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Sizing Up Your Competition

Posted On - 10/07/2013 12:08:56

Get scope wrong and your strategy will address things that don't really matterThis blog is part of series on how to write strategy. Its objective is to do everything possible to help you write your own, without actually doing it for you. Using an imaginary business – URPCSFIXED Limited - with 8 fictitious competitors, it illustrates the process end-to-end. Each blog represents a major stage of strategy development with detailed guidance, tools, templates and the appropriate part of the Strategy Document fully written up, given. For more detail on the different blogs in this series and how they all fit together, see ‘A Strategy for Price Competition'.

Scope IS everything

The first major section in a Price Competition Strategy is Scope. Your Strategy defines how you'll respond to the opportunities and threats your competitors pose you. And that means assessing competitor intelligence from a set of contenders. The question is what? Or more specifically, which competitors, which products and services, which differentiators - customer care, street presence, etc. - and how often? That's Scope. Getting this right is key. Not just because the consequences will drive the amount of work you'll need to do, but because it sets the very essence of your Strategy. Get it wrong and you'll end up doing stuff that misses what really matters.

Scope the competitors you'll compare

‘Everyone's a competitor'. I heard someone say this at one of our Open Days. The thing is they're not. Because not all of them matter - you're actually only interested in those competitors who pose you a threat. Those who offer your customers and prospects a ‘viable' alternative. There's no point in including ‘also-rans': it's a waste of time and besides, get your Strategy right for the real contenders and the rest will look after itself. So those that matter could be retail or non-retail businesses. They could located close by on the street or in a business park, in another town or be completely mobile. What's key is if they're convenient and/or have a good reputation they will be visible to customers. These are the businesses that will attract people. So they're worth finding out about and dealing with. To see the list I used and why I included them in creating the example Strategy click here.

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