That’s why today, I’m sharing my top three tips on how to know exactly who your competitors are, why that’s key in making your business stand out, and how to do just that.
Similar to my last blog, where I talked about the importance of knowing your audience so you can whisper directly to them, and not scream to the masses – you want to do the same thing with your competitors.
Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of clients saying in their brand briefs that they “don’t have any competitors”. So if that’s what you’re already thinking as you read this, for your sake let’s call them “peers”. Maybe you’re a unique, one-of-a-kind niche business, and that’s okay! But you still have peers or competitors. People who do somewhat similar things (maybe not the exact same), but businesses who are trying to connect with the same audience that you are trying to reach.
Competitors don’t have to have a negative connotation – I’m the biggest believer in “community over competition” and in lifting one another up! I truly believe there is enough work out there for all of us. All that being said, you still need to know who your peers are in your industry, because this is going to help you position yourself as a brand and business, and once again connect with your audience who may have come across a few of your peers while looking for your product/service.
In a sea of competitors, be a unicorn.
Here are three tips and questions you can answer to get to know your competitors and how to stand out from them:
1 – Who are your top three competitors?
Write down a list of your top competitors, as well as a few things that you love about them, that they’re doing well, and also what you don’t like, that they’re not doing well.
2 – What are some things you can learn from them, do better, or do differently?
Once you know who your competitors are, it’s time to start thinking about how you can best position yourself amongst them and in your industry. Compare your business and brand to those of your competitors, and see how you could improve. A few further questions you could ask yourself are:
– How are my competitors connecting with their audience? (eg. Are they on Instagram stories, asking questions, taking polls? Do they show up on Facebook lives? Do they have in-person events?)
– What’s the main message my competitors are trying to communicate? How does this differ from mine?
3 – What do my competitors’ visual identities look like?
I had a recent meeting where my client was telling me that a new business had opened up, and their branding was almost identical – same colours, vibe, look and feel. You can imagine that maybe this new brand wanted to piggyback off the success of my client, but in reality – it’s actually doing them a huge disservice having such a similar brand!
You want to be different, not blend in or be confused for another brand. This is why it’s important to be aware of your competitors’ visual identities. Knowing what colours they use, their fonts, the style of imagery, what their website looks like. You don’t want to copy them.
Remember, we’re trying to make you stand out! You still want to be true to you though, so don’t veer away from your core values and what you’re drawn to. For example, if you love blues and greens, but those are the same colours your competitor uses, see how you can make yourself different. Maybe you bring in a brighter teal, a script font, some new images – all things that are going to make you stand out in your industry.
If you want to learn more about creating your visual identity, check out my blog post all about it!
There you go! Have fun spending some time researching your competitors, and establishing that solid strategy so that you can set yourself up for success!
And if you’re further along in your business, this can still be such a helpful exercise to do! Industries are changing so quickly, so new competitors are always popping up – you want to be aware of them and ahead of the game.
If you’d like to learn more about differentiating yourself from your competitors, connecting with your audience, and creating your unique visual identity – be sure to sign up below for my Blissfully Branded course waitlist! I’m opening enrollment in December, so if you want to be the first to know about it (and get some extra free goodies!), get on the list below!
Tell me in the comments, what’s one thing you’re going to do to stand out from your competitors? 🙂