations that people are having. Once you have found a trend that’s getting enough traction, learn how you are going to exploit it to your advantage. This process is called newsjacking, and large companies do it all the time in a bid to stay relevant.
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2. Listen to what your audience is saying
Social listening is also an important part of keeping up with the needs and demands of your market. Your market isn’t static, and consumer preferences and buying habits change during every disruption.
Ever since the pandemic began, companies have seen a massive shift to e-commerce as consumers depend on delivery apps to buy essentials and luxuries from the comfort of their living room. As health restrictions are gradually relaxed, the reliance on omnichannel retail remains. Consumers find it more convenient, so brands will have to embrace this new reality in shopping culture and set up their own online stores.
It’s important that you take the time to listen to what your audience wants through comprehensive market research. From there, you can develop products, services, and experiences that match current expectations. Through social listening, you can get more than just insights on trends but also the current mindset of your market.
3. Do competitor analysis
Oftentimes, your competitors hold the key to improving your relevance in your industry. The fact that they’re doing something right should be a catalyst for change in the way you run and promote your business.
This is not to say that you will need to mimic your competitors. You just need to identify the factors that allowed them to carve success. Analyzing these factors will provide you with ideas your business might also need to adopt.
Examine how your competitors run their marketing campaigns through their social media and web presence. Are they introducing new products and services to their line of offers? Did they start a podcast or video series that revolved around your market? Did you notice a change in the tone and personality of their promotional campaigns?
Analyzing your competitors is critical to innovation. You will need to monitor their online presence and see how they engage with their audience. You can also look towards customers reviews and the conversations that your competitors initiate. Understanding how your competitors adapt can help you determine what to modify, replace, or dispose of in your arsenal of strategies, methods, and tools.
4. Consider an image change
Rebranding your organization can be a tricky project to pursue, especially if it has established a loyal following over the years. However, when done right, changing your image can help you attract new generation audiences, maintain a strong footing in your industry, and compete against newcomers.
The first thing you will need to do is to check if rebranding is necessary. There are lots of reasons for this, including the need to make your brand trendy and adopt a different philosophy or vision. It’s also possible to rebrand if your organization is expanding outside local borders.
No matter the case, it’s important to know how rebranding can affect your existing audience. You have people who have maintained a strong connection with your business ever since it began. The goal here is to maintain this relationship and avoid alienating older audiences as you keep up with the latest trends.
Rebranding is mostly a balancing act, so sit down with your creative team and come up with a strategy that engages both old and new consumers. It helps if you use your brand philosophy and mission as a point of reference. From there, you determine if there’s a need to change your tone and personality.
A total rebranding would make sense if your business has lost its appeal towards older and younger audiences. This is usually the case with organizations undergoing a reputational crisis. If you want your organization to build PR momentum, consider moving forward with an entirely new brand image.
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5. Invest in innovation
When it comes down to competitiveness, it’s important for a business to generate fresh ideas and deliver new concepts that will revolutionize their industry. If you want to build relevance for your company, you might want to invest more time and money in research and development.
Considering how fast consumer demands change, your competitors could be focusing too much on keeping up with the market. Your success is dependent on your capacity to develop new products and services for your market.
There’s no better way to increase your business competitiveness quite like delivering new solutions to existing problems. Research and development can be exhaustive in the long run, but the potential returns can be massive if you put in the time and money for it.
“If you run into roadblocks in your innovation projects, you can always tap a company that can help accelerate your efforts and develop projects that have the potential to disrupt your niche or sector. If you’re focusing on system innovation, for instance, reach out to tech-driven innovation partners that provide you with the tools and resources you need for strengthening your R&D efforts.” – as nicely elaborated by Jennifer Wilde, the Director at Innovation Ecosystem, in one of her recent interviews.
With the right help, it will be easier for you to launch products that can give you an edge over the competition.
6. Rebuild your marketing campaign
Is your marketing campaign losing steam? When people lose interest in your brand, it’s usually because you have over-exhausted your marketing message. In order to get their attention back, you will need to develop better value propositions and adjust your marketing and brand-building strategy.
For the most part, competitor analysis should give you an idea of the best channels for generating leads, increasing brand awareness, and improving customer experiences. In any case, you will need to get rid of marketing methods that have lost their effectiveness.
These days, omnichannel marketing is becoming a staple even for small businesses and startups. We are living in an age when people have access to multiple devices, so it’s important that you deliver the brand experience across every audience touchpoint using marketing automation.
If you are looking to get a larger chunk of the market this year and the next, focus on having a presence across all channels and engaging your audience through these platforms.
In addition, make sure to optimize your message if you are looking to rebrand your business. It has to align with your new brand identity so you can engage younger audiences.
7. Start growing your network
Building relevance does not just happen internally. It also involves a conscious effort to reach out to other organizations across industries, build alliances, and identify potential brand advocates.
Investing in a solid network is critical to your success. When the competition heats up in your market, having a big name alongside yours can add social proof to your efforts and boost your reputation.
Attending online and offline events is a great way to find potential partners. Beyond that, you can also pitch for a guest spot on an industry podcast, participate in think tanks, and attend industry conferences where you can build relationships with industry leaders.
Getting your name out in the open is important to building credibility. With enough influence to show for it, you can get the upper hand in your market.
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Are you looking to dominate your industry and become relevant for the long term? Get started on these tips and make your business stand out from your competitors!