When starting a business, apart from having a clear strategy and strong vision, you must have a defined target audience, extensive knowledge of your industry, and throughly understand your competition. One of the most common rookie mistakes is over looking your competition, or thinking you have none.
So let’s get real… you can’t survive if you don’t know precisely who is your competition, what are their strengths, weaknesses, pace of growth and innovation strategy. This is a non negotiable if you plan to dominate your industry and have a dedicated target audience.
To truly become a driving force in your industry, we recommend you create a “blue ocean” for your brand. If you haven’t already, go ahead and read the book “The Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. It will guide you to create an “uncontested marketplace” instead of “battling competitors”. The concept is simple: your competitors are battling one another in a bloody “red ocean” where it’s all about who is the biggest, strongest fish. The idea is that you can be creative instead of competitive, and create a “blue ocean” for your brand, by simply attracting customers with a different profile than your competition!
To do that, you need to know exactly who else on the market offers a product that answers the same needs as yours.
What are their characteristics?
What is their price point, the variety they offer, the values behind their product, their ideal customer?
Write those elements down so you can have an idea of what not to do.
Now establish a plan that contradicts their strategy. Are they offering their product at a very low price point? Go premium!
Are they offering a large variety of products? Specialize in three or four signature items!
Do they import from Spain? Make it local!
Get creative, This is your chance to think outside of the box and have fun with it! Companies everywhere have created “blue oceans” for their brands, but here is a video about Cirque du Soleil and how they challenged the status quo with their strategy.
So…how creative can you be? What is your strategy? We can’t wait to hear from you!